Fintech is booming in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as regulators and government agencies in countries including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are pushing for innovation in the financial services industry to improve financial inclusion and keep up with international counterparts.
As fintech innovation continues to grow in importance in MENA, a growing number of events and conferences are being organized in the region this year.
Here are the most anticipated fintech and digital finance events in MENA in the coming months
22nd MFC Annual Conference
May 29 – 31, 2019
TITANIC DOWNTOWN BEYOĞLU hotel, Istanbul, Turkey
Running from May 29 to 31, 2019, the 22nd MFC (Microfinance Centre) Annual Conference will tackle the practical side of digitalization in the financial inclusion sector through case studies, trend analysis and discussion of emerging best practice.
This year, the theme will be “Demystifying Digital in Microfinance” and will include a full range of workshops, panel discussions and side meetings to explore different aspects of the digitalization in financial inclusion, including agile ways of working, developing staff digital competency, digital client experience, non-credit digital products, regulatory issues connected with digitalization, financial services for migrants, digital tools for improving financial health, fintechs and financial inclusion, and more.
Token Fest 2019
June 3 – 4, 2019
David InterContinental Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel
Token Fest promises to be an exclusive, two-day networking event focused on the business and technology of tokenization. Attendees will gain a wealth of insights and information about the state of the token-based economy while networking with over 2,500 senior level decision makers.
Topics covered during the event will include applied cryptoeconomics, token design, token trading and the future of digital assets, the structure and dynamics of security tokens, ICO blueprint for token crowdfunding, commercialization of blockchain platforms, multi-industry case studies of decentralized platforms, obstacles to mainstream adoption, and more.
June 12 – 13, 2019
Port of Beirut, Downtown, Beirut, Lebanon
This year, Arabnet will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary, a decade since it began its journey setting the ground for digital business and entrepreneurship in the MENA region.
To date, the brand has organized 25+ events in Beirut, Kuwait, Dubai, and Riyadh, released 20+ in-depth reports on the different sectors of the MENA ecosystem, and provided up-and-coming startups with a chance to grow and reach high levels of success through our competitions.
Arabnet Beirut 2019 promises to be bigger than ever, a celebration of innovation gathering 3,000+ corporate executives, government leaders, and entrepreneurs under one roof.
The buzzing event is set to bring together 250+ experts and speakers from around the globe, covering a range of topics and will include the Launchpad for startups and investors, Ad/Edge for digital media and advertising, and Finverse for digital banking and fintech.
Finverse will explore the latest trends and opportunities in fintech and banking innovation, diving into chatbots and robo-advisors, big data, blockchain, and the practical opportunities available for banks and financial services providers.
June 12 – 13, 2019
Gulf Convention Centre, Bahrain
InsurByte aims to be the insurtech knowledge-exchange platform in Asia and the Middle East. The event is expected to bring together over 150 companies participating from over 25 countries who will be interacting and showcasing the latest initiatives, innovations and applications related to the insurance industry.
Building on the success of the 2017 conference, InsurByte 2019, in strategic partnership with Bahrain Insurance Association and the Bahrain Institute of Banking & Finance, will provide a platform that fosters synergies among market players to find solutions and promote innovative insurance practices in a collaborative, open and transparent manner.
The conference will host keynote speeches, panels, fireside chats, show and tells, startup pitches, investor sessions, workshops, network sessions and case studies from entrepreneurs, innovation labs, venture capitalist and insurance professionals.
Future of Finance and CFO Summit
June 17 – 18, 2019
Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai, UAE
The Future of Finance and CFO Summit is set to bring together the region’s top CFOs and senior finance professionals to discuss and address challenges and their key initiatives helping shape their businesses successfully.
The summit aims to act as a platform to gain unparalleled insight on cost control strategies through access to a global expert speaker faculty, hear from the leading senior finance experts and discuss the future of the finance industry by looking at what’s operational efficiency and change management.
Participants will also get to learn more about the real value of AI, analytics and other innovative technologies in the finance industry and how it can make operations more efficient and achieve cost control, and much more.
Seamless North Africa 2019
June 17 – 18, 2019
The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo, Egypt
Seamless North Africa 2019, organized by the Terrapinn, is held under the patronage of the Central Bank of Egypt and in partnership with the Council of Arab Economic Unity and the League of Arab States.
The event will feature inspirational keynotes from global innovators who are changing commerce in their companies as well as technology leaders from retail, e-commerce and payments across North Africa. It is set to bring together thousands of professionals and will include an exhibition where leading solution providers will showcase a wide range of new technologies.
Blockchain for Finance Conference MENA 2019
June 25 – 26, 2019
The Blockchain for Finance Conference (BFC) MENA 2019 will examine the latest blockchain use cases to drive adoption and commercialization within financial services in the Middle East.
The event will explore the role of digital assets and stablecoins, looking at how they can revolutionize financial services globally to improve transparency and accessibility, as well as the latest proof-of-concepts by financial institutions in the region. It will also address how to overcome hurdles around ecosystem maturity to implement the technology, and participants will get to hear from a range of central banks and free zone regulators on their views on blockchain in the Middle East to help financial institutions adapt and collaborate.
ATMIA Middle East 2019
June 25 – 26, 2019
Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai, UAE
The ATMIA Middle East 2019 conference will focus on global trends in next-gen ATMs and innovations in digital banking.
The ATM-dedicated conference will offer delegates and exhibitors the opportunity to share experiences and insights with their peers and industry experts from across the Gulf, Middle East and surrounding regions.
Fintech Summit Middle East
June 26, 2019
Intercontinental Hotel Amman, Jordan
Fintech Summit Middle East will take place on June 26, 2019 in Amman Jordan, and promises to bring together more than 300+ industry leaders, business decision makers, tech innovators , business leaders and disruptive technologists, regulators and academics who are shaping the future of banking and financial services by driving a technological revolution in the industry across the Middle East.
The summit will discuss the latest disruptions and opportunities across the fintech landscape, covering topics including blockchain, online payments and digital banking. This one-day event will focus on fintech with a range of programming, including panels, off-sites and networking opportunities.
June 26 – 27, 2019
Avenue Convention Center, 1 Hasharon St. Airport City, Israel
Fintech Junction is an international annual conference on fintech taking place in Israel. This year, Fintech Junction is expected to bring together 1,500+ professional attendees from Israel and from around the world including CXOs, entrepreneurs, investors, innovation and fintech leaders from leading startups, banks, financial institutions, hubs, accelerators and investment companies.
The event will cover the latest and hottest trends shaping the future of financial services, including open banking, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, ICOs, regulation, cybersecurity, AI, P2P platforms, startups and venture capital and much more.
Oman Islamic Fintech Forum 2019
June 26 – 27, 2019
Oman Islamic Fintech Forum 2019 (OiFF2019) aims to become the exclusive Islamic fintech reference in Oman. This event will bring industry experts from various fields of expertise including regulators, bankers, entrepreneurs, investors, and IT experts to share their experiences and insights in developing the fintech ecosystem for Islamic finance in Oman.
OiFF intends to set the stage in the Middle East for Islamic fintech experts to meet and share their expertise in order to assess Oman’s potential in embracing Islamic fintech to promote economic growth and develop the industry of Islamic finance.
Saudi Fintech Forum
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
The Saudi Fintech Workshop is set to bring together business leaders and technology innovators to collaborate on the re-invention of technologies, processes and products through digital transformation. The event will explore how to increase efficiency and agility with operational excellence, while creating customer-obsessed experiences that grow revenue and re-invigorate your business. It will include case study presentations and panel discussions.
The workshop is designed to host 100+ senior professional from banks, insurance companies, brokers, bancassurance, and fintech companies to discuss their strategies for digital transformation. It will address the key issues of financial transformation and innovation by bringing on board expert speakers from the industry to address and provide updated information and solutions to the challenges facing the industry.
Key topics to be covered include blockchain technology, mobile, the future of fintech in Saudi Arabia, the Internet-of-Things, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and more.
9th Annual Middle East Banking Innovation Summit
September 3 – 4, 2019
Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai, UAE
The Middle East Banking Innovation Summit claims to be the largest banking technology platform in the region, bringing together banking leaders, fintech experts and over 450 senior experts and leaders to discuss the future of banking.
The Middle East Banking Innovation Summit 2019 will focus on various disruptive technologies, new banking regulations and emerging key trends impacting this sector. The must-attend summit will explore the latest developments in the banking industry, with the sole purpose of emphasizing the impact of technology and innovation in this sector.
Fintech Abu Dhabi
October 21 – 23, 2019
Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Fintech Abu Dhabi is a leading fintech festival in MENA that’s set to bring together this year 5,000 influencers and innovators who are pioneering the new wave of innovation across financial services.
Building on the success of the previous two editions of Fintech Abu Dhabi, ADGM has partnered with Unbound, a global innovation ecosystem builder with a successful track record of creating innovation events around the world.
This third edition will explore the next frontier of fintech and innovation and intends to be the meeting point for the global fintech community in 2019, featuring many country delegations, a new global challenge format, a Fintech World Tour, the inaugural Fintech Abu Dhabi Awards for Excellence and a showcase of the world’s most promising fintech startups and scaleups.
Enterprise Fintech Summit
October 28 – 29, 2019
The Enterprise Fintech Summit, taking place on October 28 and 29, 2019 in Dubai, will host more than 600 leading banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) decision maker across Middle East. These will privately meet to discuss sector transformation and disruptive topics such as banking 2025, digital DNA, regtech, micro-financing, artificial intelligence, robotics, financial inclusion, blockchain, and real-time data analytics.
Finovate Middle East 2019
November 17 – 19, 2019
Finovate Middle East 2019 is set to bring together the region’s fintech community to showcase cutting-edge banking, financial and payments technology. The event is set to attract more than 400 senior financial and banking executives, venture capitalists, press, industry analysts, bloggers, regulators, and entrepreneurs from across the UAE.
Participants will see the latest fintech innovations demoed live on stage and hear insights from global financial services experts.
The Global Islamic Fintech Huddle 2019
November 25, 2019
The Global Islamic Fintech Huddle is an international gathering of industry influencers and fintech visionaries passionate about using technology to drive financial inclusion in a Shariah compliant and ethical manner.
Featuring a series of high-level panel discussions, demo sessions and networking events, the Huddle is designed to be the epicenter of Islamic fintech ideas and innovation with the primary objective of connecting all stakeholders of the Islamic fintech ecosystem startups, investors, policymakers and intermediaries, to facilitate the exchange of ideas and create new collaborative business opportunities.
December 5, 2019
BlockOn 2019 aims to provide a platform for knowledge exchange that fosters synergies among market players to find solutions, and helps implement and promote innovative blockchain practices in a collaborative, open and transparent manner.
BlockOn 2019 will gather the blockchain community to investigate the challenges and opportunities of blockchain technology on multiple perspectives. Live panel discussions will probe deeper into what it takes for blockchain solutions to be successful and how this new and exciting technology can be applied for data integrity, trust and accessibility.
Featured image credit: Edited from Unsplash