Source: DIFC Press release dated 13.10.2021

  • Agreement to collaborate on advancing digital transformation of the UAE financial sector including a ‘sandbox’ programme under DIFC’s existing frameworks.
  • Initiatives and activities geared towards fortifying UAE FinTech sector and talent.
  • Acknowledges DIFC’s position as the leading FinTech hub in the region for accelerating change within the finance industry.

UAE; 13 October 2021 – The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) has today signed an agreement with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the MEASA region, to collaborate on the development and growth of the UAE’s FinTech sector through joint initiatives and activities.

The agreement was signed by H.E. Khaled Mohammed Balama Al Tameemi, Governor of the Central Bank of UAE, and H.E. Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, as part of CBUAE’s Future of Finance conference, held during Expo 2020 on 13-14 October 2021.

CBUAE will work with DIFC on CBUAE and DIFC strategies to jointly advance the competitiveness and digital transformation of the UAE financial sector to be recognised as a leading global FinTech hub. This will include the development of a co-sandbox and other joint initiatives to enable FinTechs and regulators to test and enhance CBUAE, DFSA or joint regulations and guidance leveraging existing DIFC’s FinTech programmes and capabilities.

The agreement further stipulates collaboration on FinTech initiatives and activities between the parties, including the development of accelerator programmes, competitions, workshops, seminars and conferences to boost the national FinTech ecosystem.

Commenting on the agreement, H.E. Khaled Mohammed Balama Al Tameemi, Governor of the Central Bank of UAE, said: “The global financial ecosystem has undergone a major digital transformation over the last few years. We strongly believe that one of the foremost ways to ensure a robust financial system is to develop a regulatory environment that is conducive to innovation and digitisation. DIFC is home to one of the largest FinTech accelerators in the region and has played a vital role in accelerating the prominence of FinTech solutions in the country. We are confident that this agreement will result in an environment that fosters the development of innovative solutions, in alignment with the nation’s ambitious economic growth plans and aspirations.”   

H.E. Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, said: “As the leading global financial centre in the MEASA region and one of the world’s top ten FinTech hubs, we are focused on building a strong ecosystem of opportunities to tap the potential of FinTech. Ensuring an enabling environment for start-ups and young entrepreneurs is central to this. Through our partnership with the UAE Central Bank, we will offer FinTech entrepreneurs the confidence to realise their entrepreneurial dreams, and further contribute to Dubai and the UAE’s position as the global hub for the FinTech sector.”

DIFC is home to more than 60 per cent of FinTech and innovation related companies in the GCC and provides the most comprehensive proposition in the region that includes, education, incubation and acceleration programmes, regulatory and operating licenses, mentoring from global financial institutions and funding opportunities. The approach is enabling DIFC to make a significant contribution towards Dubai becoming a global hub for innovation.