SWIFT’s Middle East Regional Conference kicks off today under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

More than 500 delegates from the Middle East and North Africa will converge in Dubai to discuss the future of payments

Dubai, 24 September 2018 – SWIFT is holding its Middle East Regional Conference (MERC) in Dubai today under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.

The two-day event will be attended by more than 500 delegates from over 25 countries. Policy-makers, industry leaders, regulators and financial experts will discuss the impact of disruptive technology on the traditional business model of banks, and how banks can use technology to better serve their customers.

SWIFT, a global member-owned cooperative and leading provider of secure financial messaging services, has lined up international and regional experts to discuss the future of the payments industry. The theme of the conference is: “Embracing change: building the financial industry of the future”.

Alain Raes, SWIFT’s Chief Executive, EMEA & APAC, said: “Technology, evolving customer needs and regulation are some of the drivers transforming the banking sector. SWIFT is at the centre of banking and payment innovation, creating collaborative solutions for the banking community. Events such as MERC are important for the region’s financial community to come together to discuss payments, technology and compliance, among others. As a leading financial hub in the region, Dubai is a great location for these discussions.”

Salmaan Jaffery, Chief Business Development Officer, DIFC Authority, said: “SWIFT is the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services with many DIFC clients relying on this platform. Holding the Conference in Dubai supports our ecosystem and reaffirms the Emirate’s position as the region’s leading financial hub. We are committed to ensuring that Dubai remains at the forefront of innovation and conferences like MERC bring the right debates to our doorstep.”

The conference will also feature an Innovation Hub to showcase what banks and FinTechs across the region are doing to develop a new, more innovative and dynamic offering.

Onur Ozan, Head of Middle East, North Africa and Turkey at SWIFT, said: “SWIFT is supporting the global banking and financial community to build the financial industry of the future. MERC provides an opportunity for SWIFT’s global and regional teams to meet the Middle East banking community, understand its challenges and requirements, and help it embrace change.”

MERC will look at the technology transforming banking, what is being done to deliver the payments services of the future, and managing risk in a real-time world. Additionally, Raja Al Mazrouei, Executive Vice President of Fintech Hive DIFC, will also present Dubai’s Fintech Hive to delegates.

Other speakers include technology futurist Ian Khan, who will deliver the keynote address at the event. Ian Khan is a highly sought-after emerging technology expert who has helped hundreds of organisations understand the impact of technology and how best to leverage technology for success.



SWIFT is a global member owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services. We provide our community with a platform for messaging and standards for communicating, and we offer products and services to facilitate access and integration, identification, analysis and regulatory compliance.

Our messaging platform, products and services connect more than 11,000 banking and securities organisations, market infrastructures and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories. While SWIFT does not hold funds or manage accounts on behalf of customers, we enable our global community of users to communicate securely, exchanging standardised financial messages in a reliable way, thereby supporting global and local financial flows, as well as trade and commerce all around the world.

As their trusted provider, we relentlessly pursue operational excellence; we support our community in addressing cyber threats; and we continually seek ways to lower costs, reduce risks and eliminate operational inefficiencies. Our products and services support our community’s access and integration, business intelligence, reference data and financial crime compliance needs. SWIFT also brings the financial community together – at global, regional and local levels – to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest or concern. SWIFT’s strategic five-year plan, SWIFT2020, challenges SWIFT to continue investing in the security, reliability and growth of its core messaging platform, while making additional investments in existing services and delivering new and innovative solutions.

Headquartered in Belgium, SWIFT’s international governance and oversight reinforces the neutral, global character of its cooperative structure. SWIFT’s global office network ensures an active presence in all the major financial centres.


Borouj Consulting

Randa Mazzawi

Nicola Ellegaard

+971 4 3403005

[email protected]

Press Release: SWIFT’s Middle East Regional Conference kicks off today under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum - English


Press Release: SWIFT’s Middle East Regional Conference kicks off today under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum - Arabic


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