ADGM is region’s 1st Fintech regulator, says Al Sayegh


By: Hatem Mohamed ABU DHABI, 6th February, 2018 (WAM) -- In the future, Fintech will be the most important aspect of financial services in the world, according to Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market, ADGM.

Speaking to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, yesterday after the launch at Manarat Al Saadiyat of the Fikra Labs Acceleration Programme, Al Sayegh said, "ADGM is positioning itself to offer an important Fintech platform. The more the world embraces technology in the future, the more ADGM will be prominent. We hope through our innovations to ensure our ‘befitting’ place. But more importantly is that we provide the most business-friendly environment in the region. Companies can come and register in ease with us and live in a space designed for business. We support them and help them reach their goals."

On how ADGM aims to position itself among other financial centres in the region, Al Sayegh said, "ADGM is the first Fintech regulator in the region. We have our own special regulation lab that has been operating now for more than a year. We hosted two groups of start-ups, including more than 22 business ideas that came for our lab and we are preparing to host the third batch soon."

"The regulation space we provide helps start-ups develop their products for world markets. We help them find the regulatory solutions and enable their banks and exchanges to use their products because, without this, they cannot promote their ideas and businesses."

Al Sayegh said that ADGM has achieved its current prestigious positioning because of what he calls its "embrace of innovation and latest state-of-the-art technology."

"We can safely say that Abu Dhabi is a natural hub and gateway to the region. With ADGM and its suite of financial vehicles and market infrastructure, market participants are able to anchor more activities in Abu Dhabi instead of abroad."

"ADGM was established to support the financial stability of Abu Dhabi and the UAE and complement the vibrant economic growth here," he added. "It is ADGM’s role as an international financial centre to identify and cater to the current and future needs of the markets in our region, which goes beyond rules and regulations. Since going fully operational, we have established a number of innovative initiatives to address the unfulfilled needs of stakeholders for regulated products and business solutions."

Commenting on the significance of launching the Fikra Labs Acceleration Programme during the Year of Zayed, Al Sayegh said, "Today, the word ‘disruption’ is mainstream, and we hear it used across all industries and sectors. And the late Sheikh Zayed himself led this "disruptive" trend because he himself was disruptive when he established the Union, and came from Al Ain to break the barriers and expand the frontiers of the economy."

The Fintech developments taking place now, including artificial intelligence, biometric applications and so on are expanding the frontiers of the financial services sector, Al Sayegh added, saying that "This innovative programme is evidence of the importance our leadership is attaching to innovation and disruption."

The Fikra Labs Acceleration Programme has been launched as part of the UAE Innovation Month which aims to strengthen the country’s position as a global hub. Previously known as the UAE Innovation Week, the UAE Innovation Month is the largest event of its kind, seeking to celebrate the best in ideas on innovation from the government and private sectors as well as from the public.

The nationwide celebration of innovation focuses primarily on the seven major sectors of the National Innovation Strategy: health, transportation, renewable energy, technology, education, water and space.

The UAE Innovation Month focuses on four aspects inspired by the UAE’s founding father the innovative leader, the creative thinker, the change-maker and the inspirational thinker.

It is being organised under the directives of the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Innovation Month opened in Abu Dhabi on 1st February and concludes tomorrow in the capital, where a series of events are marking the first week of the initiative. The event continues with its second week, 8th-14th February, in Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah simultaneously, before moving on to Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Qaiwain on 15th-21st February. It concludes its events in Dubai on 22nd-28th February.

WAM/Hatem Mohamed/Nour Salman