The 12th Annual Middle East Banking Innovation Summit (MEBIS) opened yesterday at the Le Méridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre and brought together some of the biggest and most influential figures in the banking and fintech industry from across the Middle East to share their expertise.

Day 1 of the Summit opened with a fascinating fireside chat with Shu-Pui Li, Advisor from the Central Bank of the UAE on the future scope of CBDC’s and how banks are preparing for this transformation in the region. Following this was a chat with the Head of Data Science and Advanced Analytics Hub from the Central Bank of Egypt - Basma Rady and the morderator Ilker Tasdemir, Director - Intelligent Enterprise, MDSap as they discussed on leveraging analytical capabilities. Next we had an enlightening keynote from our Platinum Sponsor, Nucleus Software. Group Product Manager Ankur Aggarwal spoke about lending resiliency and diversification. This was followed by a presentation from our Titanium Sponsor SAP. Ernesto Schmitz discussed how banks could offer better financial services, new channels and improved experiences. A fireside chat was next featuring Dinesh Sharma from Citi, Peter Vickery from First Abu Dhabi Bank and Ramkumar Venkatraman from Cedar Management Consulting. The panelists discussed the future of MENA Retail Banking Leadership.  Rounding off the morning, we heard from our Gold Sponsors Snowflake and Alteryx, who delivered fascinating keynote presentations on data cloud and artificial intelligence respectively, as well as a fireside chat on next generation core banking platforms featuring Aditya Baswan from First Abu Dhabi Bank, Florian Akinbiyi, Master of Ceremonies and Liam Leahy, Managing Director - EMEA, Thought Machine.

Returning after a coffee break, delegates were treated to a CXO panel discussion featuring Jagadeshwaran from Citi, Linoy Kidd from HSBC, Mamoun Alhomssey from Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Vikas Sethi from Gulf International Bank – Bahrain and the moderator Zubair Ahmed from VeriPark. Following the panel, we welcomed Lee Allcorn from Temenos who spoke on cloud banking and how this would be a game changer for next generation banking capabilities. This was followed by a keynote presentation by Omar Faiz from Salesforce discussed CRM in business banking and we had a fireside chat from Poonkodi Vasanthan from ADCB and Yogesh Pathak from SAS who spoke on the roadmap to ESG. Following this, we had another panel featuring Basma Rady from Central Bank of Egypt, Gyan Prakash Srivastava from Mashreq Bank, Mehdi Kerchouni from FICO, Mohamed Ghazala from Banque du Caire and SriLakshmi Bannigol from First Abu Dhabi Bank. Speaking about smart data and analytics in the MENA banking industry, it was a lively session with plenty of audience questions. Concluding day one of the Summit, Saikat Gupta from Evalueserve delivered the Pearl sponsor address before delegates engaged in some networking and lunch.

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