The fintech industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has grown considerably over the past couple of years, driven by supportive government initiatives, a demographic which offers huge opportunities and booming venture capital (VC) funding activity.
Amid this burgeoning landscape, plenty of industry events are being held each year across the region to showcase MENA’s fast-growing fintech startups, industry leaders and cutting-edge innovations.
With Q1 2023 coming to a close, we look today at what’s in store for the rest of the year, delving into 23 must-attend fintech events in the Middle East in 2023.
World Blockchain Summit Dubai 2023
March 20 – 21, 2023
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
The World Blockchain Summit is a global series of elite gatherings that take place in 16+ destinations across the world. It connects global blockchain gurus and technology players in this space including emerging startups.
The summit features enterprise and government use-cases, inspirational keynotes, panel discussions, tech-talks, blockchain exhibition, startup pitch competitions, and a host of networking opportunities.
The World Blockchain Summit is coming back to Dubai for its 24th edition on March 20 and 21, 2023, at Atlantis the Palm, under the endorsement of HH Sheikh Juma Ahmed Juma Al Maktoum, member of the ruling family of Dubai.
Speakers will include:
- Sandeep Nailwal, Co-Founder, Polygon
- Sunny Lu, Co-founder & CEO, Vechain
- Dennis Jarvis, CEO, Bitcoin.com
- Helen Hai, Executive VP of Binance and Head of Binance
- Robby Yung, CEO, Animoca Brands; Partner, Animoca Capital
- Max Kordek, CEO & Co-Founder, Lisk
- Gracy Chen, Managing Director, Bitget
- Alex Zinder, Global Head, Ledger Enterprise
- Dina Sam’an, Co-Founder & Managing Director, CoinMENA
- Alexander Chehade, Executive Director and General Manager, Binance FZE
- Reece Merrick, Senior Director, Global Strategic Partners, Ripple
- Hervé Francois, Blockchain Fund Partner, Investcorp
- Johnson Yeh, Founder & CEO, Ambrus Studio
- Michael Sung, Chairman, FreeFlow Finance
- Mona El Isa, Co-Founder & CEO, Avantgarde, Enzyme
- Erwin Voloder, Senior Policy Fellow, European Blockchain Association
- Jean-Charles Gaudechon, CEO, OneFootball Labs
FiNext Awards and Conference Dubai 2023
April 26 – 27, 2023
Le Meridien Dubai Hotel and Conference Centre, Dubai, UAE
The FiNext Awards and Conference provides a platform for the global banking and fintech sector, allowing startups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), incumbent tech providers, investors, financial institutions, fintech companies, and other stakeholders to connect and interact under one roof.
The event was started because the traditional finance industry needed a space where the smartest, inventive and ambitious people could come together, interact and build meaningful alliances.
FiNext Awards and Conference Dubai 2023 will be held from on April 26 and 27, 2023 in Dubai and will cover various topics including embedded finance, blockchain technology, digital assets and cybersecurity.
IFINTEC Finance Technologies Conference and Exhibition
May 03 – 04, 2023
Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey
The IFINTEC Finance Technologies Conference and Exhibition will be held on May 03 and 04, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey.
IFINTEC is a global conference which is one of the most important and prestigious conferences in EMEA region with its focus on retail banking, digital banking, core banking, payment systems, banking technologies, banking IT solutions, digital transformation, banking innovation, secure banking, cybersecurity, mobile application security and fintech.
IFINTEC Conference serves a perfect platform to introduce and demonstrate banking solutions and finance technology solutions including system, hardware, software, consultancy, training and service which are developed for banks and financial institutions.
IFINTEC Conference presents a platform at where speakers share their experience, knowledge, visions and future forecasts with the visitors. The conference speeches will be either in Turkish or English and simultaneously will be translated to Turkish or English.
Dubai Fintech Summit 2023
May 08 – 09, 2023
Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE
Dubai Fintech Summit is a thought-leadership-driven, business-focused event that deep dives into the latest challenges and technology trends in Dubai’s financial services sector. The event aims to set a global benchmark for the way enterprises and governments approach financial innovation.
The summit, which will take place on May 08 and 09, 2023 will bring world-renowned thinkers, policy makers, and decision makers to share and contribute to the development of tools, regulations, and frameworks that are essential to shape the future of fintech and finance.
The summit will seek to consolidate Dubai as a rising fintech hub, encouraging startup innovation and investment under its visionary leadership.
Get your tickets here.
May 08 – 10, 2023
Abu Dhabi, UAE
The Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), a three-day global forum for investment and strategic networking, will gather the international investment community, world’s leading academics and experts to showcase up-to-date information, strategies and knowledge on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).
The event will offer cross-industry project developers a safe platform to present their projects and schedule G2B and B2B meetings with institutional, corporate and private investors seeking lucrative and reliable projects for their capital.
This year’s event will feature two tracks: the Investment Track, and the Innovation and Technology Track.
The event is an initiative of the UAE Ministry of Economy, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
Blockchain Economy Istanbul Summit
May 08 – 11, 2023
Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey
The Blockchain Economy Istanbul Summit is Eurasia’s largest ever blockchain event bringing together the key players of crypto industry and experts to redefine the future of finance. The 7th edition of the summit will take place during two days in Istanbul from May 8 to 11, 2023 with the world’s top crypto companies and blockchain entrepreneurs.
The Blockchain Economy Istanbul Summit will be the main gathering in the region on behalf of the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency, with a wide range of topics focused on the financial technologies of the future, extensive networking opportunities and participation from more than 80 countries. The event will seek to create networking opportunities, allowing participants to meet the industry’s brightest minds, attend mastermind-level topics on stage, and experience an exhibition overflowing with opportunities to improve their business and career.
Insurtech MENA Summit 2023
May 09 – 10, 2023
Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE
The Insurtech MENA Summit 2023, taking place on May 09 and 10, 2023, will uncover massive opportunities for insurers, agents and brokers, carriers, enablers and distributors from life and non-life insurance backgrounds to learn about the latest innovations and technologies related to areas such as underwriting, claims management as well as quote and buy, shaping the future of insurance industry.
This summit will focus on the emerging trends in digital transformation of the insurance industry wherein delegates will learn from real-life case studies, business insights and lessons learned from leaders to discover the best strategies, tools and methods for tapping into the potential of tech-driven digital transformation of the Insurance industry.
Topic highlights include:
- Insurtech market overview and trends in MENA region
- How insurers are using low-code to drive digital execution and organizational change
- Digital insurance in the cloud
- The rise of embedded insurance in a digital-first world
- Crypto, smart contracts and blockchain: opportunity or threat?
- Unlocking the mysteries of cyber reinsurance
- The importance of telematics and the Internet-of-Things (IoT) integration in creating superior Insurance products
- How artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the insurance industry
- The rise of the exponential underwriter: leveraging technology to drive profitability
- Building a technology ecosystem that enables a superior claim customer experience
6th Middle East Banking AI and Analytics (MEBAI) Summit 2023
May 10, 2023
Radisson Blu Hotel, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
In line with Saudi Arabia’s vision to become a world class AI leader, the Middle East Banking AI and Analytics (MEBAI) Summit 2023 Saudi edition aims to revolutionize the AI landscape in Saudi Arabia’s banking sector. With well-crafted topics and interactive platforms, MEBAI is the only leading AI and analytics summit in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region catering exclusively to the needs of the banking industry.
This year’s event will provide participants with the opportunity to connect with like-minded thought leaders in the region as they discuss the impact of AI and address the significant limitations through reformative panel discussions, intriguing fireside chats, keynote presentations, roundtable and conversational Q&A sessions while shedding light on best use cases of implementation and scalability of AI and analytics within their respective banking organization.
Featured discussions will include:
- Harnessing the power of AI and analytics for a futuristic banking ecosystem
- Building a digital-savvy workforce in the new world of AI and analytics
- Open banking: accelerating the development of fintech ecosystem
- AI-powered banking: current state of AI and future trends in the banking space
- Roadmap to successful digital transformation: creating value using AI and data analytics
- Reimagining fraud detection and risk management using AI and advanced analytics
- Ethical use of data and AI
- Data: a valuable asset and key driver for strategic decision making process
- Optimize the benefits of AI and analytics for sustainable development of banking sector
- AI and analytics fostering real-time insights for a personalized banking experience
Innovative Finance Exhibition Dubai
May 15, 2023
jumeirah Emirates Towers Dubai, Dubai, UAE
The Innovative Finance Exhibition (IFINEXPO) is a professional exhibition in the financial industry, bringing together industry agents, industry executives, and industry professional companies to open up more possibilities for your financial business.
The event mainly covers foreign exchange (FX), fintech, payment systems, cryptocurrency, decentralized finance (DeFi) and other related industries, and seeks to provide a platform for knowledge sharing and resource docking in the field of innovative finance.
More than 150 financial enterprises are expected to participate in this year’s exhibition, in addition to more than 60 top financial media and media institutions in the financial industry.
Topics covered this year will include:
- The challenge facing the digital asset world today and how to ensure business continuity and minimal disruption as geopolitical turmoil begins
- Future proof solutions to protect our most valuable assets
- Challenges faced in the digital assets world post-pandemic and with the onset of geopolitical unrest
- How to ensure business continuity and minimal disruption?
- Future-proofing solutions in safeguarding our most valuable assets
- Development history and future development direction of encryption technology
- How non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse are changing our lives?
Middle East Banking Innovation Summit 2023
May 17 – 18, 2023
Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai, UAE
The 14th edition of the Middle East Banking Innovation Summit (MEBIS), taking place on May 17 and 18, 2023, will bring together 400+ senior bankers from across MENA all under one roof to explore advances in banking, fintech, network and drive business conversations.
With the banking and financial services industry in the MENA region serving a population of nearly 450 million people, advancing digital maturity to embrace new technologies and transformations is a strategic imperative to address customer needs and take pole position in an evolving digital landscape.
The summit will cover the biggest and most disruptive trends including banking-as-a-service (BaaS), Islamic finance, digital lending platforms, next-gen core banking, omni-channel customer touchpoints and digital trade finance.
These trends represent strategic areas of technology investment for regional banks and this prestigious gathering hosted across two days will bring together MENA senior bankers and fintech leaders for educational case studies, enlightening panel sessions and the very best networking opportunities filled with face-to-face business discussions.
- The future of banking: examining progress and innovating for disruption
- MENA banking leadership: an exploration of new revenue engines and capabilities
- Moving beyond digital transformation to build digital banking multichannel solution platforms
- MENA cards and payments innovation
- Reconstructing the user-experience paradigm: going beyond the opti-channel world
- Cloud banking: the game changer for next generation banking capabilities
- Exploiting capital in the new economy with next-gen technology transformation
- Exploring the holistic approach to combatting threats and vulnerability
- The digital imperative for global trade finance
- Data in the digital era and powering the future
Seamless Middle East 2023
May 23 – 24, 2023
Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai
Seamless is a multi-brand exhibition, with over 30,000 annual attendees and a world leading strategic conference. The conference covers areas of fintech, payments, retail, e-commerce, home delivery and digital marketing in the format of presentations, panel discussions and roundtables – hosted by regional and international experts.
The exhibition welcomes hundreds of market leading industry players from banks, exchange houses, insurance, telcos, merchants, enterprise, government, and tech startups, all looking to procure and collaborate with the latest tech and services on the market.
The Seamless Middle East 2023 edition will feature over 500 speakers covering the latest trends, market disruptors and technologies shaping the payments, fintech, retail, digital, logistics and e-commerce world. The free-to-attend multi-brand exhibition will host over 500 exhibitors showcasing cutting-edge solutions and featuring the most innovative startups across the region.
Finnovex Qatar 2023
June 13 2023
The financial services industry is critical to the Qatari economy, and the government is working hard to make Qatar a regional financial center. Fintech offers significant opportunities for economic diversification and is one of the four pillars of Qatar’s National Vision 2030.
Most leading banks are investing heavily in digital technologies, including AI, automation, cloud computing, data analytics, blockchains, open APIs, payments, cybersecurity, and more, to take advantage of them and remain competitive in the industry, but how can legacy banks leverage this new transformation?
The Finnovex Qatar 2023 event strives to provide an interactive platform to discover Qatar’s rapid innovations in the financial sector. The main objective of the summit is to explore new technologies and methodologies that can help the banking sector reach new heights.
This will be done through interactive panel discussions, fireside-chat and focused keynote sessions, live demo’s by industry pioneers to develop strategies that will help them keep pace with the evolving financial ecosystem in the digital age.
The 2023 Qatar edition of the Finnovex Global Series will be a unique opportunity of accelerated solutions hub to:
- Connect with the regional, international banks and fintech executives who are trend setting the future of financial world
- Learn how to evaluate, develop, deploy and customize the financial technologies to improve business processes
- Hear first-hand from customers on the challenges they face across the entire value chain of financial processes
- Take away lessons learned, valuable case studies and key insights from peers to apply within your operations
- Meet with fintech solution management, development, support and consulting experts
- Fully evaluate and understand how the comprehensive suite of applications can optimize organizations’ business needs
- Visit the experience centers and real solution demos to better understand the latest technology driven approach for go to market strategies
See more details here.
Fintech Junction 2023
June 20 – 21, 2023
Tel Aviv, Israel
The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything, from the way we live and work to the way we consume and get basic services. Financial services will never look the same again. In this new reality, financial services companies will have to accelerate the development of their digital services, protect their customer data, and continue to improve their user friendliness, ease-of-use, transparency and seamless service on a variety of online platforms.
Companies that will not adapt to the new normal will fail. The fintech companies are now needed more than ever.
Fintech Junction is one of Israel’s leading fintech conferences, bringing together business and tech leaders from banks, financial institutions, fintech companies, startups and investors. This year’s annual conference will present the best fintech solutions that enable businesses to stay relevant.
Topics covered this year will include data and AI, open banking, cloud-native infrastructure and Web 3.0.
Seamless Saudi Arabia 2023
September 04 – 05, 2023
Riyadh Front Exhibition and Conference Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Hybrid)
Seamless Saudi Arabia is the country’s biggest, boldest and best event covering the latest innovation in payments, fintech, retail and e-commerce. This year’s event will feature more than 300 speakers covering the latest trends, market disruptors and technologies shaping these industries. Over 500 exhibitors will be showcasing cutting-edge solutions.
Finnovex Middle East 2023
September 05 – 06, 2023
Conrad Dubai, Dubai, UAE (Hybrid)
In recent years, the financial services market has boomed globally especially in the Middle Eastern region. Despite the impact of the pandemic, it continues to grow, with a record number of capital raising deals set to be closed in 2021.
Banks are currently addressing the challenges as a result of changing consumer demands, digital rivals, and increased regulatory compliance through customer-centric innovation strategy led by open banking, agile transformation, big data, AI, cloud, embedded finance and regulatory frameworks policy initiatives that is reshaping how banks have historically worked. However, legacy systems are weighing them down and they find it difficult to adapt to the growing needs of a tech-savvy generation.
The Middle East financial landscape is being irreversibly altered by the expansion of transformative new neobanks, which cater to retail customers, and SMEs generally underserved by traditional banks. They leverage the customer focusing services to differentiate themselves and there by introducing new business models like conversational banking, contactless payments, data analytics, BaaS and applications of different technologies in security and risk aspects to provide superior customer service, privacy and personalization.
Finnovex Middle East is returning this year again with a fully-hybrid summit edition.
Future Blockchain Summit
October 15 – 18, 2023
Dubai Harbour, UAE
Future Blockchain Summit, the MENA region’s most immersive large-scale blockchain event, is coming to Dubai Harbour from October 15 to 18, 2023 and is revamping with a new concept designed to embolden the disruptors, empower the change-makers, and inspire the innovators of the Web 3.0, blockchain, crypto, NFT, the metaverse, and the gaming community.
Over four days at the Future Blockchain Summit, industry leaders will leverage networking opportunities, gain insights from a power-packed agenda, pitch for growth funding in the Supernova Challenge as well as the Investors Program and Forum, become experts in Academic Masterclasses, and join the action in a Web 3.0 Gaming Showdown.
See more details here.
Fintech Surge 2023
October 15 – 18, 2023
Dubai Harbour, Dubai, UAE
With a clear focus on embedded finance, customer experience and benchmarking global fintech strategies, MENA’s unrivaled meeting place for global fintech leaders will see the financial industry’s biggest tech-revolutions in the fields of paytech, insurtech, regtech, wealth and asset management and digital banking presented by 100+ globally leading financial services companies and most disruptive startups.
Over 100 path-breaking talks by global regulators, financial institutions and unicorns will redefine fintech strategies in the region. Targeted 1000+ startup meetings with tech buyers and investors will drive immediate business impact.
With fintech adoption rates in the Middle East growing year on year, adopting the right strategies and solutions increasing client satisfaction is crucial.
Fintech Surge is one of Dubai’s leading fintech event, gathering +1,000 international delegates, +100 global speakers, eminent regulators, financial institutions, and unicorns to shape and explore the future of finance in the MENA region. This year’s edition will take place at the Dubai Habour from October 15 to 18, 2023.
See more details here.
October 15 – 18, 2023
Dubai Harbour, Dubai, UAE
Marketing Mania is one of the largest community event for marketers in the world, bringing together the most innovative, creative and disruptive tech forces who are reinventing marketing, communications, and other related fields.
This year’s event is set to attract more than 170,000 visitors, 5,000 leading brands and enterprises and 1,000 investors. Sectors represented will include finance, retail and e-commerce, technology, and telcos.
Embedded Finance MENA
October 15 – 18, 2023
Dubai Harbour, Dubai, UAE
Embedded Finance MENA aims to become the new annual gathering for the region’s burgeoning embedded finance ecosystem. This new platform is designed to foster essential global and regional strategic partnerships and alliances, matching businesses and brands with suppliers of the latest embedded finance enabling distribution models, and the banks that will play a core role in facilitating the embedded processes.
Embedded Finance MENA will showcase case studies allowing participants to tailor their journey mapped to their core users, help them attract more customers, add new lines of revenue and improve customer experiences.
Expand North Star
October 15 – 18, 2023
Dubai Harbour, Dubai, UAE
As the startup industry grows at an unprecedented rate, more players of the ecosystem are looking for one place to find limitless connections. In response to this growth, the North Star event is expanding into Expand North Star, diversifying and capitalizing on the rising international interest in the UAE startup ecosystem.
Hosted by Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy and set to take place from October 15 to 18, 2023 at the Dubai Harbour, Expand North Star will present a new creative format to extend its engagements with tech leaders, venture capitalists, unicorns, scale-ups, startups, and key stakeholders at one of the largest tech events in the world.
The event aims to become the flagship platform for startups to shine as well as grow through interactive Q&As, mentorship, product showcase, meetings, pitch competitions and conference sessions.
See more details here.
GITEX Global 2023
October 16 – 20, 2023
Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, UAE
Following a record-breaking edition in 2022, GITEX Global, one of the world’s largest and most inclusive tech events, will return to Dubai in 2023 for its 43rd edition, gathering the world’s most advanced companies and best minds to elevate business, economy, society and culture through the power of innovation.
Converging and unifying the world’s leading tech protagonists, inventors, academia, researchers and developers, GITEX Global 2023 will also supercharge the epic global race for AI supremacy, manifesting and translating gen-now tech into business solutions that are shaping societies and fast-tracking future urbanism.
Get involved here.
EBINTEC Banking Innovation Conference and Exhibition
November 07 – 08, 2023
Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey
EBINTEC Banking Innovation Conference and Exhibition will be held on November 07 and 08, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey.
EBINTEC is a global conference which is one of the most important and prestigious conferences in EMEA region with its focus on banking innovation, banking technologies, digital transformation, digital banking, next generation banking, retail banking, core banking, payment systems, secure banking, cybersecurity, mobile application security and banking IT solutions.
The EBINTEC Conference serves a perfect platform to introduce and demonstrate banking solutions and finance technology solutions including system, hardware, software, consultancy, training and service which are developed for banks and financial institutions.
The conference speeches will be either in Turkish or English and simultaneously will be translated to Turkish or English. Visitors should attend to the speeches of their choice by examining the conference program.
World Finance Forum Dubai
November 08 – 09, 2023
Designed in partnership with CFOs and finance directors from the some of the most innovative companies, World Finance Forum is positioned to equip participants with the key skills required to drive their businesses through the year ahead.
Attendees will get to learn from finance leaders, uncover new opportunities and understand potential pitfalls, discover emerging trends in today’s finance landscape, and grow their network of senior finance executives across MENA.
Speakers will include CFOs and heads of finance from some of the most innovative brands out there. They will be taking to the stage to share experience, insights and expertise around some of today’s key issues facing finance executives.
Buy your tickets here.
Featured image credit: edited from Unsplash