DUBAI, United Arab Emirates; May 5, 2018 – 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 professional services company Accenture (NYSE: ACN) to foster innovation in the financial services industry globally.
Under the MoU, FinTech Hive at DIFC – the first financial technology accelerator in the MEASA region will collaborate with Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Labs in New York, London and Hong Kong, to share resources and knowledge on the latest research and trends in financial technology. The agreement will help build long-term relationships across the accelerator’s international initiatives, further cementing synergies between the DIFC and Accenture.
Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, said: “This agreement leverages DIFC’s position as the top Fintech hub in the region and Accenture’s expertise in shaping a world-class innovation platform. The UAE’s position as a hub for financial institutions and for innovative talent gives the FinTech Hive at DIFC a competitive advantage for fostering FinTech growth. What sets us apart is our ability to harness the assets to grow Fintech locally that will ultimately create more jobs, attract investments and support the economy as a whole. By teaming up with Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Labs from around the world, we aim to utilize this demand to support innovation and growth as well as strengthen Dubai’s position as one of the world’s top 10 FinTech hubs.”
The FinTech Innovation Labs are annual 12-week accelerator programs that bring together early-stage financial technology companies and the world’s leading financial institutions. Globally, the Labs’ alumni companies have raised more than US$1.07 billion in venture financing after participating in the programs.
Sushil Saluja, a senior managing director in Accenture’s Financial Services practice, said, “We are excited to further grow our fruitful partnership with the DIFC. Accenture will facilitate and create ties between the DIFC accelerator and our FinTech Innovation Labs in Europe, North America and Asia. In today’s hyper-connected world, this type of alliance is critical for maximizing talent development and innovation. With surging demand for FinTech solutions and Dubai’s increasing presence on the global financial scene, we are confident that this international collaboration will generate incredible opportunities for the region.”
DIFC has recently announced that the 2018 program, which is opening for applications in May, will be expanded to include insurance, Islamic finance, and regulatory technology services. First Abu Dhabi Bank, Arab Bank and Noor Bank will join the program this year, with returning financial institutions to include Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Citigroup, Emirates Islamic, Emirates NBD, HSBC, Mashreq, Standard Chartered, UAE Exchange, and Visa.
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the world’s top ten financial centers, and the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. The Centre provides a world-class platform connecting the region’s markets with the economies of Europe, Asia and the Americas and facilitates growth in South-South trade and investment. An onshore, international financial center, DIFC offers a stable, mature and secure base for financial institutions to develop their wholesale businesses.
The Centre offers all the elements found in the world’s most successful financial industry ecosystems, including an independent regulator and judicial system with a common-law framework, a global financial exchange, inspiring architecture, powerful, enabling support services and a vibrant business community. The infrastructure within the district features ultra-modern office space, retail outlets, cafes and restaurants, art galleries, residential apartments, public green areas and hotels.
Located midway between the global financial centers of New York, London in the West and Singapore, Hong Kong in the East, DIFC (GMT +4) fills a vital time-zone gap with a workday that bridges the market and business hours of financial centers in both Asia and North America.
In 2015, DIFC launched its 2024 growth strategy, a blueprint for the next decade of growth of the financial hub. This strategy aims to stimulate trade and investment flows along the South-South economic corridor encompassing the Middle East, Africa, Southern Asia and Latin America.
Currently, 1,853 active registered companies operate from the Centre, with a combined workforce of 22,338 professionals.
DIFC continues to pursue expansion into new services and sectors within the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, an area comprising over 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and nominal GDP of US$7.4 trillion. For further information, please visit our website: difc.ae, or follow us on Twitter @DIFC.
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 442,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
Hajar Al Ketbi
Dubai International Financial Centre Authority
+971 4 362 2440
+971 50 662 7053