ADIB, DIFC Innovation Hub to drive regional fintech growth - GulfToday

ADIB, DIFC Innovation Hub to drive regional fintech growth

Top officials during the summit.

Top officials after the meeting.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) announced a strategic collaboration with DIFC Innovation Hub, home to the first and largest financial technology accelerator in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, to accelerate fintech adoption. The bank signed a strategic partnership agreement during the 2nd edition of Dubai FinTech Summit held on 6th-7th May 2024, at the Madinat Jumeirah, to participate as a “Principal Institution Partner” in DIFC Innovation Hub’s 2024 Innovation Scouting programme.

The ‘Innovation Scouting’ programme is designed to connect corporates and financial industry leaders with some of the most innovative fintech start-ups in the region to accelerate innovation adoption across verticals. The collaboration seeks to create Proof-of-Concept (PoC) projects, where DIFC Innovation Hub will provide support to ADIB in collaborating with the shortlisted fintechs to ensure successful implementation.

This collaboration establishes a dedicated programme to help ADIB discover and implement cutting-edge fintech solutions to accelerate innovation within their organisation and external offerings. As part of the programme DIFC Innovation Hub will hold highly customised and targeted discovery sessions with key stakeholders from ADIB to identify specific business needs for fintech innovation.

Leveraging its vast network, DIFC Innovation Hub will also help scout promising fintech start-ups with solutions that address these key areas. Following a rigorous evaluation process, ADIB will be introduced to shortlisted fintechs to ultimately create POCs for various use cases.

Fernando Plaza, Chief Digital Officer at ADIB, said, “This strategic collaboration with DIFC Innovation Hub underscores our commitment to embracing disruptive technologies and fostering a culture of innovation at ADIB. We are confident that this partnership will unlock new opportunities for growth and allow us to deliver an enhanced banking experience to our customers. Moreover, it will contribute to the advancement of the UAE’s financial sector, positioning the nation as a leader in fintech innovation on a global scale.”

Mohammad Alblooshi, Chief Executive Officer at DIFC Innovation Hub, said, “Innovation is the currency of progress, and within the banking sector, it is the key that unlocks doors to a future where financial services are not just accessible, but transformative. We are thrilled to welcome ADIB as a strategic partner and are positive that this collaboration will provide unprecedented opportunities to the fintech ecosystem in the region as well as enable ADIB to further advance their commitment to innovation and excellence.”

Separately, Dubai International Financial Centre recently published a ‘Regional Outlook for Banking and Capital Markets’ report in partnership with LSEG Data & Analytics.

The report focuses on how regional IPO growth is expected to come in three phases. Firstly, the continued privatisation of state-related entities, followed by listings by family-owned companies, and lastly, FinTech and tech-enabled start-ups.

Additionally, the report considers the profile of investors based in the region, especially Dubai, which has attracted a rising number of wealthy individuals and families who are seeking to capitalise on investment opportunities.

Commenting on the report’s findings, Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority, said: “Driven by the surge in IPOs, capital markets across the MENA region have experienced remarkable expansion, driven by reforms aimed at enhancing market infrastructure and fostering greater foreign and regional investment inflows.”

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