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Startup upswing: Dubai’s DIFC sees huge interest from Asian fintechs

December 7, 2022

Number of fintech, innovation firms joining hub this year exceeds last year’s total 

A growing number of companies in the financial technology and innovation sectors are looking to set up their business in Dubai Financial Centre (DIFC), the financial hub said on Tuesday.

Among those showing huge interest are businesses from Singapore, Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific, with entrepreneurs attracted by government initiatives, such as the new long-term golden visa options and incentives for tech industry players and professionals, the DIFC said in a statement.

The number of fintech and innovation firms joining the hub during the first nine months of the year has already “exceeded the total” for the whole of 2021.

Its fintech accelerator initiative, called DIFC FinTech Hive, has also now attracted more than 3,000 applications from all over the world.

“DIFC is currently seeing elevated levels of interest from fintechs in Singapore, Southeast Asian and Asia-Pacific markets,” DIFC said.

“They are seeking new opportunities to scale beyond their regional borders and into new economies with demand for their products and services.”

Businesses in the FinTech and innovation sectors are also getting more funding. Between January and September 2022, FinTech firms based in DIFC secured more than AED 2 billion ($559 million), according to DIFC FinTech Hive’s 2022 report.

Overall funding activity for fintech nearly doubled in 2021, with startups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region raising $998 million last year, up by 78% from 2020.


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