WAM -- The UAE tops the list of countries in the Middle East with the highest number of financial technology (fintech) start-ups to date, reveals Bloomberg Intelligence in its latest report.
The UAE with 67 start-ups, was followed by Turkey at 44 and Jordan and Lebanon at 30 each.
Overall, the number of fintech start-ups in the region is forecast to expand from 96 in 2019 to 465 by 2020. An Accenture analysis based on CBI Insights data, has predicted that investments in the fintech sector will jump to US$2.28 billion by 2022 from US$ 287 million in 2019.
The figures were made public ahead of this year’s AIM Startup taking place in Dubai from 8th to 10th April in conjunction with the Annual Investment Meeting, AIM. This year’s theme of "Harnessing Global Digitization to Empower Startups and SMEs" will highlight the shift in consumer expectations against the backdrop of global adoption of digital technologies.
Dawood Al Shezawi, Chairman of the Organising Committee of AIM Startup, noted that the recent numbers supported other findings disclosing that not only start-ups have been flocking to the local and regional fintech sectors due to their promising growth prospects but that the UAE has remained a preferred destination for their operations as well regardless of their industries.
"We have looked into several factors for this trend and we can confidently say that the UAE’s high data connectivity makes it a fertile ground for start-ups and enterprises. In today’s era where you have tech-savvy customer base expecting exceptional service at all times, the issue of data connectivity will help make or break your business. The Emirates has one of the superb infrastructural systems in this regard across the region and it is further raising its game to transform itself into a leading global business and connectivity centre by accelerating its national 5G connectivity programme," he said.
The country ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa and 23rd globally in the Global Connectivity Index, GCI, 2018 released by Huawei. The report described the UAE’s broadband market as "one of the most advanced both regionally and globally". The broadband and data centre outperformed its neighbours and most countries across the world, the report added.
AIM Startup 2019 will focus on the opportunities and challenges brought about by the fourth industrial revolution and its impact on small businesses. More than 500 start-ups are joining the 2019 edition to engage with investors, government representatives, corporate executives, and industry experts.