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    Abu Dhabi Creates the Future of Finance

    ADGM FSRA 23/11/2021
    H.E. AL Zaabi

    Abu Dhabi Global Market, the International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi, officially launched its landmark Fintech Abu Dhabi Festival, today in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office.

    Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, this year’s FinTech Abu Dhabi event bears the theme Powering the Future of Finance. The first open day of Fintech Abu Dhabi attracted over 250 global investors, more than 200 international speakers, 100 global Fintech companies and international financial leaders from over 40 countries, in addition to more the 25,000 online participants.

    H.E. Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of ADGM delivered a rousing opening address rallying the financial and fintech community to collaborate and work closely together in driving impactful progress and making sustainable and positive changes for the financial industry, the future generations and globally. His Excellency recognised that the global financial landscape is fast-changing. He called for the audience to look at Abu Dhabi as it plays an active and pertinent role in creating the future of finance.

    In his speech, His Excellency opined that Fintech Abu Dhabi Festival has morphed into one of the key global Fintech platforms that garnered world leaders, financial regulators, central banks, policy-makers, investors and tech startups together to knowledge-share, advance best-practices, introduce game-changing innovations and create valuable business opportunities that accelerate e financial sector innovation and growth.

    He added that ADGM as a marquee International Financial Centre and business enabler has “successfully established an open, inclusive and innovative ecosystem” and “created invaluable growth opportunities, attracted world-class Fintech companies to the UAE and collaborated on cross-border initiatives” that serve to foster a more dynamic, advanced and sustainable economy.

    His Excellency believes that one of the key components of the future of finance is centered on Digital Infrastructure and Smart Regulations as both play vital and transformative roles in powering the next stage of growth for the financial services industry and the global economy. In illustrating how both digital infrastructure and smart regulations work in tandem, His Excellency shared that ADGM’s own Digital Lab, a first of its kind in MENA, provides a “real-time online platform allows regulators, Fintech Start-ups and financial institutions to collaborate and co-create solutions, leveraging digital technology, to solve real-world problems in the financial sector. “

    H.E Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi also noted that ADGM “plans to increase the Digital Lab community from 90 to 300 entities by late 2022, to build and accelerate the next generation of innovative solutions for the digital economy of the future”. ADGM will partner industry participants to “provide a comprehensive digital infrastructure offering that will power the future of smart cities and deliver seamless services to people and businesses.” On this note, he announced that a new ADGM report is available to provide greater insights of how digital technology has improved and reinforced ADGM’s regulatory and supervision oversight.

    As Chairman of ADGM, His Excellency believes that “finance, innovation and regulation as key enablers of the economy as a whole. Finance is a vital facilitator, not an end in itself. The finance industry serves as an essential catalyst in driving and accelerating growth across the entire economic value chain.”

    In furthering the financial industry, ADGM Chairman is of the view that key industry stakeholders, including policymakers, central banks and regulators, could work collectively to further cross-border digital innovation and economic activities.

    In the closing of his speech, H.E Al Zaabi recognises ADGM’s responsibility as integral part of the UAE and Abu Dhabi’s financial infrastructure and supporting the country’s economic diversification blueprint and long-term prosperity as a nation. ADGM will continue to do its part in being the “advocating sustainable financing and responsive investments and serves as a catalyst to progress stability and sustainable growth of the UAE economy for the next 50 years and beyond.”

    To commemorate the UAE’s Golden Jubilee in November, the UAE’s astute leadership has issued a robust national blueprint for sustainable growth, referred to as the “UAE Principles of the 50”, to guide the country in charting its future into a new era of economic, social and overall development.

    In his opening address, H.E Al Zaabi welcomed OurCrowd, Israel’s largest venture capital firm, to incorporate in Abu Dhabi and became the first-ever Israeli VC to be licensed and operate from ADGM. He highlighted that that ADGM, Singapore’s Media Development Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, have successfully completed the world’s first digital trade financing pilot project. His Excellency anticipated that this would enable the acceleration of the digitalisation of trade finance in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.

    Following H.E Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi’s speech, H.E. Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development was joined by Kevin O’Leary, Chairman, O’Shares Investment on “How to access Abu Dhabi” and what have been driving the innovativeness and technological advancement of Abu Dhabi’s robust and fast developing financial sector. Another highlight was a moderated conversation on the future internet economy in the Middle East between H.E. Mohammed Alabbar, Chairman and CEO of Emaar, and John Collison, President and Co-Founder of payments company Stripe, the Silicon Valley-based Fintech start up which is one of as the most valuable unicorns globally.