Reflections of FinTech Abu Dhabi 2019

Reflections of FinTech Abu Dhabi 2019
Author: Noorul Hijaz

Unicorns. Cryptocurrency. Blockchain. Sandbox. Artificial Intelligence.

These were the buzzwords on everyone’s lips at Fintech Abu Dhabi 2019 organised by Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Seven Media was in the thick of things handling the media operations and PR campaign for this incredible event.

The third edition of the FinTech festival, powered by global innovation platform, Unbound, had over 5000 participants, 100 speakers and more than 50 sessions.

The event featured a packed schedule of discussions, panel sessions and debates from some of the world’s most innovative global companies, industry thought leaders and top CEOs.

A team from our Abu Dhabi office were on the ground at ADGM and Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) at the three-day event managing the media operations with a host of top-tier media present, including a CNBC studio on-site.

Our deep industry expertise and understanding of the local markets enabled us to pick out the right stories and guided media to the key sessions at the event. In addition to this, our outstanding strategic thinking and experience in managing large scale high profile events led us to successfully deliver MENA’s leading FinTech and Financial event to the media. 

Using a mix of press releases and one-on-one interviews with key speakers, we were able to deliver great stories running across top tier broadcast, print, online and social channels in UAE, and beyond.

With industry experts covering the entire spectrum from the future of the banking industry to blockchain and the use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, it was an exceptional educational experience for the team.

Here is a roundup of some key takeaways from the event:

Artificial Intelligence is the key to the future

A.I. and machine learning massively reduce costs and allow businesses to disrupt the traditional model of business. 

The FinTech industry is using technology intelligently and creatively. We now see Venture Capitalists using AI to conduct due diligence and hunt for new investment opportunities as it helps them informed decisions at a faster pace. 

Collaboration is vital

The importance of partnerships and collaborations were pointed out as one of the critical factors for success in the sector.

The perception of the FinTech companies has changed from being a disruptor to a collaborator. This has helped in accelerating the speed of the product cycle, aiding the stakeholders and the end-users.

Startups and financial institutions need to work together to create solutions and help each other to enhance the scalability of their business as well. 

MENA is a growing hub for FinTech startups

Even though the region’s FinTech industry is still in a development phase, the ecosystem fostered will provide a platform for FinTech unicorns to emerge over the coming years.

Consumer demographics, large smartphone and money transfer use and government support have been one of the key drivers for the growth of the FinTech industry in the MENA region.

UAE’s positioning as the largest fintech hub for startups in the MENA region was further cemented during the event with Mubadala Capital unveiling a $250 million (Dh918.29m) in tech funds and ADGM launching their digital sandbox.

Judging by the success of what we saw, there’s no doubt that the FinTech industry will go from strength to strength in the region. The industry is continuing to evolve by the day, and there will be innovations and ideas that will inspire more companies and entrepreneurs in the coming years.