UAE named largest fintech hub in the MENA region

A total of $237m has been invested in MENA fintech firms since 2015



The UAE is the largest fintech hub for startups in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa), securing 69 per cent of funding so far this year, a new report has found.

The UAE, which houses the most number (46 per cent) of fintech startups in the region, accounted for 47 per cent of all fintech deals in 2019.

Overall, a total of $237m worth of investments have been made via 181 deals in MENA fintech startups since 2015, of which 51 deals were made in 2019 alone, confirmed the report co-compiled by Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Magnitt.

Regional startups in fintech witnessed a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 39 per cent since 2012, and currently, a total of 310 active firms are present in the MENA region.

Payment and remittances startups emerged as the top sub-sector, and accounted for 45 per cent of the fintech deals so far in 2019.

Fintech also outranked key sectors such as e-commerce and logistics in 2018 for securing the most number of deals.

The report also found that 83 per cent of UAE residents are receptive to adopting fintech solutions by non-financial institutions and 76 per cent trust at least one technology company more with their money rather than their bank.

“Digitalisation of financial services is happening at an unprecedented pace,” said Richard Teng, CEO of Financial Services Regulatory Authority at ADGM.

“From payments, banking, financial advisory, capital market and insurance, deployment of financial technology (fintech) has reimagined the financial services sector resulting in innovation, efficiency and greater financial inclusion.

“This report reveals the needs of the industry and indicates how we can better attract and secure more investments and funding to support the fintech ecosystem.”