How strategic communications can take the UAE’s fintech fever to new heights

By Astrid French, Senior Director based in UAE

With world-class infrastructure, business-friendly taxation policies, and significant industry expertise, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is continuing to show itself as a ripe destination for business – able to withstand economic downturns while many other regions around the world face an uphill battle.

We turn our attention to fintech to see a clear example of this in action. Despite dwindling global investment in fintech, the UAE bucks this trend with total investment soaring 92 per cent in 2023. Pro-fintech regulations and a high adoption rate of digital banking tools are creating an ideal habitat for the sector to thrive. As a result, firms are increasingly looking to the UAE as an essential market for growth.

But with great opportunity, comes great competition, and firms are vying to stand out against the growing crowd. Those who cut through this noise with smart, strategic marketing and communications will ‘own the night’ and fast put distance between themselves and others.

So, what is the size of the opportunity, and how can UAE fintech firms make the most of it?

Climbing the ladder of fintech success

The UAE is deeply rooted in its commitment to digital transformation, championing technologies such as generative artificial intelligence (AI) to foster entrepreneurship and innovation. Predictions indicate that by 2030, AI will contribute US$97 billion to the UAE’s economy, constituting nearly 14 per cent of GDP.

With the next wave of digitisation already in full swing, the UAE offers an optimal location for businesses to explore these possibilities and boost their brand visibility in a growing digital ecosystem.

For instance, the open banking market in the region is booming, projected to reach $1.17bn in 2024. By enabling financial and non-financial institutions to partner and share financial data with regulated fintechs, open banking is dismantling the walls that traditionally limited financial services, creating a connected financial community in the UAE. Opening up secure access to financial data offers firms a treasure trove of information, enabling firms to develop a rich array of personalised products and services and cater to evolving customer needs. Many firms in the region are leveraging strategic communications to showcase the UAE’s open banking prowess, helping to attract attention from investors and stakeholders worldwide.

Collaboration extends beyond the four walls of the UAE’s fintech community, too. The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has created an Innovation Hub, home to more than 700 tech firms, regulators, venture capital firms, and educational bodies, working to share knowledge and collaborate. Its FinTech Accelerator Programme offers networking and mentorship opportunities for fintech startups, concentrating on areas like open banking, AI, and automation in effort to enhance financial literacy. By communicating how these advancements are driving the UAE forward as a budding fintech hub, fintech firms can position themselves as key players shaping the future of finance.

The region is also building a growing voice on sustainable finance, and communications are playing a key role in spotlighting this progress. Policymakers and regulators in the UAE are using their platforms to stress the importance of technology to achieve sustainable finance goals, encouraging active engagement from fintech firms to materialise sustainability promises. Fintech organisations in the region are already harnessing AI and blockchain to enhance ESG reporting and transparency, as well as integrating sustainability into investment decisions. Events such as Fintech Abu Dhabi, hosted in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), showcase the advancements being made in sustainable fintech, attracting attention from media and key stakeholders. The ADGM has garnered worldwide recognition for its progressive regulatory frameworks and support for cross-border business activity – bolstering the region’s reputation as a trailblazer in using technology for positive societal impact.

Owning the narrative

So, fintech downturn? It doesn’t look like it in the UAE. It is a fertile ground for fintech innovation, attracting major players in the scene, best-in-class talent, and hefty funding rounds.

But competition will only grow fiercer. A strategic communications and marketing strategy is critical for firms to stand out in all the right ways. If you want to elevate your brand in the UAE, then talk to us at Aspectus where our Middle East specialists can guide you through your next stage of growth.


Q: What sets the UAE apart in terms of fintech investment despite global trends?

A: The UAE benefits from pro-fintech regulations, as well as a healthy domestic economy and growing consumer appetite for digital financial services. Consumers are increasingly seeking seamless, sophisticated banking tools, leaving many entry points for fintech firms in the region.

Q: How does the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) support fintech innovation?

A: The DIFC’s Innovation Hub serves as a collaborative space for over 700 tech firms, venture capital firms, and regulators. Through initiatives like the FinTech Accelerator Programme, it provides networking, mentorship, and support in key areas to enhance financial literacy and drive fintech growth.

Q: What is open banking?

A: Open banking is a process through which banks and financial institutions can allow third parties to access customer data, with their permission, through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs). This helps to create more personalised offerings, such as tailored budgeting tips.

Q: What fintech events are hosted in the UAE?

A: Some of the biggest events in the industry are hosted in the UAE. Fintech Abu Dhabi is held in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), attracting global attention. The Dubai FinTech Summit is another event pioneering the next wave of digitalisation in financial services.

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