“Economy and Tourism”: The country is a rapidly developing regional digital business center

The UAE is the top destination for financial and digital technology companies in the Middle East

The department's report confirmed that consumers in the UAE prefer online payment options.


According to a report by the Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai, the UAE is at the forefront of financial technology destinations and digital technology-based companies in the Middle East, pointing to its efforts to consolidate its position as a major digital center in the region, thanks to its young and experienced community in the field of technology and entrepreneurship.

The report, which was prepared by the CEO of the Corporate Strategic Affairs Sector at the Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai, Mohammed Shael Al Saadi, indicated that “the UAE realizes the role of digital technology companies as the main driving forces for growth, which is reinforced by the availability of a distinguished digital infrastructure and many government investments, which makes The UAE is leading the global scene as a rapidly developing regional digital business center.”

He pointed out that open banking services (OB) are based in the Middle East and North Africa region for growth and stability, as Bahrain launched the open banking framework in October 2020, marking the first experience in the Middle East in the field of open banking services, indicating that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia agreed It also issued a regulation regarding open banking services, which is scheduled to enter into force in the middle of this year.

He said, "The UAE is technologically advanced and has one of the highest rates of mobile phone penetration in the world, and the largest number of banks.

Studies also show that consumers in the UAE prefer online payment options and enjoy greater control over their banking and financial transactions, and consumers are increasingly linking online payments to their bank accounts and wallets.”

The report emphasized that the UAE is an ideal incubator for the launch of the open banking revolution, shaping the future of banking services and promoting the acceleration towards a non-monetary economy.

The report said that the UAE can adopt an open banking system by developing a medium to long-term strategic roadmap for open banking services, and fast-tracking the development of an open banking framework, as well as promoting an open banking innovation system by attracting more startups and financial companies. To develop new solutions with banks and the Central Bank.

Open banking is the system in which banking regulators give authorized third-party providers (TPPs) - typically financial technology companies - access to consumer banking data, as well as provide guidance to banks on how to make private retail banking data available. Their (mainly) and commercial banking services for TPP companies in regards to payment transactions, money transfers and financial accounting.

Typically, a government entity, the central bank, establishes the basic regulatory system, standard operating procedures, and network infrastructure covering data sharing, integration, harmonization, privacy, security, and fraud management.

Most importantly, the government monitors the open banking platform to ensure that there is a level playing field between fintech companies and approved third-party providers to prevent exposure to market volatility, and that consumers have enough room to choose solutions that meet their retail banking needs.

The report indicated that there are many advantages of open banking services, including the development of a digital banking system that includes relevant stakeholders such as regulators, banking and financial institutions, financial technology companies, ICT providers and digital platform management companies, pointing out that the open banking system helps banks to move away from The old traditional banking model to a new system that is flexible and adapts to new solutions used by (certified) third party providers.

He pointed out that the advantages of open banking services include supporting the innovation of business models, whereby customers can share their banking data information with approved third-party providers, which encourages banks and approved third-party providers via the Internet to develop more innovative and efficient methods of managing financial data and completing transactions.

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