The UAE Banks Federation, which represents the interests of 51 member banks operating in the UAE, is playing a significant role in the first SIBOS conference in the Middle East, which takes place from 16-19 September at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
SIBOS is an annual international conference, exhibition and networking event organized by SWIFT - the global provider of secure financial messaging services - for the finance industry. The event in Dubai marks the 35th annual conference by SWIFT. Its first conference was in 1978 in Brussels, Belgium, and last year Osaka in Japan played host to the event.
The Chairman of the UAE Banks Federation, H.E AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, has expressed his pleasure about the UAE being chosen for this prestigious annual event in a milestone year for SIBOS, noting that the decision was a natural one given the leading position that its financial sector enjoys in the region. The UAE Banks Federation’s strategic partnership with SWIFT dates back to the late 1980s, and it has played a pivotal role in supporting SWIFT to start & develop its relationships with the banking and financial sector in UAE. H.E Al Ghurair will address the conference on 19 September and will reflect on the contribution of the banking sector to the UAE’s economic growth, and its openness to foreign banks.
SIBOS 2013 came in response to the UAE Banks Federation request, during the regional meeting held in Dubai in 2003, that the UAE is willing to host such event.
The United Arab Emirates ranks first GCC place for incoming and outgoing messages through SWIFT, and ranked 20th in Europe, Middle East & Africa, in terms of the number of incoming messages and 19th in terms of outgoing messages. The incoming messages through SWIFT reached 56% of the total incoming messages to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in 2012, and outgoing messages achieved 41% of the total number of outgoing messages from the GCC countries in 2012.
SWIFT enables more than 10,000 financial institutions and corporations in over 200 countries and territories to exchange financial information securely and reliably. Through its various meetings, including this annual event, it helps to shape market practice as well as define standards. Though this is the first annual SIBOS conference to be held in the UAE, the country has hosted “MERC”, the regional conference for SWIFT Middle East, 4 times since 2003 (most recently in 2012).
Sido Bestani, SWIFT’s Head of Middle East & North Africa commented: “SWIFT Dubai has worked closely with the UAE Banks Federation for several years, a period in which the UAE banking sector has expanded and developed enormously. The close relationship that has developed means that we can help banks to capitalise on their SWIFT investment, increasing operational efficiency and reducing risk.”