On 25 September, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the international financial centre (IFC) in Abu Dhabi, via its Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB). The aim of the MoU is to seek opportunities to collaborate and consult on initiatives to promote the growth and development of the FinTech ecosystem in Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Under its terms, ADIB will partner with the FSRA across a range of Islamic-compliant FinTech-related initiatives. This partnership adds to ADGM’s FinTech commitment through the Abu Dhabi Regulatory Laboratory (RegLab) — a regulatory framework that offers a controlled environment for FinTech innovators to develop and test their products and services with the regulator.

ADIB and ADGM will explore and participate in joint innovation projects on the development and application of technologies such as digital and mobile payments, blockchain and distributed ledgers and artificial intelligence. Both entities will also seek to develop local FinTech entrepreneurship through mentorship and knowledge transfer across incubation, accelerator, academic and internship programmes.

As a FinTech hub, ADGM has established and is in the process of finalising about eight FinTech bridges with key international financial centres and jurisdictions in the past six months. ADGM was the first IFC in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to establish a dedicated regulatory framework in November 2016 to licence FinTech stakeholders and launched its RegLab to accelerate FinTech innovation. ADGM will be hosting its first FinTech Abu Dhabi Summit on 22-23 October 2017.