The two-day Dubai Fintech Summit hosted by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) was aligned with the Dubai Economic Agenda D33, with the aim of positioning Dubai among the top four global financial centres.

The event saw the participation of 100 exhibitors and 120 speakers from over 50 countries.  Here are some of the noteworthy headlines from the summit.

Ripple expands presence in Dubai

Ripple, the leading enterprise blockchain and crypto solutions firm, is expanding its presence in Dubai by opening a new office in DIFC and bringing Swell Global 2023, its annual customer conference, to Dubai.

“We chose Dubai as both a key office for Ripple, and to bring Swell Global to the city, in large part due to its forward-thinking regulatory environment. Regulators here have risen to the challenge of establishing a framework that allows the local crypto industry to thrive, create jobs and increase economic growth, while also ensuring participants act in a responsible manner,” Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple CEO, said.  

“Dubai is playing an important part in shaping the world’s future economy. By demonstrating truly visionary leadership, the emirate has positioned itself as an exciting fintech hub that is embracing crypto and blockchain technologies to bring innovation and foreign investment into the space."

Ripple spent $200 million fighting a SEC lawsuit, its CEO said at the Dubai Fintech Summit.

The SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple in 2020, alleging that it illegally sold XRP cryptocurrency to investors without first registering it as a security.

Dubai: Global fintech hub

Dubai has reiterated that it will continue to strengthen its position as a global destination for financial services and will remain a leading hub for fintech companies worldwide.

During the Dubai FinTech Summit, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE and President of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), met with the global leaders in the fintech industry.

Sheikh Maktoum met with Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered PLC, Jenny Johnson, President and CEO Franklin Templeton; and Piyush Gupta, CEO Development Bank of Singapore (DBS).

"We discussed the future of FinTech & innovation sector and establishing strong partnerships with the most prominent international institutions," Sheikh Maktoum tweeted.

Singapore's DBS plans Dubai expansion

DBS Group Holdings Ltd, Southeast Asia's biggest lender, is planning to expand in Dubai.

“We’re revisiting the thesis that there is real opportunity to do more stuff out of Dubai and this region,” CEO Piyush Gupta told Bloomberg at the Dubai FinTech Summit.

“I think Dubai is a really great location to be able to centre activities from here and we already do that for wealth management. You can do that for a lot of stuff [including] the East African corridor, the Saudi corridor and the Middle East corridor,” The National quoted Gupta as saying.

Dubai Economy

UAE’s minister of economy, Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, explained Dubai’s position in the business cycle and how the emirate’s growth is expected to go forward.

“We had a fantastic year in 2022. The UAE’s economy expanded 7.6%. This year we are expected to do about 3.5% growth. I think with all these challenges we want more than that. We have a KPI on doubling the economy the next seven years and doing so we need to hit 7% GDP growth every year,”  Al Marri said.

“The world today is moving on a fast pace. There will be challenges that might come up. The anticipation that the UAE leadership has on Dubai more specifically is the more appetite of agility, the more appetite to anticipate challenges and the fast speed on which regulations move in Dubai specifically anticipating future challenge,” he said.  

(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)