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The Emergence of Regional FinTech

As a global top 10 international financial centre and the leading financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), the DIFC is well-positioned to shape the future of finance in the region and beyond. 


Financial technology is a key component in the evolution of the financial services industry. FinTech is coming of age with regulators and governments thinking more deeply about the impact that technology companies will have on the broader economy across the region. In the Middle East and North Africa alone, FinTech start-ups have raised over USD$100 million in funding over the last decade. This figure is predicted to double by 2020.

With Dubai today recognised as one of the world’s top ten FinTech hubs, and number one in the region, DIFC is well placed to drive this growth and serve as a platform to access these vast opportunities.


FinTech Hive

FinTech Hive at DIFC

A first-of-its-kind FinTech accelerator in the region, created to bring cutting-edge financial services technology to the MEASA markets, while providing a platform that brings financial and technology firms together.

The region's first and biggest FinTech accelerator connects the DIFC’s community of over 2,300 active firms with start-up FinTech firms from around the world, allowing them to develop, test and adapt their products and solutions to meet the needs of the regional financial services sector. Today, we have built a FinTech ecosystem of more than 100 partner entities, united in their common goal towards fostering innovation in the region.

Following the success of its inaugural accelerator programme in 2017 and the second cohort in 2018, FinTech Hive at DIFC invites technology innovators from across the globe to participate in the third cohort of 2019 that features a larger pool of start-ups, covering a broader scope to include FinTech, InsurTech, RegTech and Islamic FinTech. 

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FinTech Hive

Commercial Licensing for FinTech Firms 

DIFC offers a dedicated commercial license, specifically developed for FinTech, RegTech and InsurTech firms, allowing them to operate within the Centre. 

This cost-effective scheme allows budding start-ups from the world of financial technology to benefit from the Centre’s world-class infrastructure and ecosystem at a fraction of the regular licensing cost.

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FinTech Hive

Innovation Testing License (ITL)

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the Centre’s independent regulatory body, is continuously enhancing its regulatory framework to support innovative business models, products and services. 

With the introduction of its Innovation Testing License (ITL), the DFSA provides a controlled environment for a firm to develop and test innovative FinTech ideas without being subject to the regulatory requirements that would otherwise apply to it as an Authorised Firm.

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The DIFC Work Hub

Currently located in FinTech Hive at DIFC, the space provides an interactive and collaborative working area that fosters innovation and creativity.

The DIFC Work Hub offers excellent connectivity, high-speed Wi-Fi, highly developed Audio/Visual and conferencing facilities, as well as its very own coffee bar. In addition, the Centre’s world-class cafes, restaurants and retail outlets are right at your doorstep.

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DIFC FinTech Fund

A USD 100 million fund has been launched by the DIFC to help establish, grow and upscale start-up and growth stage FinTech firms looking to access the MEASA markets.

The fund leverages the Centre’s FinTech ecosystem consisting of attractive experimental licenses, market leading pricing and collaborative spaces.

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