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DIFC Launches Gulf's First 'FinTech Accelerator'

by Lorys Charalambous, Lowtax.net, Cyprus
25 January, 2017

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a free trade zone in the United Arab Emirates, has announced the Gulf region's first FinTech accelerator.

"FinTech Hive at DIFC" is set to launch in the first quarter of 2017 and is supported by Accenture. It is intended to catalyze growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance such as peer to peer payments, and Sharia-based services.

Sushil Saluja, Accenture's Senior Managing Director for Financial Services in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Latin America region, said, "DIFC is uniquely positioned to become the regional hub for FinTech. By putting together local banks and FinTech firms to ideate, collaborate and partner, DIFC is helping both sectors be at the forefront of the financial services industry. The accelerator programme will identify the best entrepreneurs within the financial services industry and grant them invaluable access to and feedback from potential customers and funders."

According to the DIFC, FinTech Hive at DIFC will bring cutting-edge financial services technology to the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) markets, while providing a platform that brings financial and technology firms together.

Emirates NBD and Mashreq will be the first local financial institutions to join the accelerator program, while HSBC and VISA are the first international financial services providers.

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