DIFC to Host Flagship Future of Finance conference at Dubai Exhibition Centre



  • DIFC and Expo 2020 Dubai ink agreement to host the region’s leading finance conference at Dubai Exhibition Centre
  • Global leaders, economic commentators, regional specialists and sector pioneers to participate in Future of Finance conference during Expo 2020
  • Dynamic new format will focus on Dubai as a regional centre for innovation, showcase the comprehensive financial ecosystem and DIFC expansion plan and the role the Centre plays in transforming the future of finance

Dubai, UAE, 26 November 2019: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region and global number eight international financial centre, has announced that it will host the region’s leading finance conference at the Dubai Exhibition Centre during Expo 2020 Dubai, taking place in Dubai between 20 October 2020 and 10 April 2021.

The Centre’s flagship event – a two-day conference under the theme The Future of Finance will bring together global leaders and business commentators alongside international and local sector changemakers. Exploring the latest financial sector trends, the event will uncover business growth opportunities offered within the fast growing MEASA region and reveal strategies to capitalise on the untapped economic opportunities presented within the region.

The event will demonstrate the significant promise represented by Dubai and DIFC as a springboard for growth for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. Comprising 72 countries and home to a population of three billion, with a nominal GDP of USD$ 7.7 trillion, the region is growing evermore compelling as it continues to deliver strong growth. With 70% of MEASA residents having limited or no access to financial services, the event will present further collaboration opportunities between sector experts and deliver solutions to financial challenges.

Echoing the Expo 2020 theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, the two-day conference will also focus on topics such as the Government of Dubai’s innovation agenda, the latest economic sector developments and DIFC’s vision of transforming the financial landscape. In addition, the event will focus on the Centre’s role in transforming the MEASA financial ecosystem and fostering creativity, collaboration and innovation.

The Future of Finance will also play host to economists, policy makers and regulatory representatives and esteemed representatives from global and regional banks, insurance sector leaders, asset and wealth management organisations, private equity firms and family offices. The event will also feature leading Islamic Finance experts, speakers from the philanthropic sector as well as pioneering FinTech entrepreneurs and start-ups that together are collaborating to drive the future of finance and deliver sustainable growth.

The Future of Finance event will also provide an indepth look into the development of DIFC by showcasing the progressive stages of DIFC expansion. The Centre’s phased growth plan will triple the scale of the leading financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region and further enable DIFC to drive the future of finance.

Commenting on the collaboration between Expo 2020 and DIFC, Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority, said: “The flagship event during Expo 2020 is an important milestone as we continue on our journey to transform the future of finance throughout the MEASA region and globally. The MEASA region is one of the world's fastest growing markets, and is becoming ever more compelling as it continues to deliver strong growth, representing significant investment promise.

“There is a robust link between innovation and growth. A key factor propelling economic development in the region is technological innovation which has created new value propositions, attracted new global investment and generated a diversification of sector opportunities. Therefore, it is no surprise that the region is significantly shaping financial innovation. With a young and cosmopolitan population of well-educated, highly mobile and connected individuals, alongside tremendous investment potential, the region represents a dynamic financial ecosystem with increasing diversity in financial products and services. For companies keen to capitalise on these emerging markets, this is a multibillion dollar opportunity to bank on the future of an ambitious and dynamic region.”

Amiri continued: “Expo 2020 will connect the world’s greatest thinkers, pioneers and academics and provide a platform to foster creativity, innovation and collaboration globally. We share this goal and believe that building partnerships and exchanging innovative ideas will allow us to work together to drive sustainable economic growth that delivers great opportunities for communities and individuals.”

Najeeb Mohammed Al Ali, Executive Director of the Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, commented: “We are delighted to host DIFC’s ‘The Future of Finance’ conference at the Dubai Exhibition Centre, co-located with Expo 2020. Expo 2020 Dubai will be the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region. It will showcase the greatest ideas from around the world as part of the world’s greatest showcase of human brilliance and achievement. Through this landmark event, DIFC will focus on innovation in a critical sector to realise new opportunities and prosperity for millions of people.

“Expo 2020 will welcome 192 participating countries and millions of visitors from across the globe to the UAE. We aspire to create a meaningful legacy that will benefit generations to come, both locally and globally, spanning everything from innovation, culture and architecture, to networking and business opportunities. Under the overarching theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Expo 2020 will explore the three universal drivers of human progress, namely Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability. It makes the ideal setting for a conference looking ahead to the future in this way.”

The Future of Finance is aligned with the key Expo 2020 goals of enabling new opportunities for individuals and communities to help them achieve their needs and inspire them to pursue their future aspirations. It will also focus on easier access to knowledge, markets and innovation by working on solutions and technologies that will facilitate the mobility of people, goods and ideas, whilst striving to share sustainable solutions and practices. In addition, the conference will explore growth trends alongside established and emerging opportunities in the region, showcase the latest innovative developments and showcase best practice.

Dubai continues to be recognised on the global stage as a dynamic and innovative business environment, being recognised as the seventh Fintech location globally for economic potential, highlighting Dubai’s efforts to support and expedite sustainable economic growth and placing it alongside other pivotal financial hubs such as London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. The DIFC has delivered outstanding performance across both institutional and financial technology sectors and offers all the elements found in the world’s most successful financial ecosystems, including an independent regulatory and judicial system, a global financial exchange, access to funding, a dynamic and enabling sector environment, complemented by a diverse and cosmopolitan talent pool and a vibrant business community.

The flagship event during Expo 2020 is an important milestone as we continue on our journey to transform the future of finance throughout the MEASA region and globally.”
Arif Amiri - CEO of DIFC Authority

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