Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Innovate Finance, an independent membership association that is at the heart of the UK’s FinTech ecosystem.
The MOU was signed by Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority and Natalie Ceeney, CBE, Chair of Innovate Finance at the UAE Embassy in London. The latest signing builds on the  global agreements that were agreed by DIFC and FinTech Hive in 2018 with FinTech hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Mumbai, Paris, Brussels, Holland and Bahrain.
This agreement aims to cement cooperation and collaboration between the UK and Dubai FinTech ecosystems. Innovate Finance and FinTech Hive (at DIFC) will explore concepts that will help startups in both locations, ranging from sharing knowledge, hosting learning initiatives for startups such as financial technology programmes in The Academy at DIFC and fostering relationships between their regulatory and financial communities.
Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, said: “We are pleased to start 2019 by entering into a partnership with Innovate Finance which will help keep the UK and Dubai at the forefront of Financial Innovation. During the year, FinTech Hive at DIFC will work with Innovate Finance and other global partners to strengthen our FinTech ecosystems for the benefit of start-ups who will be able to maximise the market opportunities in both locations.”
Natalie Ceeney CBE, Chair of Innovate Finance, said: “I am delighted to have signed this Memorandum of Understanding with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Many global financial centres continue to see the UK as an attractive destination, and we are keen to support future collaborations for our members with partners overseas. Dubai is a rising influencer within the financial technology space and we look forward to developing a comprehensive partnership which will enable both large and small FinTechs in our respective hubs to scale.”
Over 80 FinTech sector-related companies now form part of the DIFC FinTech ecosystem and the Centre is committed to enhancing its reputation as the Middle East, Africa and South Asia’s most comprehensive FinTech market. This proposition includes an innovation-testing license, FinTech license, an interactive and collaborative workspace, along with access to the largest financial community in the region. Applications for DIFC’s USD 100m FinTech Fund are also expected to open in the next few months to accelerate the development of financial technology by investing in startups.