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In Brief

Dubai’s trade-conducive environment has evolved to offer tax-free policies, full repatriation of profits, and low-cost set up and renewal structures that tempt many local and international start-ups.

Several prominent incubators have been set up to support entrepreneurs in the city, such as the Dubai Smart City Accelerator, Dubai Future Accelerators and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) FinTech Hive. These accelerators help bring together various stakeholders, government entities, technology partners and entrepreneurs.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the world’s most advanced financial centres. It offers one of the region’s most comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments, including cost-effective licensing solutions, regulation, innovative accelerator programmes, and funding for growth-stage start-ups. In the first half of 2019, DIFC registered 250 new companies, bringing the total number of active registered firms to 2,289.


Major initiatives such as the Dubai Future Accelerators have also put the emirate on the map as a forward-thinking hub for innovation and smart city solutions.


Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry operates the Dubai Start-Up Hub. This online IBM Cloud platform supports the emirate’s technology and start-up ecosystem with integrated services and information.


Falcon Associates offers the Dubai 100 Programme, an intensive, cross-disciplinary pre-accelerator programme which develops young talent through industry awareness, entrepreneurship, mentorship and business opportunities.

Beehive is Dubai’s first online marketplace for peer- to-peer finance. It connects creditworthy businesses looking for funding with investors looking to invest in their growth.


Bridg is a smartphone payment platform that uses bluetooth to allow all types of smartphone users pay using their bluetooth enabled device.


Clearly is a digital bank whose customers can manage their money on any device. Clearly pay higher interest rates automatically the more its customers save, show eligible borrowing rates, provide access to investment schemes and robo-advisors, and allow to trade international equities.


Eureeca is a crowdinvesting platform connecting investors to businesses online to raise capital in exchange for equity. Regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority of the UK.


Monami Tech:
Helps financial institutions to increase efficiency and streamline operations by building modern digital solutions. Includes loan origination systems, cash management solutions, remittance processing systems and digital wallets.

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Market News & Updates

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November 2020

FinTech Abu Dhabi 2020

Join 7,000+ delegates from 70+ countries, learn from 130+ expert speakers and benefit from exclusive workshops, a prestigious Awards, a showcase of Fintech’s global emerging talent and the Innovation Challenge, which will bring real corporate challenges to market.

Market Summary


Dubai operates at the centre of the exporting trade in the Middle East. With the introduction of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in 2004, it has allowed Dubai to develop as a global hub for service industries such as IT and finance. About 95% of Dubai’s Gross Domestic Product is not oil-based.


Dubai leads the Emirates in technology entrepreneurship and digital companies.


According to the World Bank’s latest rankings, Dubai was ranked 12th in the March 2019 Global Financial Centres Index. Dubai has attracted 56% of the world’s Fortune 500 companies, and has over 200,000 registered companies.


Major initiatives such as the Dubai Future Accelerators have also put the emirate on the map as a forward-thinking hub for innovation and smart city solutions.
2019 GDP growth for the city is forecasted at 2.1%.


Dubai has won the bid to host Expo 2020, which is expected to create over 270,000 jobs. There will be a focus on awarding contracts to the SME sector.


Dubai’s Blockchain Strategy outlines its ambition to move 100 per cent of government transactions to the blockchain by 2020.


Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has committed $100 million to investing directly into growth-stage FinTech startups with a dedicated fintech fund.

Fast facts

Population: 3.14 million out of 9.4 million (UAE)

Language: Arabic (official), English widespread in business
Currency: United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED)
Political System: Federal constitutional monarchy

Legal System: Federal Court System based on civil code principles and on the Islamic Sharia law

IA Partner

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is a top ten global financial centre, and the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), which comprises 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and a nominal GDP of US$ 7.7 trillion. Click the logo to find out more.

FinTech Hub

At DIFC FinTech Hive, we bring together established financial institutions, government entities, technology partners and creative entrepreneurs to help create cutting-edge technologies that meet the changing needs of the region’s financial community. We recognise the increasing importance of FinTech in region and how it is becoming a key pillar in the future of financial services. Click the logo to find out more.

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