UAE a top hub for Is­lamic fin­tech start-ups

The Gulf Today - Business - - FRONT PAGE -

DUBAI: The UAE has been ranked as one of the world’s top Is­lamic fin­tech hubs with the coun­try home to 12 start-ups spe­cial­is­ing in this field, a new anal­y­sis from the Dubai Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try has re­vealed.

The anal­y­sis, based on re­cent data from IFN Fin­tech, ranked the UAE fourth glob­ally as an Is­lamic fin­tech hub. The UAE’S highly en­tre­pre­neur­ial cul­ture, in­vest­ments and strong busi­ness sup­port were iden­ti­fied as key fac­tors that have po­si­tioned the coun­try as an at­trac­tive hub for Is­lamic fin­tech start-ups.

The find­ings of the anal­y­sis were re­leased ahead of the Global Is­lamic Econ­omy Sum­mit, GIES 2018, in Dubai, the world’s largest sum­mit ded­i­cated to all as­pects of the Is­lamic econ­omy, which takes place on 30th and 31st Oc­to­ber, 2018.

Malaysia claimed the top spot with 18 Is­lamic fin­tech start-ups, fol­lowed by the United King­dom, UK, with 16, and In­done­sia with 15. The UAE out­per­formed the United States which ranked fifth as the coun­try is home to 11 start-ups op­er­at­ing in this field. In­dia and Egypt claimed the sixth po­si­tion with the two coun­tries host­ing a to­tal of four start-ups each.

The anal­y­sis high­lighted Dubai’s proac­tive ap­proach to fur­ther­ing the de­vel­op­ment of the Is­lamic fin­tech sec­tor, as the emi­rate has in­tro­duced new ini­tia­tives and mech­a­nisms to sup­port growth within this mar­ket. Dubai In­ter­na­tional Fi­nan­cial Cen­tre’s, DIFC, launch of its Fin­tech Hive ac­cel­er­a­tor was cited as a prime ex­am­ple of sup­port for Is­lamic fin­tech start-ups. The ini­tia­tive, struc­tured as a 12-week ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­gramme, has helped start-ups raise $10 mil­lion in fund­ing fol­low­ing its launch in 2017.

Ac­cord­ing to find­ings, the crowd­fund­ing ver­ti­cal con­sti­tutes over a third of the global Is­lamic fin­tech mar­ket (35 per cent). Bank­ing soft­ware makes up an­other 17 per cent of the mar­ket, fol­lowed by pay­ments/re­mit­tance, and for­eign ex­change with a share of 13 per cent. Other ma­jor seg­ments in­clude al­ter­na­tive / P2P fi­nance (12 per cent), and trad­ing and in­vest­ment (11 per cent). More­over, rel­a­tively smaller, yet fast growth ver­ti­cals, in­clude blockchain and cryp­tocur­ren­cies (5 per cent), chal­lenger / dig­i­tal banks (4 per cent), in­suretech (2 per cent) and data and an­a­lyt­ics (1 per cent).

Com­ment­ing on the anal­y­sis, Ma­jid Saif Al Ghu­rair, Chair­man of Dubai Cham­ber and Board Mem­ber of the Dubai Is­lamic Econ­omy De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre, DIEDC, said, “Fin­tech is fast emerg­ing as a ma­jor growth area for the global Is­lamic econ­omy, and Dubai is wit­ness­ing a lot of new ac­tiv­ity in this space as the emi­rate strength­ens its po­si­tion as a top Is­lamic econ­omy hub.”

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