Connect with us

Partner Content

DFS Dialogue: FinTechs and banks joining forces in welcome trend



Collaboration and not collision of interests is the emerging pathway for FinTech companies and banks to build a better economic system in the UAE and the world. This is the message coming out of Dubai International Financial Centre where 10 head honchos came together for the second of Dubai FinTech Summit (DFS) Dialogues, a precursor series to the main event on May 8 and 9.

Mohammad AlBlooshi

The 10 speakers deliberated the challenges which face the financial sector, and how the industry can de-risk while building sustainable institutions. Host Mohammad AlBlooshi, Head of DIFC Innovation Hub and FinTech Hive, said: “As an industry predicated on confidence and trust, we are currently seeing the banking sector experience a time of disruption. Given global headwinds, we have an opportunity to build more resilient institutions through collaboration between banks and FinTechs.”

According to recent research by Report Ocean, the global FinTech lending market was valued at approximately US$ 573 billion in 2021. It’s expected to grow at a healthy cumulative growth rate of more than 27.4% over the forecast period of 2022-2029.

Banks v FinTechs is history

The FinTech sector, widely recognised as a major competitor to banks, is expected to double in size from $135.9bn in 2021 to $266.9bn in 2027, according to a 2022 report by DIFC FinTech Hive. Additionally, with approximately 50 per cent of the MENA region currently unbanked or underbanked, FinTechs have been playing a crucial role in promoting inclusive economic growth in the region.

Ten head honchos from banks and FinTechs came together to discuss disruption in the industry. Trescon Global

However, a unanimous takeaway from all banks at the DFS Dialogue captured how both entities are in fact symbiotic. Sanjay Sethi, Senior Managing Director, Head of Global Transaction Banking at First Abu Dhabi Bank, said, “this is an age of collaboration and co-creation where leading financial institutions and pioneering FinTechs can embark on a journey of innovative discovery together. This is especially true when we look at opportunities to expand into new geographies, improve product capabilities, grow revenues, or scale or optimise our business faster and more efficiently. Alongside this, FinTech solutions in transaction banking are growing in agility every day.”

Earlier this year, the UAE Central Bank announced the implementation of its Digital Dirham currency strategy, which promises to be a critical step in the country’s payments industry. “As such, the synergy between banks and FinTechs proves to be unavoidable as the industry inches towards a cashless economy,” added AlBlooshi.

Enhancing trust

A report by Economist Impact and supported by Google has predicted that the financial services and banking industry will emerge as the primary spender for AI technology in the MENA. The industry will make up nearly 25 per cent of all AI investments in the region, with banking tech alone expected to contribute 13.6 per cent to the region’s gross domestic product by 2030.

Mehdi Tazi, Chief Operating Officer, Lean Technologies, stated, “I believe customers still trust banks more than FinTechs – they are larger more established institutions. However, something FinTechs do very well is streamlining processes when helping onboard customers into these larger banks. As a result, we are seeing a marriage between FinTech and banking that enhances the customer’s journey, ultimately building trust.”



The onset of Web 3.0 ushers in a transformative moment for financial services, capital markets and banking, shifting customer expectations and revolutionising the sector. The total transaction value of embedded finance is estimated to reach $7 trillion in 2026, as per Rakesh Reddy, CEO, Cloud4u, “This is particularly useful for Platform as a Service (PaaS) providers who will strongly benefit from this growth, undeniably becoming a key industry disruptor.”

Nilay Singh, Chief Executive Officer, State Bank of India, DIFC, pointed out, “We cannot ignore AI. It has to be adopted but cleverly and effectively, and this is where we need to understand what to outsource and when to collaborate.”

With a unified goal to enhance inclusive banking solutions for the region, traditional financial establishments are optimistic in growing partnerships with FinTech companies to bridge gaps and stay ahead of the curve strategically.

More such conversation starters will be on show at the Dubai FinTech Summit, to be held at Madinat Jumeirah on May 8-9. Visitors can purchase tickets with early bird prices available until 15 April 2023.

HEADLINE READERS GET DISCOUNTED TICKETS: As media partners, Headline UAE can get you 10% off on the big ticket to the most high-profile event in town. All you have to do is hit a like on the Instagram post to this story on our page and DM us. We will send you a code to use in the booking, so hurry!   

Journalist for 25 years with leading publications in India and UAE such as The National, Mumbai Mirror, DNA, Indian Express and former Sports Editor of Now managing editor of, part of MEMc (


Luxury cars showroom opens in Dubai for premium motorists



previous arrow
next arrow


A new car showroom dedicated to luxury supercars has opened near the Equiti metro station on the busy Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.

Set up by the accomplished automobile stalwart Sarabdeep Singh Bassi with his Man Friday Walid Al Balushi, the showroom opening witnessed a range of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, McLarens, Mercedes and Bentleys along with some top options in the Land Rover range as well for a rich sampling of the showroom’s USP. The inauguration ceremony was graced by UAE businessman and SJM Group chairman Sheikh Juma bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum as the chief guest.

Bassi is a veteran of Dubai’s automobile circuit with showrooms for used and mid-range cars in three emirates – Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi – since 2004 when he landed from the United States, where too he operated in the similar industry but around trucks and transport for a brief while.

According to Balushi, now is as good time as any to have a cars showroom for the upper echelons of the society. “Our Emirati folks are always a keen, regular market, but we also see a lot of Russians and people from the adjoining regions looking up high-end cars.”

An attendee poses in front of a grey McLaren and red Ferrari at the Oscar Cars showroom in Dubai. Photos Joy Dasgupta /

This showroom is the latest addition to their Advantage Motors brand which deals in mid-range levels of cars in the three emirates.

“Already the response is very good,” Bassi said on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony amid much fanfare. “We have more expansion plans like opening other automotive businesses after this. Our customers are from all over UAE and from other countries as well like Russia, Middle East countries, China, All Over Africa, and others. We are also promoting electric vehicles sale which are environment friendly.”

The vast showroom on the Sheikh Zayed Road, diagnonally across the Mall of Emirates, is laid out over 7,000 square feet and separate parking, with the best of knowledgeable staff at hand to help buy and sell the cars, along with other services like buying premium number plates, etc.


Continue Reading


Data Direct and SurveySparrow pair up for data-driven solutions in CX



The region’s top customer-centric solutions provider, Data Direct Group, and SurveySparrow, a leading customer experience (CX) management platform, have partnered to revolutionise the customer experience landscape in the Middle East.

Through the strategic alliance of the Dubai-based Data Direct Group and SurveySparrow, the objective is to provide outstanding CX solutions for brands, enabling them to craft remarkable experiences for their customers, according to Rajiv Dalmia, Data Direct Group (DDG) founder and chairman. DDG has been a pioneer in the CX domain with its advanced tech solutions for over two decades.

Rajiv Dalmia, Founder-chairman of Data Direct Group

“The customer experience industry is poised to embark on a transformative journey. This collaboration promises to redefine the very essence of customer satisfaction, elevating it to unprecedented heights. With innovation at its core, the partnership aims to revolutionise the way customers engage with businesses, fostering deeper connections and seamless interactions,” Dalmia said.

“For us, it felt like the perfect opportunity to join forces with a leading player in the Middle East as organisations in the region are increasing focus on enhancing their AI capabilities and CX infrastructure.

“By leveraging Data Direct Group’s proficiency in digital transformation services and solutions alongside SurveySparrow’s comprehensive omnichannel CX solutions, this partnership will empower organisations to promote loyalty, enhance brand equity, and offer more customer value”, said Shihab Muhammed, who founded the omnichannel experience management platform in 2017.

It has served over 200,000 clients across 149 countries so far. With the establishment of a custom data center in UAE, SurveySparrow has bolstered its commitment to ensuring top-notch security measures for the Middle East region.

“There’s no doubt that by harnessing these technologies, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of customer behaviour, enabling them to deliver personalised brand experiences and that is where this partnership comes in optimising customer journey mapping for an enhanced CX like never before,” he added.

Continue Reading

Partner Content

T10 cricket comes to America with US Masters



The US Masters T10 League is all set to catch the imagination of the sports lovers in the United States from Friday. A host of former cricketing greats such as Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Chris Gayle, Shahid Afridi and late signing Suresh Raina among others will be in action during the 10-day competition from August 18-27.

Atlanta Fire, California Knights, Morrisville Unity, New Jersey Triton’s, New York Warriors and Texas Chargers are the six franchises for the debut season. They will contest for the coveted trophy with all matches to be played at the Broward County Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida. The shortest cricket format has been encouraged by UAE businessman Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk who started off from UAE and took it to the African continent through the Zim Afro T10 tournament last month, before coming to America.

The buzz created has perked up the interest of American sports stars from other key disciplines with huge mass following. The New York Giants’ linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux, from the NFL, has acquired an equity stake in the New York Warriors. In addition, the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA star Maxi Kleber and outfielder Mickey Moniak of the MLB’s Los Angeles Angels have become stakeholders in the Morrisville Unity.


Atlanta Fire will be up against Texas Chargers in the first match, starting 09:30 EDT on Friday. The US Masters T10 League will be broadcast on a number of channels around the globe.

“The T10 format has witnessed phenomenal growth over the last few years. After hosting successful competitions in Abu Dhabi and Zimbabwe, we are thrilled to bring the tournament to the United States of America. We are certain that this format will attract many new cricket fans in the country,” said Shaji Ul Mulk, the T-Ten Sports Management Chairman.

Ritesh Patel, CEO of SAMP Group and one of the main organisers of the American edition & League partner, said, “This is a very exciting time for us. We have planned for the competition very well and the players are all set to put up explosive performances during the 10-day tournament. The cricket fans around the world are certainly in for a huge treat.”

The competition will be telecast on Star Sports and Jio Cinema OTT app in India, CineBlitz in the UAE, Willow and Willow Extra (USA & Canada), Geo Super and PTV Sport (Pakistan), Sports Max (Caribbean), T Sports Channel and T Sports YouTube (Bangladesh), SABC (South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa), and ZTN Prime (Zimbabwe).

You can catch the schedule here of the US Masters T10.

Continue Reading


© Copyright 2021 HEADLINE. All rights reserved