Abu Dhabi opens digital sandbox

Abu Dhabi opens digital sandbox

Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), the emirate's international financial centre, has further underlined its fintech ambitions with the launch of a digital sandbox.

The initative is designed to offer banks, fintechs and regulators an open digital marketplace in which to collaborate on the creation, testing and adoption of new products, according to ADGM.

It is also aiming to promote local fintech firms to Abu Dhabi-based banks as well as attract international players to the emirate, says Richard Teng, CEO of ADGM's Financial Services Regulatory Authority.

In a busy week of fintech promotion, ADGM also signed a cooperation agreement with the government's Department of Economic Development which it hopes will provide more integrated support for startups across a number of sectors including financial services.

The competition to establish a fintech hub of choice in the Middle East has become increasingly intense between Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia - the biggest financial market in the region. While both Abu Dhabi and Dubai have been active in establishing sandboxes and accelerators and signing cooperation agreements with other domiciles, Saudi Arabia has been in catchup mode.

However, the Saudi Capital Market Authority recently issued its first fintech licences to two local startups in a bid to kickstart its fintech sector and expects to receive more applications later in the year. 

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