Abu Dhabi, 3rd November 2019: The 7th edition of UAE Banks Federation (UBF)’s Middle East Banking Forum concluded successfully today, having brought together over 500 delegates including governors, c-executives from official banks, financial regulators and private sector entities. This year’s Forum, held at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr in Abu Dhabi, explored the most prevalent trends affecting the sector including Fintech, Islamic Finance, and Risk Management whilst taking pace with technological innovation, financial crimes, and automation.
H.E AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of UAE Banks Federation, and H.E Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori, Governor of Central Bank of the UAE, delivered insightful opening remarks which set the tone for the sessions that followed. H.E Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori also held a one on one session entitled ‘The Pursuit of a Stable and Robust Financial System’, delivering his expertise and insights on what actions policymakers can take to mitigate the risks posed from increasing global debt, credit quality, and market volatility.
Speaking at the MEBF, H.E AbdulAziz Ghurair, said: “As the official representative body of the UAE Banking Sector, UBF advocates the interests of the entire industry for the benefit of the wider country and region. To future-proof and safeguard the sector, a spirit of collaboration is crucial. By gathering key industry players for the 7th edition of the Middle East Banking Forum, we are stimulating the rich dialogue and debate, and exchange of ideas necessary to further build and sustain a thriving banking ecosystem in the Middle East.
“The banking sector as a whole has a responsibility to help grow and develop society, so we are thrilled by the commitment, support, and enthusiasm today’s event received from our industry peers. I extend a special thanks to all participants that made this year’s Middle East Banking Forum another huge success, and I am confident they all took away valuable insights and expert knowledge that will help them achieve further growth. By better preparing banks for the future, we are securing a better future for the UAE and Middle East.”
Throughout the rest of the day, thought-leaders and experts took to the stage for a series of captivating presentations, lively panel debates, and exclusive on-stage interviews. Participants included Jamie Woodruff, Europe’s No.1 Ethical Hacker, who conducted an interactive session on ‘Hacking and Cybersecurity’. He demonstrated to the audience how easy it is to hack into someone’s phone, and the steps they can take to safeguard their data and privacy.
Greg Cross, Artificial Intelligence Pioneer, and Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer of Soul Machines, also conducted an interactive session entitled ‘The Future of Human and Machine’, in which the audience interacted with a HumanOS to explore the future of human machine cooperation, and re-imagine what is possible in the delivery and underlying economics of highly personalized customer experiences and specialized knowledge.
During his participation in a panel discussion about banking for millennials, Philip King, Global Head of Retail Banking, ADIB, said: “The Middle East Banking Forum represents a key moment in the calendar for UAE banks to discuss the major challenges and opportunities facing the sector. As a bank with a growing segment of millennial customers, we look forward to sharing our experience and expertise in creating a dynamic, digital banking proposition to serve their evolving financial needs and expectations. Through our digital innovation strategy, we continue to look at ways to create a simpler, more convenient banking experience for all of our customers, whether it’s through the ADIB mobile app, our online platform or across our branch network.”
Shahebaz Khan, Visa’s General Manager for UAE, said: “We’ve been the exclusive payments partner of the Middle East Banking Forum for the past several years, and we continue to see it as a great platform for us to engage with key industry players and to share with them our insights on the region’s digital payments landscape. I had the opportunity to share some interesting facts about the banking and payment preferences of millennials and how we can work with banks to attract and retain this fast-growing, large population segment as customers. At Visa, we are committed to collaborating with key industry stakeholders and partners such as the UAE Banks Federation to support the growth of the region’s banking and digital payments ecosystem.”
The event also featured other renowned experts and speakers participating across five engaging sessions: ‘The Future of Finance - Banks versus Big Tech’; ‘The Next Stage of Evolution for the Global Islamic Finance Industry’; ‘Banking for Millennials - A roadmap to Loyal Customers’; and ‘Managing Risk in a Digital World’.
In addition, a competition for the best innovative and creative banking ideas entitled ‘Wild Idea?’ was held in which young entrepreneurs with wild ideas discussed how the industry needs to change for the benefit of all stakeholders.
The forum included two side activities for Mustafa Al Nashawy, Professor of Calligraphy Art at the Department of Culture; and Maitha Alattar, a local artist who specializes in live, interactive art involving audiences.
A special interval during the Middle East Banking Forum was taken to commemorate UAE Flag Day, with all 500 participants taking a moment to celebrate the country's past, present, and future, and remember the efforts of the founders of UAE.
Middle East Banking Forum official prestigious banking sponsors are: First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) as the gold sponsor; Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank(ADIB), Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD), Bank of Sharjah (BOS), and Bank Of Khartoum (BOK) are the lead banking silver sponsors; Visa is the exclusive payments partner; Al Suwaidi & Co is the associate sponsor; Sky News Arabia is the regional Broadcast Partner; and CNBC Arabia is the official Business broadcaster.
For the latest updates from the Middle East Banking Forum, please visit: www.middleeastbankingforum.com