The Finance World Magazine| Edition: August 2022

The August edition of The Finance World Magazine (TFW) is out now! Featured interview with Sharif Al-Badawi, CEO of Dubai Future District Fund gives you a brief about investments taking place in different projects and the creation of funds for them. Through this edition, we also bring you insights on topics like the BNPL revolution, guidelines for corporate tax filing, UAE’s role in Fintech, and many more key informational articles in the finance sector. Also, stay well informed with our up-to-date news segments covering all financial sectors. We have got something different for everyone and we believe in delivering true value to our readers.

The August edition of The Finance World Magazine (TFW) is out now! Featured interview with Sharif Al-Badawi, CEO of Dubai Future District Fund gives you a brief about investments taking place in different projects and the creation of funds for them.

Through this edition, we also bring you insights on topics like the BNPL revolution, guidelines for corporate tax filing, UAE’s role in Fintech, and many more key informational articles in the finance sector. Also, stay well informed with our up-to-date news segments covering all financial sectors. We have got something different for everyone and we believe in delivering true value to our readers.


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Masdar: Global leader of clean energy

Are NFTs the next revenue generation stream?

BNPL: A new replacement for credit cards?

Guidelines to keep in mind for CT

August 2022 thefinanceworld.com








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Opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door

– Milton Berle

In this edition, we bring you the current trends and updates from

the finance sector that include corporate results, startups, banking,

funding and investment, fintech, digital banking, and many more.

Dubai believes in creating opportunities for expansion of the business

community and creating a healthy environment for competition.

Our cover story featuring Sharif El-Badawi, CEO of Dubai Future

District Fund, highlights his ideas about the aim of bolstering economic

development in Dubai and upcoming investments in start-ups as well

as the creation of funds for new projects. Understand how UAE is

accelerating toward digital

transformation and sustainable

UAE is actively influencing and

constructing the future. It is

at the forefront of developing

an innovative paradigm in

addition to exploring and

fostering chances for growth and

prosperity. The nation aspires to

strengthen global partnerships

and international cooperation,

and also to invest in ideas that

will benefit humanity.

development from our interview

with Marwa AL Mansoori, CEO

of Prosper Partners Consultancy

and Board Member in Abu Dhabi

Chambers of Commerce and


UAE is actively influencing

and constructing the future. It

is at the forefront of developing

an innovative paradigm in

addition to exploring and

fostering chances for growth and

prosperity. The nation aspires to

strengthen global partnerships

and international cooperation,

and also to invest in ideas that

will benefit humanity. In addition

to the latest news circulating, we also present to you UAE’s growing role

as a Fintech hub, BNPL revolution, NFTs changing the revenue stream,

and many more things.

The world of finance revolves around managing money and how to

use that money to fund projects and companies, the ongoing flow of

investment and putting them into correct sectors is what makes UAE

the evolving attraction in today’s world as well as the future. Our goal

is to provide our readers with key informational stories and keep

them updated about ongoing movements within finance impacting the

economy as a whole.

We in the media industry work towards gathering relevant and

impactful information and sending them to you now and in the future.

Under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin

Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE will unswervingly continue to implement its

comprehensive strategy and vision to build a sustainable knowledgebased

economy that ensures a prosperous future for generations

to come.

Meanwhile, stay safe, stay healthy.

Enjoy the read, my friends, and keep on creating opportunities.

Please recycle the magazine once you've finished reading it

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 3

Contents AUGUST


P11 | Planning to begin

investing? Hear us out first!


P12 | CBUAE’s Annual Report

2021 and its analysis

P14 | UAE Banking News

P16 | UAE banks’ contributions

to GDP growth



P08 | Masdar: Global

leader of clean energy


P21 | UAE’s growth as a

Fintech hub

P23 | Fintech News


P24 | Business Leaders in Focus

P31 | Business News


P32 | BNPL: A new replacement

for credit cards?

P34 | Mergers and Acquisitions




Sharif El-Badawi,

CEO of Dubai Future

District Fund

4 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

Contents AUGUST



P46 | Faisal Al Haroun, SVP of

Tap Payments Group


P52 | Guidelines to keep in mind

while corporate tax filing


P36 | Marwa Al Mansoori,

CEO of Prosper Partners

Consultancy and Board Member

in Abu Dhabi Chambers of

Commerce and Industry


P47 | Rising flow of AI and VR

Start-ups in UAE

P50 | Start-up News



P53 | Mudassir Sheikha, CEO

and Co-founder of Careem


P59 | Healthcare Finance

Management in UAE



P64 | Union Coop Lists its shares

on DFM

P65 | Nasdaq Dubai welcomes

$3 billion worth US government



P66 | Aviation industry’s

upcoming contribution to UAE





P39 | Different SWFs within GCC

and their ongoing investment deals

P42 | Investment and Funding



P45 | Cryptocurrency News


P56 | Are NFTs

the next revenue



6 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022


Masdar: Global leader of

clean energy

The creation of a green and sustainable city in a desert landscape is the ambitious

goal for Masdar City in Abu Dhabi. The project is founded on a number of urban

planning principles, with a focus on optimal utilisation of the region’s resources.

Masdar is located in the Masdar City area of the capital Abu Dhabi—as its name

implies, it is dedicated to clean energy research development and application.

Masdar Institute also focuses on new technologies related to the sustainable

development of cities, buildings, and infrastructures.

It was founded in 2007 as an

independent, non-profit research

institute focused on advancing clean

energy technologies and sustainable

development. Its mission is to develop,

commercialize and distribute advanced

clean energy technologies that reduce

greenhouse gas emissions, enhance

resilience against climate change

impacts and improve human well-being

worldwide. It is also committed to

fostering innovation within the global

community to make these technologies

available at an affordable cost.

In 2010, the Masdar Institute was

designated by Abu Dhabi’s Crown

Prince Sheikh Mohammed as the

center for research and training in

clean energy technologies for all of the

UAE’s seven emirates. Since then, it

has been working with more than 80

universities worldwide to develop new

solutions for addressing global issues

like climate change or water scarcity.

UAE Health 2071: Masdar as the

clean energy city

The UAE is well known for its

technological achievements in

the fields of renewable energy,

biotechnology, information technology,

and advanced manufacturing. It was

ranked as the number one country in

the world for life sciences startups.

In addition to its technological

achievements, Masdar City will be

home to many innovative companies

including Tesla Motors, whose founder

Elon Musk has been advising on the

development of Masdar City’s solar

power plants.

It will be powered by solar panels

installed on rooftops throughout

the city as well as ground-mounted

arrays owned by Tesla Motors. Masdar

City’s green energy system will also

include water recycling systems

that will harvest rainwater for use

onsite through an integrated waterpurification


● The UAE’s Masdar Initiative is a

new city being built to be the world’s

first carbon-neutral city of the future.

It will be completely powered by

renewable energy.

● The Masdar City of the future is

set to be an exciting and inspiring

place that will harness the latest

technologies, including solar power

and wind turbines, to help it become

a world-class city with zero carbon


● Masdar City has been designed

with sustainability in mind, with

its construction phase focused on

reducing its environmental impact

to as little as possible. The site is

located near Abu Dhabi and next to

the existing Mohammed bin Rashid

International Airport – all of which

make it a great destination for visitors

looking for an eco-friendly experience

while they explore this region.

● Masdar City’s location makes it

ideal for people who want to visit

Abu Dhabi but don’t necessarily have

time or money for a long trip. The

city is within easy reach from Europe

through the Middle East and Asia, so

there won’t be any delays on flights or

transfers when you arrive there!

● In the not-so-distant future, city

will develop with clean energy at its

heart. Masdar City, designed by British

architect Norman Foster and home to

the International Renewable Energy

Agency (IRENA), aims to use zero

carbon and produce zero waste in the


● The UAE’s renewable energy

pioneer is home to the Masdar Institute

of Science & Technology, a researchfocused

graduate school supported

by the Massachusetts Institute of

Technology, which is committed to

advancing sustainable development

within the region.

● The superlative city will be

powered by solar panels, and will

be climate-controlled to reduce heat

and humidity via a network of vents

between buildings - the temperature

will never rise above 28 degrees


● All emissions produced within

8 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

Masdar City is expected

to be the first city in Abu

Dhabi with a complete

electrical grid powered

by renewable energy. The

clean energy will come

from a massive solar

power plant, which will

generate enough

power for more than

100,000 homes.

Masdar City will be captured and

stored underneath the streets.

● All cars will be electric but short

distances between buildings mean

commuters can walk or cycle to work


● The clean energy city has started in

Masdar and it is growing fast!


Masdar, a company that is focused

on clean energy and development,

was started in Abu Dhabi by Sheik

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

He wanted to create a place where

people could find jobs, they could

get educated, and could pursue their


The goal was simple: create the

best city in the world. The first step

was to remove carbon dioxide from

the atmosphere; then, Masdar would

become self-sustainable. The city

would be powered by renewable

energy sources like solar and wind

power as well as geothermal heating.

It has been built to be selfsustainable

and will run entirely on

renewable energy sources—including

solar panels and wind turbines—which

will make it one of the greenest cities

in the world.

The project has since grown into one

of the most prominent clean energy

projects in the world, with significant

interest from other governments,

corporations, and private investors

looking for successful examples of

sustainable development.

Soon, Masdar City is expected to

be the first city in Abu Dhabi with a

complete electrical grid powered by

renewable energy. The clean energy

will come from a massive solar power

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 9


The development

of a new city in the

north, which will be

built on top of the

existing city. The

new city will be

designed to be more


friendly and

sustainable than

the current city. It

will also have more

space for business

and commercial


plant, which will generate enough

power for more than 100,000 homes.

The project has been developed by

Masdar Institute and is part of a wider

effort to reduce carbon emissions and

improve energy efficiency in the city.

This means that instead of using fossil

fuels, the city’s power will come from

clean sources such as wind and solar


Masdar City is already home to

other green initiatives including an

innovative waste management system

that has been in operation since 2013.

The system uses local composting

facilities and compost bins that can

collect organic waste from restaurants,

hotels, and shops in the city center.

Upcoming projects and

development in Masdar

Masdar City will be home to some of

the most advanced technologies in the


In addition to its role as a global

center for energy and clean technology,

Masdar City will also become one

of the most innovative cities on

Earth. The city will be home to an

established research and development

community, with programs in genetics,

nanotechnology, and renewable energy.

The city will also host an innovation

hub called “The Hub” that will bring

together all types of industries under

one roof to encourage collaboration

between businesses and scientists.

The development of a new city in

the north, which will be built on top of

the existing city. The new city will be

designed to be more environmentally

friendly and sustainable than the

current city. It will also have more

space for business and commercial


As the world’s first carbon-neutral

city, Masdar is constantly working to

develop new solutions for the energy

and environmental challenges facing

our planet.

To support these efforts, Masdar

has recently announced several new

projects and developments. These


- A new solar power plant in Abu

Dhabi that will produce enough clean

energy to power more than 1,000

homes at full capacity.

- The construction of a new research

center dedicated to developing

renewable energy technologies.

- A new green building certification

program that allows companies to

reduce their carbon footprint by

up to 30%.

This project aimed to create a

community in Abu Dhabi that would be

sustainable, economic, and efficient.

Many challenges face development

and clean energy is one of them.

Countries like China have massive

challenges concerning climate change,

but it isn’t necessarily us who has to

fix the problem. We can instead help

new cities like Masdar become more

sustainable. Even more important than

the creation of the project was the

education that came from it. Learning

how to build new structures in a

more stable and natural environment

was an amazing lesson for future

generations to come. The result may

be a community like no other, but its

biggest impact will be on what energy

and technology look like for the next

generation of developers.

10 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

Personal Finance

Planning to begin investing? Hear us out first!

Money management is an art and is often considered a tough game to crack.

Personal finance is an amalgamation of an individual’s earnings, savings,

and expenses totally based on their needs, wants, and preferences. Personal

financing provides ease when it comes to future financial stability and a better

standard of living.

Income, expenses, savings,

investments, and protection

are the five major aspects that

affect personal finances and play

a significant part in decisionmaking.

Rent, payments, taxes, and

other expenses are examples of

expenditures, whereas income is the

steady flow of cash. Bonds, mutual

funds, fixed deposits, stocks, and

other investment vehicles are used to

diversify income sources or ensure

financial stability in the future. Savings

are often the funds left over after

all costs and investments, whereas

protection includes things like

financial stability, life insurance, health

insurance, and many other types of


Tracking our own finances is one of

several considerations that must be

made before making any investment.

A budget should be created in advance

that diversifies savings, income, and

expenses for effective management.

Individuals should have an emergency

fund in addition to budgeting. Tax

management is an art because there

are various legal ways to avoid paying

taxes that may be claimed as tax

deductions and credits. There are

numerous ways to invest, some of

which involve stocks or even loans,

and as a result, investments can be


One of the most crucial things a

person can do with their money is

making financial growth. There are

many people who intend to make

investments in various economic areas,

but many of them struggle to choose

what and where to do so. Before

making any investment, it’s crucial

to use caution when weighing your


Before making any investment,

there are several factors to consider,

including capital, alternatives, risk

tolerance, risk at hand, and most

crucially, the expected profits. There

are numerous investing prospects, but

they frequently exceed our means.

Choosing what to invest in requires

careful consideration of the capital

available. While some investments just

need a single payment, others require

ongoing monthly contributions.

There are three main asset

classes—stocks, bonds, and cash.

Market conditions that favor one

asset’s performance frequently

result in mediocre or subpar results

for the other category. When an

asset category’s investment return

declines, investors are still able to

make up for their losses by making

substantially superior investment

returns in other asset categories.

A budget should be created in

advance that diversifies savings,

income, and expenses for effective

management. Individuals should

have an emergency fund in

addition to budgeting.

One must consider whether they

want their money to increase quickly

while making any investments and

whether taking risks is a necessary

component. Similar considerations

include wanting to protect one’s

capital in the safest manner or keeping

it from depreciating in value. These

inquiries or understandings enable

the investor to make better use of the

available investment opportunities by

enabling them to determine the type of

investment product that is suitable.

Many people occasionally make

investments without thinking about

what would be best for them, which

can lead to several financial issues in

addition to losses. One must be clear

in their plan and understand what they

hope to get out of future investments of

this nature.

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 11

UAE Banking

CBUAE’s Annual Report 2021 and its analysis

The United Arab Emirates

central bank’s annual report

provides information on the

steps taken to promote the

nation’s economic recovery

and expanding financial

sector. The country’s GDP success

is discussed in the annual report,

along with how the financial system is

positioned to help the UAE’s economy

as it enters a recovery phase. GDP

growth showed an uptick to 3.8 percent

in 2021 and is anticipated to soar to 5.4

percent in 2022.

The CBUAE examined the

vulnerabilities through appropriate

measures and conducted several risk

assessments, scenario-based stress

tests, and macro-financial analyses

encompassing the whole UAE financial


The extensive actions taken by

the CBUAE as part of the Targeted

Economic Support Scheme (TESS)

significantly contributed to the

financial system’s protection and

revival. TESS’s deployment was

successful in achieving its goals of

easing cash flow concerns for impacted

business and retail borrowers,

preserving acceptable liquidity

circumstances, and reducing pandemicrelated

operational difficulties. Strong

foundations and ample economic

financing capacity were maintained by

the UAE financial system.

The TESS deferral program

supported 322,000 borrowers with

The CBUAE created its

new strategic plan for

2023–2026 in 2021 based

on five key areas of focus:

adherence to pertinent

international standards,

sustainability, innovation

and technology,


partnership, and

transparency, and

construction of a


central bank.

12 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

“In 2022, further FinTech initiatives will accelerate financial

inclusion, and develop our round-the-clock banking

operations, Open Finance, and cloud-based infrastructure.

Supported by risk-based advanced analytics and

AI-driven supervisory technology, this will reinforce the

UAE’s role as a leading regional and global business hub.”

temporary constraints because of the

pandemic’s detrimental effects on

household and corporate cash flows,

playing a critical role in UAE society.

Banks played a huge role in

stabilizing the country’s economy and

liquidity conditions in the market. The

UAE’s GDP increased by Dh1.91 billion

($520 million) over the previous twelve

months thanks in large part to the

Emirates Development Bank (EDB).

The Advances to Stable Resources

Ratio increased from 77.5 percent at

the end of March 2021 to 77.7 percent

in June 2021, demonstrating the

banking sector’s structural liquidity. As

the UAE economy continues to recover

and thrive from the pandemic slow

down and reap the rewards of hosting

the Expo 2020 Dubai, it is anticipated

that the financial assets of the country

will increase by 8 percent to 10 percent

in 2022.

The better investor mood and

economic recovery were the key

drivers of the stock markets’ upward

trend globally in the second quarter

of financial development. The share

price index of the Abu Dhabi Securities

Exchange increased by 15.6% quarterly

and by 59.9% on an annual basis,

while the index of the Dubai Financial

Market gained by 2.3% every quarter

and by 44.0% on an annual basis.

The CBUAE created its new strategic

plan for 2023–2026 in 2021 based on

five key areas of focus: adherence

to pertinent international standards,

sustainability, innovation and

technology, collaboration, partnership,

and transparency, and construction of

a high–performance central bank. With

the new approach, the CBUAE hopes

to enhance the competitiveness of the

UAE and rank among the top central

banks in the world for maintaining

monetary and financial stability. The

new strategic plan’s main goals are

to increase monetary and financial

stability, boost public confidence in

the financial system, and reinforce the

insurance industry’s role in providing

essential security for society and the


To enhance the finance system,

CBUAE has taken steps to undertake

the “digital transformation”. Digital

transformation will facilitate

innovation and will improve the

competitiveness of the country.

CBUAE has planned to implement

these measures in the upcoming year


To address the issues with traditional

cross-border payments, CBUAE has

partnered with several banks, including

the Bank of Thailand, the Hong Kong

Monetary Authority, the Bank of

International Settlements Innovation

Hub in Hong Kong, and the People’s

Bank of China’s Digital Currency

Institute. This project is known as

the Multiple CBDC (mCBDC) Bridge.

There are 22 participants from the

private sector in the initiative. In 2021,

three reports on the technological

architecture, the operational model,

and 15 potential business use cases

were released.

To provide a safe and effective

environment for data sharing,

financial and product innovation,

and collaboration among financial

institutions and authorized third party

providers, CBUAE has also established

an Open Finance strategy.

Saif Humaid Hamad Al Dhaheri, the

Assistant Governor of the Strategy,

financial infrastructure, and digital

transformation stated, “In 2022, further

FinTech initiatives will accelerate

financial inclusion, and develop our

round-the-clock banking operations,

Open Finance, and cloud-based

infrastructure. Supported by risk-based

advanced analytics and AI-driven

supervisory technology, this will

reinforce the UAE’s role as a leading

regional and global business hub.”

To improvise the financial sector

and adopt the latest and advanced

technologies the CBUAE will work

with the financial industry to create a

financial services cloud infrastructure.

To encourage growth and innovation

in the financial sector, this effort

intends to make it easier to design

and manage a robust and secure cloud

infrastructure while guaranteeing

compliance with industry best

practices and relevant data protection

standards. In the event of success,

the UAE would become the premier

provider of MENA financial cloud


CBUAE also plans to develop and

create a national e-KYC platform that

can improve customer onboarding

and ongoing and enhance financial

inclusion. The e-KYC platform has

several advantages, including improved

regulatory compliance, improved

client privacy, and data security, and

reduced operational expenses through


August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 13

UAE Banking

UAE Banks Federation

reviews banking

sector challenges

The newly established council is to provide

a broader platform for CEOs of member

banks to share their opinions and widen

decision-making bases. Members of the

CEOs Advisory Council of UAE Banks Federation

(UBF) held its third quarterly meeting of the year

online, which was presided over by Abdulaziz Al

Ghurair, chairman of UAE Banks Federation. The

meeting discussed the changing dynamics in the

UAE banking sector and the challenges faced, with

a focus on joint efforts with the Central Bank of

the UAE, as well as the nationwide campaign of

fraud awareness that it launched together with the

Central Bank and Abu Dhabi and Dubai Police.

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority

to invest in TMF Group

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority

has agreed to invest in TMF

Group, the corporate-trust

services provider owned by

CVC Capital Partners that had been

exploring an Initial Public Offering. A

total of €1.75 billion ($1.78 billion) was

paid by CVC to acquire the company

in 2017. According to the people, TMF

expects double-digit revenue growth

this year. As a result, IPO candidates

are increasingly exploring other

options for raising funds. CVC in 2021

attempted to take over Dutch tax

administration specialist Intertrust NV

and merge it with TMF in a deal that

would have created a global giant in

tax administration and corporate trust


Emirates NBD


national digital

talent program

Emirates NBD has partnered with

the Minister of State for artificial

intelligence, digital economy,

and remote work applications

office to launch the ‘National Digital

Talent Program’, as part of its efforts to

support the UAE government’s National

Strategy for Artificial Intelligence 2031.

In line with the program, to provide the

necessary resources to equip young

UAE nationals with critical skills and

practical knowledge needed to flourish

in the field of digital and information

technologies including artificial

intelligence. Emirates NBD has signed

a memorandum of understanding

(MoU) with partners including Higher

Colleges of Technology (HCT) and

University of Sharjah (UoS).

14 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

NBB signs


partnership with


Citi UAE introduces recycled

plastic for corporate cards

The National Bank of Bahrain

(NBB) and global payments and

technology company Mastercard

have teamed up to elevate their

existing offerings and provide NBB’s

customers with a differentiated, digitalfirst

experience with value-added

benefits. The seven-year partnership

signing took place during Mastercard’s

Mena Executive Council’s inaugural

event that was held in Paris, France.

Furthermore, the partnership includes

a credit offering and the launch of the

bank’s highest tier of cards, targeted

at ultra-high-net-worth individuals

(UHNWI), offering priceless lifestyle

and travel benefits and experiences.


Bank signs



with Galaxy


Mashreq Bank has partnered

with Dubai-based Galaxy

Racer (GXR), a transmedia

powerhouse, to launch a

content series and gaming tournaments

and support 10 of the region’s top

content creators. Commenting on the

partnership, the Founder and CEO

of Galaxy Racer, Paul Roy, said: “By

combining our shared values and

beliefs to nurture the next generation

of gaming talent and content creators,

we believe we can create some fun and

engaging content and activations for

our always-growing community.”

Every rPVC card will be made with

85% recycled industrial waste

per finished card and represents

a reduction in CO2 emissions

during the card manufacturing process,

delivering a reduction of 36% CO2

emissions in comparison to a standard

PVC card. Citi is committed to its

Zand gets


license from


Zand, the first digital bank

to provide both retail and

corporate services, announced

that it had been granted a

banking license from the Central Bank

of the UAE to become Zand Bank, a

fully licensed bank. By successfully

securing a UAE banking license,

Zand is now authorized and regulated

to operate as a fully independent

commercial bank. Zand’s chairman,

Mohamed Alabbar said, “We’re

thrilled that Zand has reached another

milestone and is now a fully licensed

bank. With a UAE banking license,

we look forward to commencing

our innovative banking services and

contributing to the UAE’s legacy

of innovation as well as economic


goal of achieving net zero emissions

associated with its financing by 2050,

and net zero emissions for operations

by 2030. With these goals in mind, the

focus is on the environmental impact

of its processes and how it can provide

sustainable products and solutions.

ADCB joins the

‘Buna’ system

to enhance




Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

(ADCB) announced that it has

joined the Arab Monetary Fund’s

(AMF) Buna system. ADCB

delivered a strong performance in the

first quarter of 2022, reporting a net profit

increase of 32 percent year-on-year (YoY)

to Dhs1.483bn, which is equivalent to

a return on average tangible equity of

12.6 percent. The platform also offers

more stringent levels of governance

and transparency through increased

oversight from central banks as well

as effective reporting and compliance


August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 15

UAE Banking

UAE banks’ contributions to GDP growth

The World Expo activities and

the Fifa World Cup which is

scheduled to take place in

Qatar in the fourth quarter are

used by CBUAE to emphasize

GDP growths. The UAE

banking sector is the largest in the

Arab world with 1.3 times assets to that

of its GDP.

With 23 domestic banks and 28

foreign banks, the central bank of

the UAE serves as the main financial

regulatory body. Five of the largest

banks in the nation own 60% of

the sector’s assets. The four main

categories of banks are commercial,

industrial, merchant, and Islamic.

Top banks in the UAE are First Abu

Dhabi Bank with total assets worth

AED 940.75 Billion, Emirates NBD

worth assets AED 695.06, Abu Dhabi

Commercial Bank with total of AED

395.82 Billion assets, First Gulf Bank

with total assets amounted to US$ 66

Billion, Dubai Islamic Bank with total

assets worth AED 291.71 Billion and

Mashreq Bank with AED 162.25 Billion

worth assets.

With a total value of 2.61 trillion

dirhams, the banking sector assets of

the UAE exceeded those of all other

Gulf Cooperation nations. The banking

industry in the UAE is well known

for providing top-notch customer

service is currently becoming more

globally diversified. Recent analyses

of the banking industry in the UAE

that looked at its resources, personnel,

interest rates, and remuneration show

that it has been steadily expanding.

The UAE’s economy

increased by 8.2 percent

in the first quarter of

the year 2022. With the

OPEC+ agreement, there

has been an increase

in oil production, with

hydrocarbon GDP rising

by 13% annually. A strong

rise was observed in

the non-oil sector with

6 percent growth as the

country was benefited

by the ease in travel


16 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

The present objectives of the banking

sector are to continue expansion, draw

in more internationally renowned

banks while enhancing the standing

of domestic institutions, ensure the

stability of the financial system, and

establish strong risk departments. The

UAE’s stable banking sector growth

contributes to the country’s reputation

both domestically and abroad.

Banks are quickly automating

operations to provide seamless

customer service in a virtual

environment by utilizing digital

transformation strategies like

blockchain, artificial intelligence, and

machine learning. Banks are expected

by stakeholders to contribute to efforts

aimed at a more just and sustainable

future. As a result, environmental,

social, and governance policy

evaluation is receiving more attention

from international regulators.

In addition to reporting the bank’s

first-ever net profit of AED 5.1 billion,

FAB also achieved a net gain of AED

2.8 billion from the sale of the majority

stake in payments company Magnati.

Operational income and earnings per

share for the quarter totaled 4.5 billion

AED and 1.84 AED, respectively, in

addition to the net profit.

Speaking of future plans and

initiatives, FAB wants to increase its

presence in certain new markets. As

the UAE continues to be one of Iraq’s

most significant economic partners,

the Shanghai branch, which opened a

representative office in March, served

as a strategic addition to the country’s

geographic reach.

Emirates NBD in Dubai reported a

net profit of Dh2.7 billion for the first

quarter of 2022, up 18% year over year

and 36% sequentially.

The increase was due to Q1 2022

setting records for client transactions,

deposit growth, and retail lending.

Due to a better loan mix and lower

deposit rates, total income increased

by 3% on an annual basis to Dhs6.4

billion. Additionally, the bank has a 25%

market share for debit and credit card

transactions in the UAE. The GCC’s

2022 GDP growth predictions were

updated by Emirates NBD Research to

reflect anticipated increases in oil and

gas output.

Emirates Development Bank plans

on contributing $520m to the UAE’s

GDP. Dr.Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of

Industry and Advanced Technology

and EDB board chairman underlines

the bank’s new strategy and economic

contribution, “not just to the UAE’s

industrial sector, but also to the

nation’s economic diversification,

global competitiveness and long-term,

sustainable economic growth”. The

bank’s new strategy was introduced

to aid in the industrial advancement

of the United Arab Emirates, speed up

the use of cutting-edge technology, and

fosters the expansion of SMEs there.

It focuses on how big businesses and

SMEs are growing and developing in

five important industries, including

manufacturing, cutting-edge

technology, infrastructure, health care,

and food security.

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 17

Cover Story

Sharif El-Badawi

CEO of Dubai Future District Fund

The idea that two of us

in a garage are going to

sew up a little app and

disrupt this giant banking

industry is just not

realistic. It happens when

you combine traditional

incumbent industries with

innovative technologies

and teams.

18 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

Sharif El-Badawi, CEO of Dubai Future

District Fund

Sharif El-Badawi, CEO of Dubai Future District Fund, a fund anchored by

Dubai Future Foundation and the DIFC to invest in the future of finance

and future economies in Dubai, the UAE, and the broader region. He was

a Managing Partner of Plus Venture Capital (+VC), one of the leading seed stage

investment firms in the MENA, and co-founded and managed the first US-based

venture capital firm with a dedicated fund for the MENA region, 500 Falcons,

which has invested in over 180 start-ups across 15 countries.

Exclusive to The Finance World Magazine

Please tell us a bit about what the

Dubai Future District Fund is and

what is the main goal of this fund?

The Dubai Future District Fund is

a venture capital fund of funds and

direct investment vehicle that was

set up by the DIFC and Dubai Future

Foundation as the venture platform for

Dubai. Its main goal is to invest in more

VCs around the region and directly

into the high-growth start-ups that

are paving the path toward innovative

and technologies across the future of

finance and future economies.

How do you describe your journey

as a VC and investor supporting

new projects?

My journey is very common, starting

as an entrepreneur as part of different

types of start-ups. Post the web 1.0

movement, I got lucky and joined a

start-up, well-funded by big names

and the company ended up getting

acquired by Google. I learned how to

be a technology executive at a largescale

company, with a different sort of

DNA, and a different set of skills. After

leaving Google I launched the first

U.S. fund to have a dedicated fund for

the MENA region. We invested in 180

companies from 2017 to 2020. I’d say

it’s a typical flow from an entrepreneur

to a big tech executive to an investor.

What’s important for the upcoming

projects and ideas to be futureready?

The way we think about the story

of helping build the ecosystem from a

capital infusion perspective is by trying

to identify the different gaps, which

come in different layers. The very first

layer is the capital that is invested in

the VC funds that invest in start-ups,

what we call limited partners or LPs,

where we don’t have sufficient pools

of capital. So that’s one area we’re

focused on and that’s why the fund was

set up.

The second is to diversify the

pools of capital, institutional capital,

and private capital that is available

for founders. The founders need

optionality and plurality in the types of

capital they can raise, whether they’re

in a certain stage, sector or geography

across the region or other emerging

markets. Now you might see that

the top line looks like there are 200+

investors, but really to each founder,

it is a very limited set of potential

investors that will meet the criteria of

investing in their company. We’re trying

to add more options and diversify

the pools of capital that founders can

use. VC funds cannot raise funds and

invest in founders unless there’s capital

for them, and the founders cannot

raise unless there are enough options

for them. The other part is how we

involve the private sector, such as

conglomerates to put more of their

capital into the venture capital asset

class. That’s a longer-term project that

we’re working on and then we’ll be

working on how we can give access to

qualified retail investors, such as you

and I, or any individual who wants to

invest in the venture index of Dubai.

We’ll be launching a new platform

that enables that part and this will be

announced next year. Therefore, we’re

creating a fund of funds and direct

investment platform, which is going to

be an index covering the region serving

the various investment needs of our


What’s important within a project

to be eligible for the fund?

We look at the same basic criteria

like team, traction, technology and

market potential. We look at whether

the product or the solution is a good

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 19

Cover Story

solution for what they state is a

problem in the market. The relevancy

of the problem and solution should

be innovative and compatible so that

the customers can keep buying that

product. These are things that every

investor must look and the degree to

which we do that is based on the stage

of investment.

We’ll do our direct tickets from preseed

up to Series C. In each of these

stages, that criterion has a different

flavor. When I look at a pre-seed

company, it’s about the team or the

idea of the company. Later, we look at

their traction, momentum and growth

in terms of revenue generation, the

right economics, margins, and the

ability of the company to adapt to a

new market, and so on. These differ on

the basis of the type of the company.

The basis on these metrics and how

capital-efficient the company is, we

have benchmarks for each stage of the

company’s development. How much

money has already been spent and how

much more is required, post analyzing

that we assess the exit opportunities.

Where do you think the current

core strength for innovation lies,

focusing more on Dubai?

Considering Dubai, we’re lucky

to play on the current strengths that

it has already established. A few of

these strengths are the liveability and

workability of the city. Several sister

organizations around the fund are

continuously asking for feedback from

the audience and then trying to address

those concerns, like the cost of living,

and ease of doing business. A lot of

things like Visa types opening, demand

for housing, people and capital flows

in Dubai, the supply is continuously

increasing to allow people to rent and

buy property, own their property, or

open their businesses, 100% onshore. A

number of these things are constantly

pushing forward making our job, a lot

easier than other hubs because other

hubs are trying to create an ecosystem

through incentives and pull people

there. Dubai already has the pull, it

makes our job of deploying capital a lot

easier because people want to be here.

Even now there is still a traditional

approach in the minds of parents

that their kids shouldn’t be

entrepreneurs, but rather take up

safer jobs. What is your advice to


I was born and brought up in the U.S,

and I don’t think it’s a regional-specific

issue. This happens everywhere and

all parents are concerned about their

kids. They want their child to study

and have stable 9 to 5 jobs, but the

kids after our generation didn’t feel the

need to bunker down like that. They

were like, “Let me take my chances,

let me find out my destiny.” I had

already started my start-up journey

from the time when I was in college,

being an entrepreneur even then.

After the company that I was working


at got bought by Google, my parents

misinterpreted the same satisfaction

that I finally got a job.

Parents back then did not want

children to go into entrepreneurship,

but once they started using these apps

themselves, they started gauging the

importance of it. Parents right now are

becoming more accepting across the

region, nobody did it 5-6 years ago.

Once Careem and Souq got acquired,

all the parents understood that this

is real. Even the young employees

that did not respect the ESOP got

convinced after the exits. We need to

go through a few more such cycles

and then people will start to value the

equity and ask for a lower salary. We

have capital availability in the region,

we’ve seen exits and we also have

international investors coming. Many

of these factors must be in place by the

government. Now that we have it, we

will see the increase in frequency and

size of the exits.

What personal traits or value

systems help make an entrepreneur


At the core of a personality trait,

I think it is resilience and grit, the

ability to have a vision and be able to

story tell your vision to yourself first

because you must convince yourself

every single day for years. Further, then

translate that story to people who you

want to hire and come with you along

your journey. You must convince the

best people to come with you, convince

your investors and lastly convince

your customers. You’re constantly

storytelling. So, if you can’t tell a story,

it’s very hard to be an entrepreneur.

Lastly, what message do you have

for our readers?

I believe that the finance world is the

hottest sector in venture these days

and everyone wants to be a part of it.

One thing we see is that there is a lot of

investment ability in a fintech company

because a lot of investors understand

finance and like how it grows, so if

you work in finance or fintech, you

have a much better chance of raising

capital. The talent pool from which

you can hire is vast and you just need

to understand banking, and credit to

hire the correct people and hire them

accordingly. But I believe the most

important caution will be that not

everything that glitters is gold, and you

cannot become valuable out of thin air.

For a fintech, the idea that two of us in

a garage are going to sew up a little app

and disrupt this giant banking industry

is just not realistic. It happens when

you combine traditional incumbent

industries with innovative technologies

and teams. Those industries are

vast and complicated, and you must

collaborate, that is what people are

finally realizing in fintech. I think that’s

a realization nowadays that I would

say for the finance industry to be

aware of.

20 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022


UAE’s growth as a Fintech hub

Ambitious Fintechs naturally gravitate towards hubs where they can receive help from network

effects in areas such as investment, talent, and idea generation. As a result of this, cities

such as San Francisco, London and Shenzhen have fast become hotbeds for scaling Fintech

businesses that have gone on to become global household names.

The UAE is also one of the leading

Fintech hubs globally, and the

UAE government and business

community are making concerted

and coordinated efforts to further

strengthen the country’s position

as an international hub for new and

established Fintechs alike.

Over the rest of this year and

beyond, the UAE aims to cultivate

further growth through a combination

of substantial market opportunity,

supportive government policies, and a

growing Fintech ecosystem.

The Q1 2022 the Middle East and

North Africa (MENA) Venture Report

is one of MAGNiTT’s flagship reports

that provide a quarterly update on the

venture capital and startup ecosystems

in the MENA region.

In addition to that cross-border

collaboration initiative, another

key factor contributing to this rapid

acceleration in Fintech innovation has

been at the government level, with

millions being pumped into the startup

ecosystem in recent years through

sovereign wealth funds (SWF) like

the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority

(ADIA), one of the world’s largest

SWFs with nearly $700 billion in assets.

While VC funding recorded a 13%

drop in the global venture markets

and a 31% dip in the Asian markets

since Q4’21, the MENA ecosystem saw

impressive QoQ growth in both capital

investment and total transactions

closed. Funding in the MENA startup

space over the first quarter of the year

has surpassed that of the previous

quarter Q4 ‘21 by 33.3%, and that

of Q1’21 by 161%. All MENA top

geographies have explored a Quarteron-Quarter

growth in funding at the

beginning of this year.

With burgeoning international

investor participation reaching

proportions of 61% in markets like the

UAE, later-stage investment continues

to take off across MENA with the mean

Series B round size recording a 108%

YoY growth to average north of $50M in

Q1 2021, driven by MENA’s 1 Mega Deal

recorded at the beginning of the year.

Highlights - MENA Q1 2022 Venture

Investment Report

● $864M was raised in venture

funding in MENA over the first quarter

of the year; signifying a strong start for

the ecosystem

● 1 Mega Deal ($100M+) was recorded

in MENA closed by Crypto currency

platform Rain, while the region’s top 5

funding rounds accounted for 35% of

total funding in Q1’22

● Startups in the UAE accounted

for 27.3% of all deals closed across

MENA and 34.4% of all funding raised

across the region in 2022 YTD

● While Fintech startups closed every

fourth deal across MENA in Q1’21,

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 21


Fintech and T&L together constituted

more than half (53%) of all funds raised

across MENA in the first quarter of the


● The 16 exits recorded in the first

quarter of the year already make for

44% of those recorded over FY 2021

and equate to those of FY 2020.

Commercial opportunities

The Middle East and North Africa

(MENA) region is an attractive

destination for Fintechs due to the

volume of commercial opportunities

on offer. Unlike mature markets, such

as the US and Europe, a substantial

proportion of the region’s population

is either under-banked or unbanked.

Within the Middle East alone, 136

million adults fall into these categories.

For globally minded Fintechs

this provides access to significant

commercial opportunities that can

play a key role in expanding their

customer base, while simultaneously

supporting financial inclusion. This

is reflected in the growth of specific

Fintech verticals across the region.

Even before the pandemic accelerated

their adoption, digital payments in the

UAE were already rising at an annual

rate of more than 9% between 2014 and

2019, compared with Europe’s average

annual growth of 4% to 5%.

Furthermore, the demographic

profile of the MENA region also

provides substantial opportunities.

Some 60% of Kuwait’s population,

for example, is below the age of 30,

and the median age in Egypt (with a

population of 102 million) is just 24.

At the same time, much of MENA’s

population is extremely tech savvy

and desires products that offer speed,

reliability, and convenience.

Future access to funding

This is a result of a concerted

effort on the part of our government.

Free zones have been at the heart of

this, with innovative initiatives from

Abu Dhabi Global Market and the

Dubai International Financial Centre

providing a range of benefits, including

zero tax on business income and


The Dubai government also

announced the Dh1bn ($270m) Dubai

Future District Fund to support seedto-growth-stage

tech start-ups, which

was launched by Sheikh Maktoum bin

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,

minister of finance of the UAE and

deputy ruler of Dubai.

Similarly, the Abu Dhabi government

has put in place several initiatives

to create a favorable business

environment for entrepreneurial talent

and innovative businesses, such as Abu

Dhabi Catalyst Partner’s $1bn fund, and

Abu Dhabi Investment Office’s $545m

Innovation Programme, and Hub71’s

global tech ecosystem. The latter has

helped start-ups raise more than $420m

to date.

As the UAE’s digital economy

continues to mature, and region-wide

innovation and favorable regulations

continue to attract top start-up talent,

these businesses are replicating

successful global models in the MENA

region to form a global hub of Fintech

innovation, simultaneously helping the

industry, the region and the people who

live here.

This year, the UAE is expected

to undergo a significant year in its

adoption of digital payments, which are

set to account for 73% of transaction

volume by 2023. With a large

While Fintech

startups closed

every fourth deal

across MENA in

Q1’21, Fintech

and T & L together

constituted more

than half (53%)

of all funds raised

across MENA in the

first quarter of

the year

population of spenders on the cusp

of transitioning to digital payments,

coupled with a government prioritizing

entrepreneurship and critical access

to funding, the region is cementing its

place on the global stage as a major

Fintech player.

Competitive Landscape

Companies across the world have

huge investments in this segment of the

market. In UAE, the FinTech market

has many companies fragmented over

minor shares. Tabby, Yallacompare,

Sehteq, Beehive FinTech, Souqalmal,

Sarwa, Mamo Pay, and Now Money are

among the FinTech Companies.

Adoption of FinTech platform and

up-gradation to modern technology

leads to increased competition

amongst the company. Innovation and

technological advancement taking pace

as COVID-19 and urbanization strike

general people to the adoption of the

new ease in payment and contactless

payment gateways.

A leader in the Middle East

Across the Arab World, the UAE

has the most developed and dynamic

fintech ecosystem, the report says,

and is recognized for its support to

young startups, a private sector eager

to partner up with innovative fintechs,

and broad access to funding for

innovative ventures.

At the federal level, key initiatives

have been launched by the government

to position the UAE as a major fintech

and tech hub not just regionally but

also globally. These include the UAE

Fintech Office, the National Innovation

Strategy, and the National Artificial

Intelligence Strategy 2031.

Locally, the Emirates of Abu Dhabi

and Dubai and their respective free

zones the Abu Dhabi Global Market

(ADGM) and the Dubai International

Financial Centre (DIFC) have been

amongst the most initiative-taking

jurisdictions in the Middle East when it

comes to fintech.

Some of their key initiatives include

the DIFC Fintech Hive, the largest

fintech accelerator program in the

Middle East and North Africa, the DIFC

Fintech Fund, a US$100 million fund

for fintech startups, and the ADGM

Digital Lab, a virtual environment that

gives industry participants access to

resources including data, APIs, system

images and reference architecture.

22 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022


demand for

payment hubs


The payments landscape in the

Middle East is heading toward

an inflection point. Despite the

region’s digitally savvy population with

smartphone penetration reaching 80

to 90 percent in leading markets, the

region has remained heavily dependent

on cash payments practitioners expect

the shift to digital to be permanent. In

the survey, 90 percent predicted that

at least half of new users will stick

with digital payments rather than

revert to cash later. In addition, more

than half of survey respondents said

strong growth in noncash payments

will continue over the next five years,

resulting in a cumulative increase in

digital transactions of more than 50

percent above 2020 levels across the


Arab Financial


expand digital


solutions in


Fintech News

Etisalat by e& launch ‘GoChat

Messenger’ for free calling

Etisalat UAE, a telecoms

company branded as Etisalat

by e&, announced the launch

of GoChat Messenger, an all-in-one

free voice and video calling app,

giving customers the flexibility of

accessing unique features within

one application. GoChat Messenger

allows customers to easily make and

receive voice and video calls, chat

with friends and family, transfer

money to their families, pay bills,

play games, stay updated with the

latest news and events, access Smiles

vouchers, and deals, as well as

several home services.

Dubai Freezone positions as

leading regional fintech hub

Essa Kazim, governor of DIFC,

told Euronews at the event

that fintech is now the fastest

growing sector for DIFC, contributing

more than 35% to the total number of

companies that have been established

over the last 12 months. Part of that

success can be attributed to the hub’s

role in supporting fintech companies

from incubation and acceleration

to investment stages, Kazim said, a

strategy which was materialized in

April 2022 by the announcement of

so-called venture studios across the


Arab Financial Services (AFS)

a leading digital payment

solutions provider and fintech

enabler in the Middle East and Africa

has announced plans to expand its

payments footprint in Egypt with the

establishment of a branch. Based

in Cairo, Tawfik Mahmoud will be

responsible for leading the company’s

strategy in Egypt, growing the team

across the country, supporting its

growth, and scaling Egypt’s merchant

clients across all sectors and


August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 23


Talal Al Dhiyebi

Group CEO of Aldar Properties

24 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

Business Leaders in Focus

Talal Al Dhiyebi is the group chief executive officer at Aldar Properties. He has

previously held prominent positions within the company, including those of chief

development officer and executive director of asset management.

His board memberships

include those of Miral

Asset Management,

Abu Dhabi Motorsports

Management, Sandooq

Al Watan, the Abu Dhabi Housing

Authority, and the Abu Dhabi

Chamber of Commerce and

Industry. He also serves as

chairman of Aldar Investment,

vice-chairman of Aldar Education,

and chairman of Musanada and

Aldar Estates.

Talal is a graduate of Electrical

Engineering (Honors) from the

University of Melbourne, Australia.

Aldar Properties

Aldar Properties PJSC is a real

estate development, management,

and investment company with

headquarters in Abu Dhabi, United

Arab Emirates. The company’s

shares are traded on the Abu Dhabi

Securities Exchange.

Founded in 2004, Aldar

Properties is one of the major

players shaping the urban and

residential fabric of Abu Dhabi.

The company develops and manages

large-scale projects that include Al

Raha Beach, Al Raha Gardens, and Yas

Island, which contains the Yas Marina

Circuit, Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi, and the

theme parks Ferrari World and Yas


Aldar has also created homes for

families since its inception, including

villas, townhouses, high-rise, and midrise


“Abu Dhabi has attracted talent from

across the globe to work, live and visit

this great metropolitan city,” says Talal

Al Dhiyebi.

“One of the unique aspects of the

city’s development lies in its robust

infrastructure. Typically, it takes time

for infrastructure to keep pace with

development, but we have invested

Al Dhiyebi stated his

thoughts about the

company’s growth saying,

“with the economic rebound

gathering momentum

throughout 2021, Aldar

delivered an excellent

set of financial results, a

strengthened development

pipeline, and a first

international market entry”.

heavily in it — be it roads, utilities,

new airports, or port facilities. As a

result, everything is well serviced and


Aldar’s approach focuses on creating

the “urban ecosystems” which ensure

liveable and vibrant communities.

This attracts people to stay in the city,

purchase their own homes, and settle

down to further contribute to Abu

Dhabi as it grows.

These residential developments

are designed to be future-proof and

combine high-quality, well-designed

housing complemented and enhanced

by retail, international-standard

education, cultural, recreational, and

entertainment venues, and community

amenities such as parks, sports

facilities, and access to nature.

For example, Saadiyat Island, one

of Aldar’s largest recent projects,

combines residential living with

cultural attractions like the

Louvre Abu Dhabi, world-class

educational institutions such as

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi and New

York University - Abu Dhabi, and

a three-kilometer beach, all within

walking distance, and connected

by walking and bike paths.

Aldar introduced their new

project “Lea” located on the

north side of Yas Island having

a collection of Residential

Land. Lea at Yas Island offers

waterfront living alongside parks,

promenades, and waterside

walkways in addition to access

to all of Yas Acres amenities. The

property portfolio further includes

the company’s headquarters, Gate

and Arc Towers in Al Reem Island,

Coconut Island, the Abu Dhabi

Central Market (Souq), Al Jimi

Shopping Centre, Noor Al Ain, Al

Gurm Resort, and Al Mamoura

– the Mubadala Development

Company and Environment Agency

Abu Dhabi Headquarters Building.

Aldar is continuing to deliver strong

financial performance and shareholder

returns, driven by its diversified asset

base. It has entered new geographies

and asset classes, as well as robust

organic growth in its core market in the

past months. The company recorded its

highest-ever annual development sales

in 2021, doubling from the previous

year’s sales, and has expanded its land

bank in the UAE.

Additionally, it entered the Egyptian

market and enhanced its UAE

diversification through its expansion to

Ras Al Khaimah.

The company also made its first entry

into the logistics real estate sector with

regional expansion plans in place.

Moreover, Aldar is attracting

investment from global leaders like

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 25


Apollo, which recently invested $1.4bn

of strategic growth capital through

monetization of Aldar’s long-term

land bank and equity investments

into its flagship investment properties

platform. Looking ahead, this funding

as well as existing cash and facilities

will be deployed to realize the

company’s growth ambitions.

Talal Al Dhiyebi’s role in Aldar

Before assuming the CEO position

in 2017, Al Dhiyebi held several

leadership roles within the company

since its merger with Sorouh in 2013.

Aldar Properties is a developer of

major projects in Abu Dhabi, including

Yas Island and Ferrari World. The

company manages government projects

worth around $8.2 billion as part of an

MoU signed with ADQ, making it the

biggest listed developer in the U.A.E.

Following the deal, the firm recorded a

30% surge in revenue at $571.7 million

in Q3 2020. Al Dhiyebi also serves on

the boards of several other companies,

including Miral Asset Management and

Sandooq Al Watan.

Under Al Dhiyebi’s leadership, Aldar

Properties reported strong financial

results driven by the competitive

performance of the Aldar Development

business as well as Aldar Investment’s

recurring income portfolio.

Al Dhiyebi stated his thoughts about

the company’s growth saying, “with

the economic rebound gathering

momentum throughout 2021, Aldar

delivered an excellent set of financial

results, a strengthened development

pipeline, and a first international

market entry”.

At the beginning of Q2 2022, Aldar

announced the expansion of its land

bank, acquiring 6.2 million square

meters of land located on the east side

of Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. The

land, valued at $1bn will be paid as the

proposed development on the island

progresses. The construction for the

island is scheduled to begin during the

second half of the year over a 4-year

development period.

Additionally, Aldar Properties

has also seen successful residential

launches in 2022 with the second

phase of the Alreeman II development;

the ‘Fay Alreeman’ underway. The

$544.9mn master-planned community

in Abu Dhabi was developed as a

response to cater to Aldar Properties’

customer preferences with spacious

floorplans, closed kitchens, and majlis

spaces among other specific features.

Fay Alreeman’s master plan has been

designed in clusters, each with its

parks and amenities, to build a strong

sense of community.

With sustainability as an integral part

of their business strategy, Al Dhiyebi’s

leadership will align the company’s

approach and policies, creating a

business strategy that imposes a

positive impact on the economy,

environment, and people.

Aldar Properties Capitalisation

Aldar reported group development

revenues for the same time of AED2.2

billion ($598.9m), a 27 percent rise in

Q1 net profit. First-quarter group sales

26 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

for the real estate developer were

$598.9 million, driven by the capital’s

real estate market’s ongoing strength.

The robust Q1 results of Egyptian

developer SODIC, which Aldar

purchased in December, and the

ongoing momentum in Abu Dhabi’s real

estate market were the driving forces

behind this.

Talal Al Dhiyebi commented on this

that during the first quarter, Aldar not

only had a good financial performance

but also diversified sources of funding

and built-up operational capabilities

in preparation for further growth


He continued, “We attracted

a major investment from Apollo

Global Management, which is driving

the accelerated expansion and

diversification of our investment

property business. We also entered

the high potential market of Ras Al

Khaimah through two acquisitions in

retail and hospitality, further increasing

our geographic footprint, having

entered the Egypt market at the end of

last year”

The real estate developer also

disclosed a healthy liquidity position,

with AED4.9 billion ($1.3 billion) in

committed undrawn facilities and

AED5.6 billion ($1.5 billion) in

free cash.

As part of Apollo Global

Management’s AED5.14 billion ($1.4

billion) strategic investment into

Aldar’s growth initiatives, which

was announced in February, Aldar

Investment Properties also issued

AED1,836 million ($500 million) in

subordinated perpetual notes to Apollo

Global Management. This transaction

marked one of the largest-ever foreign

direct investments into Abu Dhabi’s

private sector.

“In the coming months, Aldar will

capitalize on a robust deal pipeline to

further broaden our asset base. With

demand for quality Abu Dhabi property

remaining strong among investors

and end-users, we will also ramp up

development activity and new project

launches, particularly on the expanded

strategic land bank on Saadiyat Island,”

explained Al Dhiyebi.

Aldar Investment has also ramped up

its transaction activity with an AED1

billion commitment to expand Aldar

Education’s portfolio and entry into the

Ras Al Khaimah market through the

AED 410m acquisition of

Al Hamra Mall.

It has also acquired AED770 million

Rixos Bab Al Bahr luxury resort in RAK

and launched a logistics real estate

vertical with the acquisition of Abu

Dhabi Business Hub.

Aldar demonstrated its focus

on ESG through a portfolio-wide

energy management project to

reduce energy consumption by 20

percent, an agreement to use EWEC’s

certified clean energy across 100

percent of Aldar’s assets which

will reduce scope-2 emissions, and

the announcement of its first fully

sustainable community, Sustainable

City – Yas Island.

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 27


Jasim Husain Thabet

Group CEO and MD of TAQA

Business Leaders in Focus

Jasim Husain Thabet, who pursued his Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering degree from St. Martin’s University,

Washington, United States, has been at the helm of TAQA. The Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, PJSC is an

energy holding company of the government of Abu Dhabi, UAE. TAQA is one of Abu Dhabi’s flagship companies,

established in the year 2005, that has a pivotal role in aiding the economic strategy of the Emirates and is a diverse

utility and energy group that has its headquarters located in Abu Dhabi. Initially, he had begun his career in offshore

operations at the globe’s leading oil-producing company, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). TAQA is

currently the largest public company in the EMEA region with a market capitalization value of around $46 billion and

is one of the top 10 integrated utility companies.

28 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

Past conquests

Jasim has been the Group

Chief Executive Officer

and the Managing Director

of TAQA since July 2020.

He has been an energy

industry veteran for over two decades

and was elected to TAQA’s Board

of Directors in the year 2019. Prior

to his association with TAQA, he

served as a Chief Executive Officer

and Managing Director of Abu Dhabi

Power Corporation. In relation to this

industry, he helped in accelerating

the portfolio of assets of the company

throughout the value chain to aid

the transformation of the power and

water industry in the UAE just within

a period of 15 months. Jasim had also

worked with the National Central

Cooling Company as a Chief Executive

Officer wherein he had leveraged

the capacity expansion and revenue

growth. During his tenure of six years

at the organization, he successfully

developed an advanced model of

sustainable growth which saw over 50%

growth in consolidated capacity along

Since its inception in

2005, TAQA has invested

in water and power

generation along with

its transmission and

distribution. Outside

the realm of the UAE,

it is now located in

several countries such

as Canada, Ghana, India,

Iraq, Morocco, Oman,

Netherlands, Saudi Arabia,

the UK, and the USA, and

the assets of the company

are valued at almost AED

191 billion.

with a 28% hike in revenues in the UAE.

His past experiences also include his

association with Mamoura Diversified

Global Holding PJSC as its Vice

President and Senior Project Manager

at General Electric Power Systems.

Jasim and his role in TAQA

Since Jasim’s association with TAQA,

the company has been working in

hands with the Emirates Water and

Electricity Company (EWEC) and

has been successful in raising around

$700.8 million in January 2022 through

the first green senior secured bonds

which are in turn linked to the solar

plants. Just in one year’s time span,

TAQA has gained around $1.6 billion

in profits. There has been a rise in the

profit margins by 46% as compared to

the previous years. Apart from TAQA,

Jasim has also been serving on the

boards of the Abu Dhabi Chamber

of Commerce and Industry, Etihad

Aviation Group, and Abu Dhabi Ports

and all of them has witnessed a drastic

change in the rate of growth.

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 29


TAQA and its goals: present and


Since its inception in 2005, TAQA

has invested in water and power

generation along with its transmission

and distribution. Outside the realm

of the UAE, it is now located in

several countries such as Canada,

Ghana, India, Iraq, Morocco, Oman,

Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the UK,

and the USA, and the assets of the

company are valued at almost AED 191

billion. With regards to its performance

in 2021, TAQA has quite seamlessly

surpassed all its contemporaries

and has boosted itself in an efficient

manner by recovering the commodity

prices. This shows that the revenue

earned by group has reached up to

AED 45.7 billion which is almost 11%

higher than the previous year. This

increase is recorded typically due to

the higher commodity prices in the oil

and gas sector.

To keep up with their ongoing profit

percentages, TAQA has devised a 2030

strategy which they unveiled in 2021,

that is aimed at more sustainable and

profitable growth of the Group. TAQA

has an aim to increase its gross power

capacity to 30 GW by 2030 from the

18 GW that it is now. This will also

include the retiring of 8 GW of older

power plant technology and offset by

the existing pipeline of more than 9

GW of new, clean capacity. Apart from

it, TAQA is also committed to jumping

the bandwagon to be recognized as the

low carbon power and water champion

in not only Abu Dhabi but also globally

as well. With their expertise, imminent

skillset, and financial power, they aim

to achieve the 2030 strategy to be in

coherence with the objectives of UAE

and its decarbonization aims.

New capacity would also be

emerging from the advanced clean

energy technology such as the efficient

gas-fired power plants and other

renewable resources that are focused

on reducing emissions by 30% through

modern photovoltaic technology. With

respect to water desalination as well,

50% of the existing plants will retire as

the alignment has shifted more towards

reverse osmosis (RO) technology.

This RO capability will increase by

two-thirds by 2030. The immediate

focus is to build a substantial UAEbased

infrastructure that would build

a network through projects and also

invest a whopping AED 40 billion to

grow the regulated asset base by 2030.

Improvisations in TAQA and its


Jasim has helped in creating an

ecosystem that would act as a platform

Jasim has helped in

creating an ecosystem

that would act as a

platform for continual

value generation which

is in alignment with

their business models

and capital structure.

This had contributed to

widening the scope of

growth and its related

opportunities while

permitting the investors

to share in the cash

flows from regulated and

long-term assets.

TAQA’s vision and mission

At TAQA, their strategical goals are set keeping in mind their strong purpose:

“Powering a thriving future by efficiently providing sustainable and reliable

energy and water to unleash the unlimited potential of people and places.”

The clear vision of TAQA in the future is to:

“To provide the clean power and water that governments, businesses, and

consumers need for a sustainable and successful life.”

And their mission is also to:

“Be a low carbon power and water champion.”

for continual value generation which

is in alignment with their business

models and capital structure. This

had contributed to widening the

scope of growth and its related

opportunities while permitting the

investors to share in the cash flows

from regulated and long-term assets.

TAQA’s domestic growth strategy is

pretty much interlinked with the UAE’s

national strategy for energy and water

supply. Due to this factor, Jasim has

anticipated a hike in the growth graph

along with increased deployment of

new clean energy generation with

high-efficiency RO technology. This

will simply help in creating worth

in the market and reward TAQA’s

shareholders with an improved

dividend policy.

Since Jasim’s involvement with

TAQA has broadened the perspective

and has been selectively pursuing

international growth. Looking at it from

a narrower perspective, it would imply

driving efficiency towards customer

satisfaction, but the wider perspective

showcases that it is aimed at protecting

their financial strength and anchoring

TAQA’s practices in consonance with

Abu Dhabi’s principles. Jasim has

been successful in tactfully improving

the workforce’s capabilities while

aiming at achieving its personal

objective of becoming more safer,

more sustainable, collaborative, and

innovative group.

30 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

Business News

UAE Golden Visa discounts

revealed after 65,000 issued

The UAE Cabinet, headed

by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid

Al Maktoum, the Vice President,

Prime Minister, and Ruler of

Dubai, approved a new set of executive

regulations of the Federal Decree-Law

on Entry and Residence of Foreigners

to strengthen the UAE’s position as

an ideal destination to live, work, and

invest back in April 2022. In addition

to securing their stay in the UAE for

10 years, the new rules introduced in

April will allow the Golden Visa holder

to sponsor his/ her family members,

including spouse and children

regardless of their age, and to sponsor

support services (domestic) laborers

without limiting their number.

AD Ports Group and Hayat

Biotech sign MoU to boost

international business

Amemorandum of understanding

(MoU) between AD Ports

Group and UAE-based Hayat

Biotech would allow the latter

to establish manufacturing facilities

all over the world and offer logistical

services to serve its global customers.

The agreement covers the shipping

of strategic construction supplies,

including containers, machinery,

raw materials, and equipment, to

support the construction of Hayat

Biotech’s global biopharmaceutical

manufacturing facilities. Alongside the

Department of Health – Abu Dhabi,

Etihad Cargo, Maqta Gateway, Rafed,

and SkyCell, AD Ports Group is one of

the founding members of the HOPE

Consortium, which is helping lead the

distribution of Covid-19 vaccines to all

parts of the globe. The partnership has

handled over 250 million vaccine doses

across 60 countries.

UAE government

workers get 1

year paid leave

to start business

The cabinet meeting in Abu Dhabi

included the approval of an AED

2.4 billion housing loan provision

for 500 Emiratis over the next

six months. The plan aims to complete

13,000 houses through the Sheikh

Zayed Housing Programme over the

next few years. In May, the Cabinet

decreed that companies with more

than 50 employees should have a 2

percent Emirati workforce by next

year, moving up to 10 percent by

2026. The IMF projects that the UAE

economy will grow 4.2 percent this

year while Japan’s largest lender MUFG

expects it to grow 4.9 percent.

Dubai Chamber

of Commerce

records members


According to the Dubai Chamber

of Commerce, the value of

member exports and re-exports

in the first half of 2022 totaled

Dhs129.4 billion, a 17.8 percent

increase over the same period last year.

In H1-2022, the number of certificates

of origin issued increased 8.9 percent

year on year to exceed 357,000. Hamad

Buamim, President, and CEO of

Dubai Chambers described said Dubai

International Chamber’s representative

offices played a crucial role in

supporting the growth of member

exports as these offices identify

high-potential trade opportunities

in promising markets, in addition to

Dubai Chamber of Commerce’s smart

services and expanded efforts to

promote Dubai as a preferred business

hub in the global arena.

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 31


BNPL: A new replacement for credit cards?

BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) is one of the hottest trends in payments and an incredibly hot

area of investment right now. The trend is not expected to change anytime soon given

the increasing number of BNPL firms attracting investments, and growing deal sizes and

valuation. Americans are expected to make an estimated $80 billion worth of BNPL purchases

in 2022 and BNPL transactions are expected to reach 10% of all e-Commerce transactions by

2024 amounting to $120 billion.

BNPL is considered the

evolutionary descendent of

credit cards. Just like music

went from CDs to MP3s, and

most recently, streaming

music; Credit Cards went

from physical cards to virtual cards

and instant issuance to BNPL with

experience just like streaming credit

BNPL provides many benefits to both

consumers and merchants:

For consumers

● It’s a better (and modern) form

of credit compared with credit

cards. BNPL is low-cost, simple,

transparent, and provides a line of

sight for customers to pay balances.

● It’s deeply integrated into the

buying and checkout journey

making it easy for consumers to

purchase an item.

● It helps with budgeting.

● It’s easy to use and makes products

more affordable.

● It provides additional credit to

those who have reached credit card

limits and sometimes those who

don’t even have credit.

For merchants

● BNPL has helped increase

conversion rates by 2-3 times and

average cart sizes by 20% - 30%.

● Customers shop 10% - 25% more

frequently if offered a BNPL option.

● BNPL is becoming a customer

acquisition tool and merchants are

increasingly subsidizing BNPL

offers as opposed to funding deep

discounts on products.

● It helps ‘influence’ purchase

decisions if BNPL is moved up front

in the pre-purchase phase of the

customer journey as opposed to

just checkout.

● Unlike credit cards, most

BNPL providers assume fraud and

chargeback risks.

In a rapidly growing market where

customers and merchants love the

product, everyone from banking and

FinTech firms to big tech firms like

Amazon and Apple are rushing to offer

the product.

BNPL players are challenged for


Lenders don’t make money on

‘interest-free’ loans. Compared with

traditional installment loans, BNPL

makes less money for lenders with

32 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

today’s ‘current’ business model.

The primary revenue streams for

BNPL loans include the following:

● Merchant Discount Rate (MDR), i.e.

Fees merchants pay to BNPL firms.

● Interchange fees if a credit card is

used as part of the transaction.

● Flat per-transaction fee (in some


● Late fees (in some cases).

● Interest, if the BNPL loan defaults

to a traditional installment loan.

(Lender’s term this a “busted loan,

and the frequency with which it

occurs as the “bust rate.”)

The key issue with BNPL is that total

profit made from MDRs that range from

2% to 8% and bust rates of 25% to 35%

— combined with other fees earned

— do not equal the money made from

a traditional installment loan for the

same loan amount.

Key changes over the last 12


The only constant in life is changing

and the pace of change in the BNPL

industry has reached new levels. While

2019 and 2020 have been dominated

by ‘land grab’ strategies of BNPL

providers to gain market share in

‘established’ consumer segments and

attractive industries like fashion, retail,

and home improvements, we have seen

a new era of evolution in the BNPL

sector and a broader impact within the

financial services industry in 2021.

Evolution 1: Internal Disruption -

Shift to open loop systems

The success of BNPL has been

traditionally in closed-loop systems

— merchants and customers are

connected through the BNPL provider

and value exchange only happens

within the boundaries set by the BNPL

provider. In other words, merchants

need to enter a contractual agreement

with the BNPL provider, and only

customers who are signed up with

the BNPL provider can use the BNPL

service at those merchants. In return

for higher conversion rates, increased

basket sizes, and data insights,

merchants pay a service fee (typically

2–8% depending on size and industry)

to the BNPL provider.

Over the last year though we have

seen more BNPL providers like Humm

–Bundll, and Zip – Tap & Pay) as well

as established payment giants like

PayPal - Pay in 4 and Amex Plan It

offering BNPL services to customers

at any merchants where the underlying

network (e.g. Mastercard, Visa, Amex

or PayPal) is accepted. While this

provides more choice for customers,

this low-margin model creates internal

competition between the closed loop

and open loop systems.

Evolution 2: Competition - The

empire strikes back

For a long time, banks have watched

the phenomenon of BNPL from the

side-line — with a mix of skepticism

and admiration. But as the popularity

and usage of BNPL started to increase

dramatically, with more than 7m

active accounts today in Australia

(noting that most people use 2 or

more accounts in parallel), financial

incumbents finally saw the threat that

was emerging, not just the decline

in credit card usage/revenues but

more importantly the high customer

engagement and trust building with

those new BNPL players. The fear of

losing influence and control over the

customer has pushed banks to strike

back with similar products including

no-interest credit cards like NAB

StraightUp card or CBA StepPay.

With more


by Citi,


and ANZ in

recent weeks,

activity levels

are reaching

a fever pitch in Australia and the

commoditization of installment-based

payments has become inevitable. The

key question is who will be the ones

to wrap their value-add propositions,

such as product recommendations,

order tracking, loyalty programs for

customers, and insight services for

merchants to deliver the best shopping


Evolution 3: Segments and


With saturation in core industries,

BNPL providers have been in the

pursuit of new categories like health,

travel, government payments, and

customer segments in which to grow

not only from a consumer but also

from a business perspective. Small and

medium businesses have been one of

the key focus segments over the last

months with the launch of new B2B

The key issue with

BNPL is that total

profit made from

MDRs that range

from 2% to 8% and

bust rates of 25% to

35% — combined with

other fees earned

— do not equal the

money made from a

traditional installment

loan for the same

loan amount.

products like Openpay – OpyPro and

Zip – Business Trade. In parallel, BNPL

providers have adopted specialization

strategies with category-specific value

propositions and a focus on becoming

the preferred payment option/category

leader like Openpay for Automotive,

Humm for home improvements.

Evolution 4: Ecosystem play - from

product to platform

The need to diversify not only

products and services but also to

access new revenue streams and

increase their future relevance has led

to various partnering models being

adopted. An example of one with a

focus on customer retention is the

partnerships between Klarna and

Flybuys or Humm/bundll and Velocity

Frequent Flyer to drive loyalty and

purchase frequency. Others have

chosen to move from a product to a

platform play, a shift that has been redefined

by the acquisition of Afterpay

by Square along with Afterpay’s

partnership with Westpac.

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 33

Mergers and Acquisitions

Payments FinTech

Wizz to Acquire

UAE Exchange

Payments solutions FinTech Wizz

Financial is preparing to rebrand

after getting the approval of the

United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct

Authority (FCA) to acquire UAE

Exchange U.K. Limited. The approval

comes on the heels of green lights

from the United Arab Emirates and

regulatory entities in the United States

and the Middle East. Wizz Financial

will rebrand UAE Exchange U.K. as

it focuses on synchronizing all its

offerings between the U.S., U.K., UAE

and India, according to the release.

Bahrain’s GFH acquires US student

housing portfolio

According to GFH, its investment strategy in the student housing sector

focuses on building a diversified portfolio that targets universities within

the top public 150 universities in the US, which are considered flagship

universities in their respective states. These are institutions with a proven

pedigree, strong academic and sporting facilities and that have shown steady

growth in enrolments year on year. The Bahrain-based financial group pointed out

that the student housing sector had performed well historically, even during the

pandemic, as was evident by an average stable occupancy rate well above 90% and

an equivalent high rental collections rate.

Eshraq Investments

closer to acquire

Goldilocks Fund

Abu Dhabi-based Eshraq

Investments said it was in

the final stages of its full

acquisition of Goldilocks Fund. The

company is in the process of reducing

the share capital from AED2.325

billion to AED1.427 billion to offset

accumulated losses and is also working

on the subsequent capital increase

in exchange for the acquisition. This

acquisition is expected to enable the

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange-listed

Eshraq to increase its profitability.

Dar Al Takaful and

Watania complete


Watania shareholders received

0.734375 DAT shares for

every Watania share that they

owned, to create DAT, with a total

issued share capital of Dhs260,156,250.

Starting July 4, the merged company

is trading on the Dubai Financial

Market. The company will also

leverage its future-looking operating

model to optimize sales channels and

cross-selling opportunities through

increased geographic reach and by

capitalizing on its larger underwriting

capacity, to improve re-takaful/

reinsurance terms and offer reliable,

more comprehensive, and favorable

coverage for participants across

several differentiated products.

UAE-based Lyve

acquires Jeebly

The acquisition is part of

Lyve’s plans for the next two

years, with more than $150

million in planned investments, the

company said in a statement. It did

not, however, disclose the financial

details of its deal with Jeebly. Lyve,

which has operations in 20 countries,

uses cloud-based platforms and

services to enable “hundreds of

millions of orders” every month on

behalf of leading brands across the

e-commerce, food and beverage,

grocery and healthcare industries.

Established in 2016, Jeebly has

onboarded more than 500 key global

and regional clients across several


34 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

DP World’s Imperial acquires stake in Nigerian FMCG

Imperial, a company owned by

DP World, now owns a majority

of Africa FMCG Distribution Ltd.

(AFMCG). From a supply chain and

fintech viewpoint, DP World finds

strategic value in the acquisition of the

Nigerian company. It also strengthens

its position on a continent with 54

countries and 1.4 billion people. The

action fits in with Dubai’s five-year aim

to increase trade ties with worldwide

markets that are showing promise.

Kuwait Finance House to buy Bahrain’s Ahli United

KFH will offer one share for

every 2.695 shares of Ahli,

implying an offer price of $1.04

per share, a 13% premium to the

stock’s Wednesday close. Kuwait’s

central bank, which had asked KFH

to reconsider the deal during the

pandemic in 2020, approved the

purchase. The initial offer in 2019 was

worth $8.8 billion, with KFH offering

one share for every 2.32558 Ahli

shares. KFH’s shares have risen 66%

since then, valuing the lender at $25.8

billion. Ahli is up 27% in the same

period, giving the bank a market value

of $10.3 billion.

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 35


Exclusive to The Finance World Magazine

Marwa Al Mansoori

CEO of Prosper Partners Consultancy and

Board Member in Abu Dhabi Chambers of

Commerce and Industry

Being an inspiration to many people, Marwa Al Mansoori

is reinventing entrepreneurship and pushing the limits of

traditional business. She is dedicated to pursuing optimal

growth and sustainability practices in a variety of financial

sector businesses, undertaking research and development

to create effective and efficient international business

frameworks in the UAE.

Please tell us in brief about you

and your journey as an executive

and inspiring leader in the world of


Since graduating from Edinburgh,

I’ve come to realize that my most

enduring ability is entrepreneurship.

According to Google, an entrepreneur

is someone who establishes a firm

and takes financial risks in the hopes

of making money, although everyone

misunderstands what that means.

My definition of an entrepreneur is

a person setting their own personal

understanding of how to live. A person

who creates their own mindset and

regulations and a person who accepts

being underestimated all the time.

Entrepreneurship is a word that comes

up with skills like commitment, belief,

creativity and the most important thing

of not being afraid of failure. The first

step to take if you want to become an

entrepreneur is you should redefine

failure to success.

Within the past 7 years of being an

executive, my colleagues are my family

and they have full confidence in me.

This is a responsibility I have to be

thankful for, because it’s my everyday

fuel to not let anyone down. Nowadays

an executive is a title, to mentally trick

you to show respect. But nowadays

loyalty and dedication is what makes

you gain respect and not a title.

I’ve been chosen as a board member

in the Abu Dhabi Businesswomen

Council in July 2022, which aims at

empowering young and entrepreneur

women to contribute to the economic

development of the UAE and playing

active participation in including those

women to be change-makers in the

business sector. I honestly believe that

we as women can do much with the

right tools, access to opportunities and

support needed. As a board member,

I try to use my voice to advocate for

enabling each and every woman to take

an active part in her small community

and believe in the impact she can make

no matter how small it is.

What’s your greatest

entrepreneurial achievement to be

proud of?

When COVID hit the world, I

discovered that I have a talent for

building businesses to make money. I

36 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

am currently working as a consultant

within international companies on

projects in the world and space. I

launched Prosper Partners Consultancy

in 2019 which aims to provide a strong

infrastructure that adapts real-time

strategies to empower startups, ideas,

and global businesses.

We combine our strategies with

global best practices and deep data

analytics to help our clients create

change that matters. The projects

I work on cover bitcoin mining,

alternative energy, organizational

restructuring, business development

blockchain, metaverse, and currently

space innovation labs. In continuing

with my journey, I took on a project

with a global corporation called

Metavisionaries in June 2022,

Metavisionaries is founded by space

scientists including former chief

scientist of NASA Jim Green, Dr. Tara

Ruttley former associate scientist at

NASA, and its CEO Wasim Ahmed. Our

mission is to utilize space and frontier

technologies and give access to the

masses through our Metaverse and

Space Innovation Labs.

What innovative ideas have you

used that led to profitability in

your business venture?

I’ve been able to launch Malena

App - the first mobile platform for

the cosmetology industry in the GCC

in 2018, and raised around $1million

in seed funding within 8 months,

Malena operated till COVID-19 hit.

No Matter how simple your idea is or

how crazy it seems to other people,

you should never hesitate. The best

ideas are the ones you stop and think

“It’s impossible” or “I’m sure someone

thought of it before and it didn’t work”.

Believing in your idea - knowing the

“WHY” - commitment and discipline

is the remedy towards success.

Prosperity is around the corner you

just need to listen carefully.

Currently, I am fully dedicated

to my consultancy and working on

international projects, this is when

I comprehended my skill was to

support others, develop ideas and

businesses, providing solid financial

data to forecast any business’s future

income based on real scenarios. The

main fuel within my consultancy is

private and public partnership which

is the most highlighted prospect in the


What future plans do you foresee

from UAE leadership to promote

sustainable economic growth?

The UAE focuses on achieving

sustainable development goals that

will enable access to clean energy,

quality education, and sustainable

economic growth. Additionally, as

I previously stated, I do not see my

duty as anything less than the leader

of enormous change projects, and this

is the UAE’s vision, which always has

a sense of responsibility towards the

rest of the globe. Therefore, I expect

projects very soon to solve major crises

and create educational, economic,

and health opportunities that will be

a lamp of light for the world. UAE is

pioneering in all sustainability projects,

trends, and ideas we witness in the

world, starting from Expo2020 and

beyond, we’ve witnessed initiatives

from various governmental and

private sector entities that aim at

creating sustainable solutions from

reducing plastic waste to saving energy

resources and moving to electrical

cars, etc.

One of the key examples is the

efforts of the Ministry of Climate

Change and Environment in partnering

with local and international entities in

addressing Sustainable Development

Goals of zero hunger, responsible

consumption and production, climate

action, life below water and life on

land. Also, implementing the UAE

Agenda 2030 for a more sustainable


What upcoming trends in digital

transformation do you see in


I have been nominated in July

2021 as the youngest board member

of the Abu Dhabi Chamber and

the subcommittee of the digital

transformation committee. Our main

task is to raise the competitiveness of

the business sector and expand the

scope of opportunities in general. This

is done by providing empowerment,

studying all that is available, and

creating well thought out plans.

The UAE government is a

good example of accelerating the

achievement of actual steps. One

of the very good examples is the

new mandate announced lately by

the Government of Dubai on the

“Metaverse Strategy” which aims to

increase the number of blockchain

No Matter how

simple your idea is or

how crazy it seems

to other people,

you should never

hesitate. The best

ideas are the ones

you stop and think

“It’s impossible” or

“I’m sure someone

thought of it before

and it didn’t work”.

Believing in your

idea - knowing the

“WHY” - commitment

and discipline is

the remedy towards

success. Prosperity is

around the corner you

just need to listen


August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 37


One of the key

examples is the

efforts of the Ministry

of Climate Change

and Environment in

partnering with local and

international entities in

addressing Sustainable

Development Goals of

zero hunger, responsible

consumption and

production, climate

action, life below water

and life on land. Also,

implementing the UAE

Agenda 2030 for a more

sustainable future.

● Make a big dream with small plans - No

matter what you want to achieve in life, you

need to dream big and start small. We all have

dreams and goals to pursue and what makes

your dreams come true are the intensity of your

thoughts and the power of your actions.

● The difference between fear and cowardice is

the next step – If you have the courage to start

and face things than you have the courage to


● Effort is never wasted -An effort is never

wasted, even if the outcome is disappointing.

Because doing so always makes you more

prepared, capable & experienced.

and metaverse companies in the UAE

5 times in 5 years and create 40,000

virtual job opportunities placing UAE

first in the Arab region and one of

the top 10 cities worldwide in the

metaverse economy.

Please share some of the

key pointers for any budding

entrepreneur from your diverse

experience across multiple

responsibilities and projects that

you have been involved in.

To succeed, you need to dream

big and trust yourself that you can

achieve your goals, I have understood

this through my past experience

in mentoring 35 women who have

entrepreneurial projects and who

needed help to start and convert these

ideas into real projects. The common

factor I noticed between all of them

is the lack of self-confidence, all they

needed was a push and the motivation

that they were capable of doing it,

especially because in some Arab

societies, women are less empowered

with resources and mentoring while if

they’re given all the trust, they innovate

and bloom! There will be moments

of self-doubt and this is normal, all

successful people come across those

feelings, the key is to know how to

deal with that doubt and turn it into

something meaningful in your life

and business alike, with the support

of experts and people you trust.

Everything comes with a cost, you’ll

have sleepless nights and that’s okay,

you’ll witness the results of your hard

work which always pays off!

Never underestimate any project or

person you work with, there’s always

something to learn as long as you’re

open to new experiences and flexible

to accept the change.

Being a leader in your project isn’t

about just leading a team towards

fulfilling certain tasks but trusting

your team, and giving them the power

to express themselves and own their

tasks to do them innovatively in

their way.

Lastly, what message do you have

for our readers?

Always embrace the opportunities

thrown your way, you don’t know what

lies beyond that might change your life


“Never underestimate your role,

there will be no change without you


“Read, learn, post info, change

behavior …”

38 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

Investment and Funding

Different SWFs within GCC and their ongoing

investment deals

UAE is, in its literal sense, booming in the sector of wealth funds as the leading sovereign

wealth funds together have triumphantly emerged as the best in the GCC region, with

combined assets of $1.4 trillion. This has been possible with the rampant profit in the equity

values across the market in recent times and thus has aided in the hike of the asset values of

sovereign wealth funds in the global platform.

The surge in the external

reserves of GCC-based

sovereign wealth funds along

with assistance from the

government has promoted

the way for better economic

stability and helped in supporting the

system post the global pandemic. The

sovereign wealth funds are playing a

pivotal role in amping up the world’s

economy. It is because these stateowned

institutions are accruing

funds from numerous state-affiliated

resources and thereupon investing

such funds in plausible and thriving

sectors such as real estate and shares.

The President of Sovereign

Wealth Fund Institute, a global

company focused on the analysis

of public asset owners, Mr. Michael

Maduell purported that, “Sovereign

Wealth Funds of the Arab world

play an integral role in the health

of the financial ecosystem. This is

particularly true for funds located

in the GCC, which host some of the

largest sovereign wealth funds on

the planet.” Their reports have also

suggested that economies that align on

a specific product or service only tend

to implement sovereign wealth funds

to diversify their income streams.

Based on the overall fund size,

the top largest wealth funds are

enlisted below:

Abu Dhabi


Authority, UAE

Also known as the

ADIA, the Abu

Dhabi Investment

Authority invests

funds on behalf of

the government

of Abu Dhabi. Founded in

the year 1976, it recourses

the funds for the Emirate of

Abu Dhabi and is officially

declared the largest

sovereign wealth fund in

the Middle East. It primarily

bases the funding on Abu

Dhabi’s oil exports and a

major chunk of the revenue

generated is through this

medium. Its funds exceed

over $696.66 billion in

2022. The sovereign wealth

fund invests in a global

portfolio in more than 24

various asset classes and


August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 39

Investment and Funding

Qatar Investment

Authority, Qatar

The Qatar Investment Authority

or the QIA aims at developing,

investing, and managing the

state’s reserve funds and

thereupon also investigates

other assets as well. It was

established in the year 2005 and is new

in this industry. However, it does aim to

create a long-term value and effect for

Qatar and aid in the promotion of the

country’s economic diversity and the

different initiatives that are associated

with it. Its funds value up to $320


Mubadala Investment Company, UAE

With a merger between the Mubadala

Development Company and the

International Petroleum Investment

Company in the year 2017, the Mubadala

Investment Company was established.

It was founded by the government of

Abu Dhabi with an aim to channel the booming funds

resourced from oil into the development of their economy

and their country. With a whooping fund of $228.93 billion,

the Mubadala Investment Company provides for an

extremely lucrative and diverse portfolio that ranges to

over 50 countries and has over 1,00,000 employees.

40 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

Kuwait Investment Authority, Kuwait

The Kuwait Investment Authority or the KIA is officially one of the oldest

sovereign wealth funds with its establishment in the year 1953. It was

initially founded through the Kuwait Investment Board. During that time,

the organization was established to invest the surplus oil revenues and

reduce the alignment of Kuwait towards its oil reserves. It is with the

primary focus that it will allow future generations to face the uncertainties

of the global economy and natural resources harmoniously along with a greater

level of confidence. Currently, it is residing at a fund status of $592 billion.

However, despite the decision of the Kuwaiti Government to decrease the funding

to cover the deficit of 7.7 billion dinars which is around $25.34 billion in the

fiscal year ending in March 2020, the Kuwaiti Investment Authority still holds its

position. It successfully maintains the spot of being the second largest sovereign

wealth fund amongst all the Middle East nations.

Public Investment

Fund, Saudi Arabia

TThe Public Investment Fund

or the PIF is considered

one of the oldest sovereign

wealth funds as well with

it being established in the

year 1971. However, with the

introduction of ‘Saudi Arabia’s Vision

2030’ in the year 2016 to ramp up the

economic policies prevalent in the

nation at that time, the significance

of the Public Investment Fund has

drastically changed for the betterment

of the system. Vision 2030 seeks to

have immediate control over the funds

valued at more than $2 trillion in assets

and this has the potential to make it

the largest sovereign wealth fund in the

world. As the aim is to concentrate on

the paradigm shift from the absolute

reliance on oil and revenues generated

from it, the fund has taken drastic steps

towards diversifying itself and always

looking out for more unique sectors.

With over $320 billion in funding, the

Public Investment Fund focuses on

investing in various high-loop projects

such as Virgin Galactic, Blackstone

Infrastructure Fund, and Softbank

Vision Fund.

It is quite evident that the sovereign

wealth funds sector has proven to be

quite successful in the Middle Eastern

economical ecosystem. Also, the

governments have been implementing

various schemes, initiatives, and

regulations to supervise the efficient

and speedy growth of this sector.

However, it has evolved from various

experts that it is yet to be applied when

investing in areas around blockchain

and how it pertains to energy usage.

Time will indeed tell us the relevance

and show how different governments

are improvising ways to help the

whooping growth of the crypto

ecosystem hand in hand.

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 41

Investment and Funding

New Dubai real estate law to

boost property investments

Digital banking

YAP gets $41

million investment

YAP, a Dubai-based start-up that

operates a digital banking app,

has acquired $41 million in

funding to support its expansion

throughout the Middle East, Africa, and

South Asia. The new investment came

from Saudi Arabia’s Aljazira Capital

alongside other investors including

Abu Dawood Group, Astra Group, and

Audacia Capital.

Dubai has introduced a new law to support the growth of real estate

investment funds in the emirate. The law effectively creates a register for

property investment funds, whose members will be given certain privileges

to assist them in their investment activities in emirate’s real estate market.

Issued by Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the new law

is part of the emirate’s ambition to be a “global real estate investment destination

and attract global property investment funds,” according to a statement on WAM.

Saudi and Ennismore to establish

$400m hospitality investment fund

Ajman to invest

$27.8 million in


The Crown Prince of Ajman,

Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid

Al Nuaimi, has announced an

AED102 million package of

infrastructure development projects

in the northern emirate. It comes as

the emirate aims to modernize its

economy, with a particular focus on

the fields of architecture and


Saudi Arabia’s Tourism

Development Fund has signed

an agreement with London’s

Ennismore and Al-Rajhi Capital

to establish SR1.5 billion ($400 million)

investment fund in the hospitality

sector. Through the partnership, the

fund aims to advance lifestyle hotels

and enhance tourist destinations within

the Kingdom.

42 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

Lord Abbett opens first Middle

East office in DIFC

Lord Abbet, a US-based

investment bank, has

opened its first Middle

East office in Dubai

International Financial Centre

(DIFC), which will serve as

its regional hub. The move

follows the Dubai Financial

Services Authority’s (DFSA)

approval of the American

firm to operate as an asset


“We are delighted to launch our MEA business

within DIFC. This strategic hub will allow us

to serve our regional client base even better by

operating closer to them, while also bringing

the full breadth of Lord Abbett’s investment

capabilities to the Middle East market,”

commented James Savastano, Senior Executive

Officer and Head of MEA at Lord Abbett.

Saudi Arabia

records SAR

2.19bn in

venture capital


Saudi Arabian startups grew by

244 percent to a record high of

SAR2.19bn in H1 2022 compared

to H1 2021. The kingdom

advanced to become the second-most

active VC market in MENA by the

number of deals, which rose by 36

percent to 79 deals in H1 2022 versus

H1 2021 while maintaining its position

as the second-most funded market in

MENA over H1 2022.

Mubadala wealth fund supports

German insurtech Wefox

Wefox, a Berlin-based provider

of insurance technology, has

completed a $400 million

fundraising round with

Mubadala, Abu Dhabi wealth fund.

The Series D round has increased the

company’s post-money valuation to

$4.5 billion, it said in a release. “This

new valuation of $4.5 billion is a clear

validation of our business model,

which focuses on indirect distribution

via agents rather than direct. This

makes our business one of the most

credible insurtechs in the market right

now,” its CEO and founder Julian

Teicke said.

Julian Teicke, CEO and Founder of


Abu Dhabi fund

organizes young



The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise

Development (KFED) has

announced the fourth edition of

its ‘Venturist Entrepreneurship’

summer program, which will take

place in 2022. The upcoming camp will

be the first physical, in-person camp,

following three virtual camps which

commenced in 2020. The camp aims

to inspire innovative young students

aged 10-18, with a mix of workshops

and private sessions led by renowned

speakers who will share their expertise

across various business verticals.

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 43

Investment and Funding

UAE investor E20 funds $ 2.5m to Arabic portal


Omooma, an Arabic

maternal training

platform that

provides expertled

video content about

pregnancy, maternity, and

newborn care, has received

$2.5 million in funding

from UAE investor E20.

Offering professionally

curated motherhood videos,

this funding supports

Omooma’s strategic move

to double the volume of its

educational content by the

end of 2022.

Mubadala leads Klarna funding round

The Swedish buy-now-pay-later

(BNPL) firm Klarna has managed

to obtain new capital, backed by

Mubadala Investments in Abu

Dhabi, despite valuations plummeting

by almost 85%. Founded in Sweden in

2005, Klarna was valued at $45.6 billion

following a $639 million funding round

led by Japan’s SoftBank last year. The

most recent $800 million financing

round was supported by the Canada

Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP

Investments) apart from Mubadala and

included existing investors Sequoia

and Silver Lake.

44 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022


Union to tame


crypto market

To tame a volatile “Wild West”

market, the European Union

has agreed to ground-breaking

new laws that will require licenses

for cryptocurrency businesses and

client protections for enterprises that

issue and sell digital tokens in the

EU. Globally, crypto assets are largely

unregulated, with national operators in

the EU required to show controls for

combating money laundering.


declines to

lowest level

since 2020

Trading volumes for

cryptocurrencies have decreased

amid a terrible first half of the

year for the sector. The month of June

alone saw spot volumes drop nearly 28

percent to $1.41tn as Bitcoin tumbled,

the lowest since December 2020.

Meantime, derivatives trading volumes

were off by 7 percent during the month,

the lowest since July 2021.




files for US


Cryptocurrency investment

platform Celsius announced that

it had filed for bankruptcy in the

US, a month after it froze withdrawals

from its platform, in the latest sign of

an industry in turmoil. Celsius, which

suspended withdrawals in mid-June,

said it was seeking to restructure in

a way that would maximize value for

all stakeholders, and said it had $167

million of cash available to meet urgent

needs in the meantime.

UAE investors

can now crypto

trade in dirhams

With the help of the National

Bank of Ras Al Khaimah and

Kraken, one of the largest

cryptocurrency exchanges in the

world, UAE investors now have the

option to trade digital assets in dirhams

through their local bank accounts.

Cryptocurrency investors in the

Emirates currently have to use banks

or other third-party providers outside

of the UAE to fund their trades, often

incurring high foreign exchange rates

and fees, longer lead times, and are

subject to overseas jurisdiction asset

governance, Kraken and RAK Bank

said in a joint statement.


Dubai grants


virtual asset

licence to


Financial services company

Fintonia Group has secured a

provisional virtual asset license

to operate in Dubai. The company,

which is based in Singapore, obtained

a provisional license from Dubai’s

Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority

(Vara). The license will allow Fintonia

to participate in Dubai’s “fast-growing

digital assets ecosystem by operating

crypto native services under full

regulatory supervision” and offer

financial solutions to clients in new



exchange OKX

gets virtual

asset license in


OKX has received a provisional

virtual-asset license in Dubai

and intends to establish a

regional hub in the city, which has been

attempting to attract cryptocurrency

firms from around the world. The

license will allow OKX, one of the

world’s largest cryptocurrency

exchanges by trading volume to

provide access to some products and

services to investors in the UAE.

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 45


Faisal Al Haroun, SVP of Tap Payments Group



Al Haroun is the Group SVP and the Managing Director of Tap Payments in

Kuwait. Faisal comes with over 14 years of experience in the financial industry,

mainly within the investment sector. He was also actively involved in the launch of

multiple tech start-ups in the region.

Exclusive to The Finance World Magazine

Tap is also one of the most regulated

paytech companies in the region that

allows you to securely accept all the

popular local payment methods such

as Visa, MasterCard, mada, Knet,

Benefit, and more as well as the recently

popularized payment methods such as

digital wallets and Buy Now Pay Later.

Please tell us a bit about what is Tap Payments.

Tap Payments is a paytech company serving businesses

across Middle East & North Africa (MENA). We aim to

contribute toward having a cashless society by bridging the

gaps within the fragmented payment landscape across the

region. There are many payment methods available in this

region and we are trying to find a common ground to enable

all those payment methods in an effortless way for all types

of businesses.

What makes Tap unique from other digital payment

service providers?

A lot of factors make Tap unique. As mentioned, we are a

paytech company that helps businesses sell across the region

while offering all the payment methods their customers love

and trust. We build powerful payment products that help

with payment acceptance, billing, reconciliation, and more

for businesses across the region. In a way, we provide an

infrastructure that supports all business sizes and models

and supports them in simplifying the payments arm of their

business operations. Today, Tap is also one of the most

regulated paytech companies in the region that allows you to

securely accept all the popular local payment methods such

as Visa, MasterCard, mada, Knet, Benefit, and more as well

as the recently popularized payment methods such as digital

wallets and Buy Now Pay Later.

What upcoming challenges do you foresee in the

finance industry?

There are a lot of challenges in this industry as it keeps

evolving. Fintech is still a relatively new industry in the

region and the regulatory framework for the industry is still

under work. But what excites us is that at Tap, we work

alongside the regulators across the region to solve these

challenges together and support the growth of innovative

ideas within the region.

Lastly, what message do you have for our readers?

There are no longer barriers for anyone to open a business.

Today, you can open a business in a few minutes and start

accepting payments in a few minutes as well. So, whoever

has an idea should take the plunge and you never know,

this could be the new chapter of your career. I encourage

everyone to try our services and we hope they like it as much

as we do.

46 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

Rising flow of AI and VR Start-ups in UAE


A thriving innovation system, excellent regulatory environment, progressive government

policies, and geographical location that offer strategic access to global markets are the basic

components that can attract Venture Capital (VC) firms to a country. Going by this dictum,

it is no wonder Dubai has emerged as the hotbed for VC funding since the emirate offers

everything that VC firms are looking for in an investment-friendly destination.

Venture Capital (VC) Investors’

rising flow of investments

in the emirate’s start-ups

is evidence enough and is

attributed to the nation’s

quick economic recovery

from the pandemic-induced slowdown

and a host of government measures

that create a congenial climate for VC

funding. “VC plays an important role

in increasing the competitiveness of

our start-ups, particularly in innovative

and technology-based areas,” asserts

President and CEO, Dubai Chamber of

Commerce and Industry, H.E. Hamad


VC investments, undoubtedly, are

happening across several sectors. They

have, however, become a main source

of funds for start-ups operating in the

food and health sectors, especially

after Covid-19. VC investors were

encouraged by the increase in the

demand for medical services during

the pandemic, Buamim reveals, to

support more health-tech companies.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE),

interestingly, is ranked among the most

attractive countries in the world for

entrepreneurs to start a business.

The latest Dubai Chamber statistics

show MENA Region hosts 587 scaleups

that raised VC funding to the tune of

$9.1 billion which is a 47% increase

since 2020. The UAE, however, leads

the show hosting 251 scaleups raising

60% of the total VC funding at $ 5.4

billion. The data further confirms that

it holds to its position as the de facto

tech city hub of the region, aggregating

40% of MENA start-ups attracting most

of the funding, and being home to most

of the region’s tech giants.

“We have become a hub for VC

investors,” says Hassan Al Hashemi,

Vice President of International

Relations at Dubai Chamber, and he

lists out various government initiatives

like free zone incubator programs that

“We have become a hub for

VC investors,” says Hassan

Al Hashemi, Vice President

of International Relations at

Dubai Chamber, and he lists

out various government

initiatives like free zone

incubator programs that

offer a business-setup

framework, co-working

space, knowledge, and

partnerships. “We will

continue supporting a

growing number of startups

and contribute to the

country’s digital economy,”

Hashemi assures.

H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and

CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce

and Industry)

offer a business-setup framework,

co-working space, knowledge, and

partnerships. “We will continue

supporting a growing number of startups

and contribute to the country’s

digital economy,” Hashemi assures.

Having found success in attracting

VC funds, Dubai meanwhile, does

not hide its ambition to emerge as a

regional hub for cryptocurrencies.

“This will bring in more VC

investments,” adds Buamim pointing

out how global VC investments in

blockchain and cryptocurrencies

reached a peak of $ 26 billion.

“Many global investors and venture

capitalists,” Buamim says, “are already

supporting our home-grown crypto


He is optimistic that the country’s

blockchain and crypto initiatives

would further accelerate the growth

and expansion of crypto companies

in the region with Dubai playing a

key role. Interestingly, Dubai-based

venture capitalist firm Cypher Capital

recently launched a $ 100 million seed

fund aimed at investing in digital assets

and cryptocurrencies. The company’s

founder Bijan Alizadeh is also planning

to open a crypto, blockchain, and

digital asset hub in Dubai.

The integrated hub that Cypher

is planning reportedly will offer a

workspace to start-ups where they

can pitch their ideas to potential

investors. The start-ups would also

be offered mentoring, and legal and

technical advice. Cypher’s ultimate

idea, it appears, is to develop the hub

into an industry-focused networking

community. With a thriving start-up

ecosystem, industry experts say, the

UAE and Dubai have successfully

created a space making it attractive for

venture capitalists to channel

their funds.

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 47



Founded Year: 2017

Founders: Khaled Zaatarah

Funding: USD 8M

Investors: Knollwood

Investment Advisory,

Impact46, Dubai Angel

Investors, and 18 more


360VUZ provides a VR-based

360-degree video streaming mobile

application for consumers. It allows

users to view, and watch live 360

degrees exclusive 3D videos and

channels of the latest events like

concerts, football, basketball, racing,

car drifting, water sports, and many

other sports, interviews, & more, as

destinations, adventures, places &

behind the scenes pre-recorded and

live streaming experiences in a virtual

environment. Also allows users to

watch VR videos and stream 3D VR

content through a mobile phone or

tablet. The app is compatible with iOS

and Android devices.

360VUZ allows users to

view, and watch live 360

degrees exclusive 3D

videos and channels of the

latest events like concerts,

football, basketball, racing,

car drifting, water sports,

and many other sports,

interviews, & more


Founded Year: 2016

Founders: Nadim Habr,

Chady Karlitch and Maksym


Funding: USD 120K

Investors: Techstars, Hub71

Designhubz provides augmented

and virtual reality in-store shopping

experiences for online retailers.

Enables users to visualize and explore

3D designs of products in three

dimensions in real-time. Claims to

be compatible with all browsers and




Founded Year: 2019

Founders: Sara Ramadan

Investors: Sheraa

Provider of virtual reality-based

healthcare applications. The immersive

learning platform allows pharma

learners to access realistic 3D

spaces and objects to learn, observe,

practice, and apply skills in a virtual


Real Vision

Founded Year: 2007

Founders: Damian Horner,

Grant Williams, Raoul Pal,

Remi Tetot

Funding: $50M

Investors: Twofour54 Abu


Real Vision develops stereoscopic

3D & cinematic VR content, as well

as VR/AR solutions for marketing.

The company has designed VR/AR

content for several industries including

Real Estate, Tourism, Culture,

Entertainment, etc. Its clients are from

different countries including Singapore,

South Korea, etc.


Founded Year: 2014

Founders: Elisa Andrade

Zarges, Mauro Arrau

Funding: $30k

Investors: TURN8

Mytriphoto provides user-generated

content enabling marketing solutions

for brands, agencies, and businesses.

It offers a 360VR camera device;

customers can connect to the device

through the available tablets on the

event or through their smartphones

and allows the user along with their

friends to take 360 VR photos. The

user receives photos with the brand

message in their e-mail and enables

them to share on social media.

48 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

AR Engineering

Founded Year: 2020

Founders: Akram

Amir, Yasir Al-Hilali

Investors: Sheraa Sharjah

AR Engineering provides an

augmented reality-based

engineering educational

platform. Enables STEM

students and teaching

professionals to visualize and realize

complex systems in a superimposed

environment. Features digital twin

models that include aspects of the

physical asset or larger system.

Every start-up, irrespective of the

nature and size of operations, requires

funds to convert its innovative ideas

into reality. Most businesses generally

fail because of their inability to raise

sufficient funds. After all, you need

some money or capital to keep your

business going at every stage. If you’re

new to the world of start-ups and have

no idea about raising funds, then you

need to make yourself familiar with

these different stages first.

● Self-funding

An entrepreneur should ascertain

how much amount he/she can

contribute from his/her own pockets.

Assess all of your investments and

savings kept in multiple accounts and

approach your friends and family. This

stage involves fewer complexities

and documentation, and even your

friends and family may be ready to

lend at a cheaper rate. Self-funding or

bootstrapping is apt if your start-up

requires a little investment earlier.

● Seed-capital

Seed capital is an investment made

at the preliminary stage of the start-up.

This helps the business in identifying

and creating a perfect direction for

its start-up. Funds raised at this stage

are used for knowing the customers’

demands, preferences, and tastes,

and then formulating a product or

service accordingly. Most budding

entrepreneurs raise this capital from

friends, mentors, and family, while

some take up loans in exchange for

common stock.

● Venture

When the company’s final products

or services reach the market, venture

capital funding comes into the

picture. Regardless of the products’

profitability, every business considers

using this stage that further involves

multiple rounds of funding:

● Series A

Series A investment, being the very

first round of funding, doesn’t ask for

external funding. At this stage, startups

have formulated a specific plan for

their product or service. It is mostly

used for marketing and improving your

brand credibility, tapping new markets,

and helping the business grow.

● Series B

When a business relies on Series B

investment, it means that the product is

marketed correctly, and the customers

are buying the product or service as

decided earlier. Such funding helps a

business in paying salaries, hiring more

staff, improving the infrastructure, and

establishing it as a global player.

● Series C

A start-up can receive as many

rounds of investment as possible, there

is no certain restriction on it. However,

during Series C investment, the owners,

as well as the investors, are pretty

cautious about funding this round. The

more the investment rounds, the more

the business’ equity is released.

● IPO (Initial Public Offering)

When a start-up decides to raise

funds from the public including

institutional investors as well as

individuals, by selling its shares, it

is known as an IPO (Initial Public

Offering). IPO is commonly related to

‘going public’ as the public now wants

to invest in your company by buying


It’s not an obligation for the founders

to disclose their financial statements

to the public if they go for an IPO. But

the company must submit information

related to financial statements, the

purpose of raising funds, etc. to the

SEBI. An IPO helps you grow and

diversify in areas of your choice.

For taking your start-up to the next

level, you should know which stage

of funding you want to go for, and for

what purpose. Such decisions made

at the right time can be boon for your


August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 49

Start-up News

UAE partners with startup Deel

for foreign workers visas

The UAE is forging a

partnership with startup

Deel to speed up the visa

process for foreign workers,

offering a new tool in the country’s

push to attract international

talent and become a regional

technology hub. The global payroll

and onboarding company offers

hiring and payment services for

companies that are aiming to

recruit international employees

or contractors. Payroll and

onboarding company Deel will be

able to offer its customers, which

include the likes of Coinbase

Global Inc. and Shopify Inc., faster

access to visas through a strategic

partnership with the UAE’s office

for AI, digital economy, and

remote work applications.

ShopDoc’s first metaverse venture

for schools to open in UAE

The world’s first metaverse primary health initiative for schools will get

off the ground in the UAE when ShopDoc, an Indian healthcare startup,

announces its ‘My School Clinix’ a metaverse clinic for schools—soon.

The project will be piloted across one hundred select schools in the UAE in the

initial phase. “My School Clinix will be the world’s first metaverse primary clinic

exclusively for schools in the UAE,” Shihab Makaniyil, founder and chief executive

officer of ShopDoc, said.

UAE tech startup

Supy $ 8m

in new funding


Supy, a UAE-based technology startup

that streamlines transactions

between restaurants and suppliers,

raised $8 million in new funding round

as the company aims to boost its

technology capabilities and expand

into new markets. The latest funding

round, which was led by Dubai’s earlystage

venture capital firm Beco Capital,

also included participation by existing

investors such as Valia Ventures and

Cotu Ventures, Supy.

UAE’s first



Veppy.com to


On August 27, Veppy.com, the first

quick-commerce (q-commerce)

marketplace in the UAE, will

open for business. Before the opening,

the start-up is seeking suppliers and

merchants to register their businesses

and advertise their products online. The

main premise behind q-commerce is that

consumers would start purchasing goods

online to receive them quickly. Real

estate developer and veppy.com founder

Moustafa Banbouk have completed

more than 50 residential and commercial

projects in his native Lebanon over the

previous three decades.

50 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

Hub71 releases second

edition of “The Outliers” for


The Department of Culture and

Tourism (DCT), the Department

of Health (DoH), Thales, and

other corporate and governmental

partners have joined forces with Hub71

to establish the second edition of The

Outliers program, which will present

business and operational issues

for tech entrepreneurs to address.

Start-ups will have the opportunity to

customize their product to support

the organization’s business objectives,

develop commercial deals, and gain

up to Dhs100,000 in value to fund the

development of their proof of concept


Funding in

Saudi Arabian

start-ups grew

by SAR 2.19bn

in H1-22

US-based startup

Way.com to

enter UAE market

US-based auto sector financial technology

startup Way.com is set to enter the UAE

market, marking yet another success for

the Gulf country’s recently announced policy

to attract foreign investments and talents in the

technology sector. Way.com, a D2C – direct-toconsumer

marketplace – will offer a basket of

services in the auto sector such as car financing,

car insurance, breakdown services, car wash,

and parking assistance to customers in the UAE


The funding deployed to Saudi

Arabian start-ups grew by 244%

to a record high of SAR2.19bn

in H1 2022 compared to H1 2021.

According to the ‘H1 2022 Saudi Arabia

Venture Capital Report,’ this figure

surpassed the total amount deployed

in 2021. According to the Saudi Press

Agency, a record-high of eighty-eight

investors participated in deals closed

by Saudi start-ups in H1 2022, up 126%

versus H1 2021, where 42 percent of

the investors were from outside the


Binu Girija,

Founder and

CEO of Way.com

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 51

Corporate Tax

Guidelines to keep in mind while corporate tax filing

The answers are framed based on the Public Consultation Document published

by the Ministry of Finance.

planning allows the entities to reduce

their tax liability by claiming all the

rebates, exemptions, and deductions

as per the proposed CT law. An entity

must also ensure to keep proper books

of account.

Will Free Zone companies

be taxed too?

Free zone businesses

will be subject to UAE

CT, but the UAE CT

regime will continue to honor the tax

incentives currently being offered to

free zone businesses that comply with

all regulatory requirements and that

do not conduct business with

mainland UAE.

Will a free zone business be

required to register and file a CT


A business established in a free zone

will be required to register and file a CT

return even if the tax liability is nil.

Further details on the compliance

obligations of free zone businesses will

be provided by the authorities in due


Can we deduct salaries/

remuneration paid to shareholders

out of the profits computed for CT?

Yes, it may be possible, if these

persons are actively rendering services

to the entity and compliance with

prescribed limits and regulations.

We have different group companies.

What would be the impact of CT?

The UAE CT regime will allow tax

grouping for essentially wholly owned

groups of companies. The group entity

will be allowed to file a single tax return.

It will also help in offsetting the losses

of a company with the profit of other

group companies that are 75% or more

commonly owned, thereby reducing the

CT compliance burden.

Which incomes earned by normal

individuals are exempt from

corporate taxation?

All incomes, except business income,

generated by individuals will be outside

the ambit of corporate tax. Income

earned by individuals from a business

under a commercial license including

a freelance permit or license will be


How can an entity save tax?

The CT tax regime of the UAE offers

one of the lowest tax rates. 0% tax is

applicable on threshold income up to

AED 375,000 and thereafter, the tax rate

is 9% on taxable income. Efficient tax

The UAE CT regime will allow tax

grouping for essentially wholly owned

groups of companies. The group

entity will be allowed to file a single

tax return. It will also help in offsetting

the losses of a company with the

profit of other group companies that

are 75% or more commonly owned,

thereby reducing the CT

compliance burden.

How to determine the tax period?

The CT will apply to financial years

starting on or after 1 June 2023. For

financial year-ending (FYE) 31 May, an

entity should file the first UAE CT return

for the FYE 31 May 2024, and for FYE

30 September should file its first UAE

CT return for the FYE 30 September

2024, and for FYE 31 December should

file their first UAE CT return for FYE 31

December 2024. The due date for filing

CT returns is 9 months from the end of

the financial year.

Will UAE CT apply to businesses in

each Emirate?

The UAE CT is a federal tax and will

therefore apply across all Emirates.

Can we adjust the loss?

Accumulated taxable losses shall be

allowed to offset future taxable profits

for an indefinite period. The brought

forward loss can be adjusted up to 75%

of the taxable income of that particular

year. However, backward offsetting of

tax loss will not be permitted. In other

words, losses of the current year are not

permitted to be offset from past

taxable profits.

Please refer to and follow the latest

rules and clarification by FTA.

Romil Singhvi, CEO

Aspire Consulting


52 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

Entrepreneur in Focus

Mudassir Sheikha

CEO and Co-founder of Careem

Mudassir Sheikha is the CEO and co-founder of Careem. He grew up in Karachi,

Pakistan, before graduating from the University of Southern California with a

degree in economics and computer science and then completing a master’s degree

in computer science at Stanford.

Karachi-born Mudassir Sheikha

was taken aback when he

discovered that Pakistan

has only a one-billion-dollar

company, outside the oil

and gas industry, which is an FMCG

company. For the next 10 years, he

set a goal of building an institution in

the region that delivers great products

and creates a positive impact on the

regional population.

Career Background

Mudassir’s career in tech started with

Silicon Valley start-up “Brience.”

Mudassir then moved back to Pakistan

and co-founded “Device Anywhere,”

a company that was acquired by

“Keynote” in 2008 before joining the

management consulting firm McKinsey

& Company in Dubai.

In 2012, he left to form a new company

with an ex-McKinsey colleague,

Magnus Olsson. The idea was not just

to build a big business, but to start one

that would have a significant impact,

be meaningful, and with a mission

to simplify and improve lives and

create an impressive organization that

inspires. From that came Careem.

Today, Careem is the leading

technology platform across the

greater Middle East and was recently

acquired by Uber in the largest industry

transaction seen in the region. Careem

operates in more than 100 cities across

14 countries with more than 1,300

colleagues and well over one million

captains on its platform.

Careem and its endeavours

Careem is the internet platform for

the greater Middle East region. A

pioneer of the region’s ride-hailing

economy, Careem is expanding

services across its platform to include

mass transportation, delivery, and

payments to become the region’s

everyday SuperApp. Careem’s mission

is to simplify and improve the lives of

people and build a lasting organization

that inspires. Careem was established

in July 2012 and was acquired by Uber

in 2020.

Dubai-based Careem has expanded

beyond its original avatar of a ridehailing

app to become a ‘Super

App’ that includes a wide range of

services such as food delivery, grocery

shopping, cleaning, shipping, and bike

rentals and this is just the beginning.

Careem’s creative transformation

toward being a ‘Super App’

differentiates it from its parent

company Uber Technologies which

still focuses on mobility.

Uber bought Careem for $3.1 billion,

and even though Uber has full

ownership, both companies operate


The acquisition had given hope to

many start-ups in the region who

dreamt of becoming the next unicorn,

utilizing the facilities offered by

the kingdom toward nurturing the

entrepreneurship sector.

Careem today operates in almost a

hundred cities in the MENA region. It

now plans to expand the ‘Super App’ in

other countries such as Saudi Arabia,

Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, and the rest of

the GCC in the next two years.

Recently, as part of its continuous

effort to become a super app, Careem

has acquired the subscription-based

food delivery service Munch: On.

Dubai-based Careem

has expanded beyond

its original avatar of

a ride-hailing app

to become a ‘Super

App’ that includes a

wide range of services

such as food delivery,

grocery shopping,

cleaning, shipping,

and bike rentals

and this is just the


Munch: On will cease operations

because of the acquisition, and its

services will be moved to the Careem

application, which recently expanded

to provide payments, ride-hailing, PCR

testing, food, and other services in one

integrated platform.

Munch: On is a subscription-based food

delivery service that connects clients to

meals at a discount by utilizing unused

kitchen capacity as well as packaging,

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 53

Entrepreneur in Focus

Karl Magnus Olsson - Co-founder of Careem

Mudassir Sheikha – CEO and Co-founder of Careem

Dr. Abdulla Elyas – Co-founder of Careem

scheduling, and routing technologies.

It was founded in 2016. It now mainly

caters to the corporate lunch market.

Currently serving millions of

consumers around the Middle East,

the Careem app’s food offering is

expanding quickly. According to

Mudassir Sheikha (above), CEO and

Co-Founder of Careem, by purchasing

Munch: On, Careem Food will be able

to construct an even more competitive

offering with a far deeper variety of

benefits for both restaurant partners

and customers.

Eight cities in Saudi Arabia, Jordan,

the UAE, and Qatar can download the

Careem app.

Careem also announced the acquisition

of the assets of Denarii, a Dubai-based

money transfer platform that integrates

fintechs and financial institutions

with remittance aggregators, banks,

exchanges, and wallets globally. Some

key members of the Denarii team will

also be joining Careem.

Careem Pay will use Denarii’s money

transfer technology to connect

customers and Captains with

remittance services provided by

licensed providers. Careem already

has a large presence in countries

connecting some of the most active

remittance corridors in the world, such

as the UAE, KSA, and Pakistan.

Careem Pay offers a digital wallet

that stores real money for customers

in the UAE as well as a peer-to-peer

(P2P) transfer product that enables

customers to send, request, and receive

money using just a phone number,

personal QR code, or personal payment

link. Seamless access to international

remittance services will round out

Careem Pay’s payment offering for

customers and Captains to address

their everyday financial needs.

Mudassir Sheikha commented on the

same “We’re thrilled to acquire the

assets of Denarii, a startup that is

transforming the way people move

money across the world. Denarii’s

innovative API will accelerate our

journey to offering simple and

affordable international remittance

services, adding to the wide variety

of services already available through

Careem Pay.”

Mudassir believes there is a $2.8 trillion

sized market in the Middle East for the

company to tap into.

During one of his interviews, the CEO

said consumer payments, financial

services, and international transfers are

three areas Careem can develop.

He said that Saudi Arabia and the UAE

are the two largest markets in this


Careem will launch smartphone

services in the UAE first then in Saudi

Arabia, the largest and most strategic

market for the company, Sheikha

said, adding: “What we apply in the

UAE, we must adjust it to match the

requirements of the Saudi market.

We have partners, merchants, and

customers in Saudi Arabia, and we

can implement solutions that facilitate

matters for all these groups.”

54 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

Currently serving millions of consumers around the Middle East, the

Careem app’s food offering is expanding quickly. According to Mudassir

Sheikha (above), CEO and Co-Founder of Careem, by purchasing Munch:

On, Careem Food will be able to construct an even more competitive

offering with a far deeper variety of benefits for both restaurant partners

and customers.

Talking about the company’s

presence in Egypt, Morocco, and

Pakistan, Sheikha said that despite

the population is extremely high in

those countries, the percentage of

people who have bank accounts is

exceptionally low.

The challenge in these countries is how

to simplify things, including simplifying

transfers, for example, and how to

make it easier for small businesses to

receive payments for their services, he


Careem’s CEO stressed that the

company is not competing with

banks, on the contrary, it looks for

partnerships with banks and fintechs

in developing and facilitating digital

payments and increasing their spread

at the expense of using cash.

Cross-border transfers are part of

the company’s future, allowing its

customers to use the funds placed

within the Careem wallet on the

application and transfer them

appropriately and at the lowest

possible cost to their families, he


Recovery from the pandemic

Careem’s business exceeded prepandemic

levels in some countries,

most notably the UAE, driven by a list

of services provided by the company.

The picture differs from one country to

another, and the company is rushing to

recover in all markets.

“In the UAE, we have a complete

basket of products within the umbrella

of the comprehensive Careem

application or the SUPER APP, which

includes 12 services, including car

rental, food delivery, grocery products,

and taxis,” he explained.

The pandemic came as a deep hit to the

company but could quickly diversify

its business and its merging as a ‘Super

App’ could do many more things than

just ride-hailing.

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 55

Digital Assets

Are NFTs the next revenue generation


While there are potentially competing visions for how the metaverse will function, this much

seems to hold that it’s viewed as the next major evolution of the Internet, shifting from the

text-driven websites and oft-closed ecosystems of today into shared, overlapping 3D spaces in

which users interact via avatars.

Proponents believe that the

metaverse will be used for

a wide array of things, from

socializing to events, gaming,

shopping, and even work.

The metaverse won’t be one

site or platform, but rather an array of

online destinations that will support

customizable avatars and assets that

you can move from one virtual place to


That last element could rely on

NFTs and blockchain technology. Nonfungible

tokens are digital assets with

programmed scarcity, and as such an

ideal tool to represent ownership of

virtual assets like in-metaverse items

or plots of virtual land. Popular NFTs

like the Bored Ape Yacht Club and

CryptoPunks could be transformed

into 3D avatars that owners can bring

into metaverse worlds, for example.

These virtual assets can also be traded,

customized, and even monetized.

Enter Web3

Web3 is a term coined to represent

the third, natural iteration of the

internet after the World Wide Web

(aka Web 2.0). Although there’s a

lot of controversy on what exactly

Web3 entails, it is quite simple. Web3

represents an open, 3D-immersive

internet. Built on top of the blockchain,

Web3 applications, augmented by

decentralized products and NFTs, are

ushering in a new era of how we all

connect, interact, work and play—all

within a transparent, open ecosystem.

The metaverse concept, recently

publicized by Facebook’s rebranding

as Meta, will revolutionize how we

interact with the world. Facebook’s

CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, stated that

“the next generation of the internet

is metaverse” and that existing social

media will come under the umbrella

of this new wave. He describes the

56 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

metaverse as “a virtual environment

where you can present yourself with

people in digital spaces. You can kind

of think of this as an embodied Internet

that you’re inside of, rather than just

looking at.”

How does the NFT marketplace


Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are data

units associated with unique digital

files. These files can be anything,

but more commonly, they’re pieces

of art, music, or recordings of live


In response to the tremendous

expansion, both individuals and

enterprises have started energetically

exploring ways to get the most out

of the NFT world. On this basis, to

effectively interact with each other

and have many options at hand, both

buyers and sellers find a partnership

with a third-party platform to be more

feasible in terms of costs, access to

a more extensive customer portfolio,

and extra services such as marketing,

legal, and technical assistance. These

platforms utilize blockchain technology

to affirm the origin of digital content

and ensure that the existing asset is not

a replication.

Large NFT marketplaces are

divided into streamlined and

augmented platforms. The streamlined

marketplaces support a broader

spectrum of NFTs, manage both

auctions and fixed-price sales, and

enable transactions with credit cards

and crypto payments in Bitcoin,

Ethereum, and other specific tokens.

Augmented marketplaces, in turn,

focus on more limited niches and

provide multiple supplementary

services such as minting (creating the

NFT itself), marketing, supervision,

pricing suggestions, and others.

How fintech institutions can make

use of NFTs?

NFTs have already had a significant

influence on the crypto space. Within

the financial context, with enormous

transformative as well as fusing

potential, NFTs are likely to merge with

other blockchain applications to form

an entirely new financial infrastructure.

The first thing that may come to

one’s mind regarding NFTs is the

One of the most exciting

ideas is to use NFTs

as collateral to earn

interest or get loans.

This means that now

anyone would be able

to supply an NFT

representing a piece of

art, digital land, or even

tokenized real estate as

collateral and borrow

money against it.

interconnection with decentralized

finance (DeFi). DeFi is a fast-growing

financial system based on blockchain

technology designed to remove the

control of banks and institutions on

money, financial products, and financial


Initially, NFTs and DeFi were

launched as different applications, but

over time, it became clear that NFTs

could become a suitable instrument for


Despite several challenges to

overcome and some aspects to

streamline, many experts have already

defined the ways fintech players may

use tokens in their favor.

NFT as Collateral

One of the most exciting ideas is to

use NFTs as collateral to earn interest

or get loans. This means that now

anyone would be able to supply an

NFT representing a piece of art, digital

land, or even tokenized real estate as

collateral and borrow money against it.

Besides being used as collateral,

NFTs can also represent more complex

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 57

Digital Assets

Non-fungible tokens have

risen in price in many

collections and have returned

to the public attention, hitting

$25 billion in sales in 2021.

As virtual reality evolves and

blockchain becomes more

widespread, projects like

the Metaverse will soon take

on a new shape, supported

by various NFT projects.

However, the bond market is

an important missing factor in

the NFT ecosystem.

financial products such as insurance,

bonds, or options. For example, each

insurance contract can be represented

as an NFT that can, in turn, be traded

on a secondary market.

Non-fungible tokens have risen in

price in many collections and have

returned to the public attention,

hitting $25 billion in sales in 2021. As

virtual reality evolves and blockchain

becomes more widespread, projects

like the Metaverse will soon take on a

new shape, supported by various NFT

projects. However, the bond market is

an important missing factor in the NFT

ecosystem. Most NFT users use their

NFTs only when playing certain games

or interacting with certain platforms.

Unlike alternative cryptocurrencies,

you cannot stake all NFTs. However,

various marketplaces for NFT-backed

loans allow borrowers to put up assets

for loans, while lenders can make

offers to lend in return for interest.

How can banks profit?

Many NFTs on the market are

relatively illiquid, and various

decentralized finance studies have

detected a rising need to increase NFT

liquidity, creating an opportunity for

banks and on the other hand presenting

new opportunities for collectors to

leverage their NFTs beyond the passive

buy-and-hold option.

Since NFTs have different prices

and people are willing to pay different

amounts for the same thing, the price

determination is not easy. To determine

the fair value of NFTs, banks could

establish a marketplace where NFT

owners mortgage their NFT pieces or

collections in exchange for crypto or

fiat currencies.

Once both parties agree on the terms,

the NFT would be deposited from

the borrower’s wallet into an escrow

account managed by the bank, and

the loan could be facilitated through a

smart contract. By providing a secure

marketplace for NFT owners and

utilizing their NFTs as collateral, banks

could support collectors and investors

in a variety of ways, including boosting

liquidity and supporting fair pricing for

NFTs, thus increasing portfolio variety,

and opening a new market of NFTs.

This allows banks to benefit from

decentralized ledger technology

(DLT) while also increasing their

top and bottom lines by introducing

a new product category, namely,

collateralizing digital assets and

profiting from the spread and

transaction fees. Introducing NFT use

cases will also help the bank stay ahead

of fintechs and other competitors while

additionally helping develop their

business strategy.

58 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022


Healthcare Finance Management in UAE

Healthcare finance management in Dubai and Abu Dhabi has changed over the last

few years. With this, the healthcare sector has undergone huge changes from the

time when a doctor used to visit a patient’s house at his own expense to pain relief

centers that have been established for patients who have been receiving treatment

from a doctor outside the hospital.

UAE is a country with a huge

population of more than 27

million people and most of

the population is living in

urban areas. This means that

the healthcare services providers

have to deal with lots of patients,

which requires good education among

the primary and secondary school

students, who will be serving as

healthcare providers in the UAE. The

financial complexities of this mission,

especially within an emerging economy

make it all the more challenging for

health care proficiencies to be gained

within a short period. Therefore, a

lot of time, awareness, and special

attention need to be given to improving

healthcare finance management

in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, before

implementing any measure such as free

medical kit distribution or free mobile

medical setup program.

UAE has great natural resources and

has adequate expertise and resources

to deal with all the diseases known to

man. Hence, it is the responsibility of

every citizen of the UAE to get himself

or she treated properly to avoid the

spread of endemic diseases. If the free

medical kit distribution program can be

implemented successfully, then there

will be less number of people with

communicable diseases, which results

in overall improved quality of life in

the UAE. This will be an effective tool

for creating awareness among young

children who are likely to use mobile

phones as a means of entertainment.

Moreover, this could also help patients

and their families by reducing financial

hardships, which may occur during

hospital visits.

Methods of Payment for Health

Providers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi:

● In the United Arab Emirates, patients

are generally not required to pay a fee

for their medical services. However, if

they have insurance or other funding

that covers their expenses, they may

be required to pay a small portion of

their bill. Patients who do not have

insurance but have sufficient funds can

choose between paying cash and using

credit cards.

● In Dubai, all private clinics must

accept cash payments from patients.

The payment method must be stated

on the clinic’s website and in any

advertisements for the clinic. Private

clinics may also require that patients

pay for their services with a card that

can be used at any point of sale in the


● Any public hospital in Dubai will

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 59


accept cash payments from patients

daily. Public hospitals do not require

patients to show an identification

document, but they do ask for your

address and contact number so that

you can be contacted if necessary

during your stay. Public hospitals also

ask questions about whether you have

insurance or another funding source

that covers your expenses during your

stay at the hospital. If you do not have

insurance or another funding source

available, then you should expect to

pay a small portion of your bill through

cash payment.

● Dubai has recently introduced

several new methods of payment for

health providers, including a cashless

system, e-payment, and payments

through banks. This paper will examine

each method and discuss its benefits

and drawbacks.

● E-payment: The Dubai government

has introduced an e-payment system

that allows patients to pay their bills

online or at one of the city’s many ATM

kiosks. Patients can pay using credit

or debit cards or by using their bank

account information. The system also

allows patients to set up automatic

payments so they don’t have to

remember to make payments on time

each month. The e-payment system is

currently available only at seven clinics

in the city center; however, plans are

The Dubai Health

Authority (DHA)

and Abu Dhabi

Health Services

Company (ADHSC)

have set up a joint

committee to discuss

the introduction of

electronic medical

records (EMR) in


The UAE’s healthcare system ranks among the best

in the world due to its low cost and availability.

According to a report by the World Health

Organization (WHO), health care systems around the

world spend about $4 trillion annually on health care

for their citizens

underway to expand these services

across the country.

How the funds are collected?

The Health Providers in Dubai and

Abu Dhabi are required to collect funds

from their patients, who are citizens

of the UAE. The funds are collected

through various methods such as

cash, cheques, and credit/debit card


They use bank accounts to collect

funds from their patients, as well as

those who use cash only. The Health

Providers also have other sources of

income like private practice and other

sources of income that help them

in providing better services to the


Health providers in Dubai and Abu

Dhabi were introduced to the concept

of prepaid health insurance for the first

time by the government. The funds

collected for health providers will be

used for the development of health

infrastructure and services. In this

regard, it is worth mentioning that the

government has established a scheme

to support the healthcare sector.

The scheme is implemented

through different mechanisms such as

subsidized health insurance schemes

and incentives for specialists and

hospital visits. The scheme aims to

improve access to quality healthcare

services by providing financial

support to those who cannot afford

it. It also seeks to reduce budgetary

constraints on healthcare authorities

and encourage them to focus more on

providing quality care at affordable


The current trend in health care

involves people paying less attention

to their health and focusing more on

their work-related stress or family

responsibilities. They choose not

to visit doctors for minor ailments

because it may cause those financial

losses or inconvenience. Therefore,

we must provide them with adequate

facilities where they can get treatment

without any hassle or cost attached

to it. We need to ensure that our

population has access to quality

medical care without any barriers like

cost or language barriers etc.

Allocation of funds for Health

Providers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

The UAE’s healthcare system

ranks among the best in the world

due to its low cost and availability.

According to a report by the World

Health Organization (WHO), health

care systems around the world spend

about $4 trillion annually on health

care for their citizens. In comparison,

Abu Dhabi spends only about $10

million per year on health care for its

residents – a fraction of what many

other countries spend on providing this

same service to their people.

The UAE’s low cost of living makes

it possible for residents to afford basic

medical needs such as doctor visits

and medication for illnesses or injuries

without having to worry about financial


The Government of Dubai and

the Government of Abu Dhabi have

allocated a total of AED 15 billion

to support health providers and

service providers in the emirates. The

allocation has been divided into three

categories, with each category having

its required level of funding.

The first category is for primary care

physicians, who will receive a total of

AED 2 billion. This means that they

will receive AED 2 million per year for

their services. The second category

is for stand-alone clinics, which can

have their staff or contracts with other

60 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

healthcare facilities. They will be given

a total of AED 3 billion, which means

that they will receive an additional

amount equivalent to about 1% of their

revenue each year. The third category

is for hospitals and large healthcare

facilities, which will receive a total of

AED 20 billion. This means that they

can have their staff or contracts with

other healthcare facilities as well as

make use of private practice physicians

when needed.

Hospital’s eligibility criteria for

Health Providers in Dubai and Abu


The move comes after the health

authorities, in collaboration with the

World Bank (WB), launched an EMR

pilot project earlier this month.

The DHA said it has already started

implementing EMR in all government

hospitals across Dubai and will extend

it to other public hospitals soon.

“The implementation of the

EMR system is one of the WB’s key

recommendations for improving health

care delivery in developing countries,”

it said. “It aims to enhance efficiency

through improved data quality and

usage, reduced costs, improved

patient safety, and increased citizen


Here, we present the eligibility

criteria for Health Providers in Dubai

and Abu Dhabi, according to their

respective laws.


To be eligible for employment

in a hospital, the applicant must

have completed at least S1 level

or equivalent from an accredited

The UAE’s healthcare

system ranks among

the best in the world

due to its low cost

and availability.

educational institution with a

minimum of 30% marks in aggregate.

The applicant must also have

attained the age limit and have no

criminal record.

Abu Dhabi:

The applicant must have completed

at least S1 level or equivalent from

an accredited educational institution

with a minimum of 30% marks in

aggregate. The applicant must also

have attained the age limit and have

no criminal record.

1. Health provider is not a subsidiary

of any other organization or entity.

2. The health provider must have

been in existence for at least

three years.

3. The health provider must have at

least one doctor and two nurses

on staff.

4. The health provider must have

an average of 15 patients per day

(including walk-ins).

5. The health provider must have

been licensed by the Ministry of


August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 61

Corporate Results

Zain Group result H1-22

Net profit: KD50 million

Zain Group, based in Kuwait,

reported KD50 million ($165 million)

in net profits in the first half of 2022,

representing a 22 percent year-on-year

increase, according to a statement. The

financial results come as the telecom

provider increases its investments in

4G and 5G network upgrades, as well

as its aggressive approach to exiting

the telecom space. Customers on

the company’s 5G network in Kuwait

increased by 9%, increasing profits.

Sharjah Islamic Bank result


Net Profit: AED 361.87m of

25% (YoY)

Net Income: AED 587.30


Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) recorded

a 25% year-on-year (YoY) rise in its net

profits attributable to the shareholders

to AED 361.87 million in the first half

(H1) of 2022 from AED 289.49 million,

according to the bank’s consolidated

interim financials for the six months

ended on 30 June 2022. The bank’s net

income from financing and investment

products reached AED 587.30 million

in H1-22, up from AED 538.01 million in

the year-ago period. The bank’s assets

reached AED 56.06 billion as of 30 June

2022, up from AED 54.95 billion as of

31 December 2021.

DMCC result H1-22

New Companies: 1,469

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre

(DMCC) has had its best first-half

performance since its inception in

2002. In the first six months of 2022,

DMCC registered a record 1,469 new

companies, a 19% increase over the

same period last year. According to

the flagship free zone, the growth was

driven by strong commodities trade

and continued interest in the DMCC

Crypto Centre, as well as the ease

of setting up and doing business at


Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

result H1-22

Net Profit: Dhs1.4bn

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has

announced a 30 percent year-on-year

(YoY) increase in net profit for H1 2022,

reaching Dhs1.4bn from Dhs1.1bn in

the same period last year. The bank’s

revenue increased by 7% to Dhs2.8

billion, up from Dhs2.6 billion the

previous year. This was due to an 11%

year-on-year increase in non-funded

income to Dhs1.69bn, driven by a 26%

increase in fees and commissions,

and a 5% increase in funded income

to Dhs1.66bn, driven by increased

customer financing.

Aldrees Petroleum and Transport Services Company result


Net Profit: SAR 108.30 million

Net Revenue: SAR 5.76 billion by 46.65%

Aldrees Petroleum and Transport Services Company reported net profits after

Zakat and tax of SAR 108.30 million in the first half (H1) of 2022, a 43.82 percent

increase from SAR 75.30 million the previous year. According to the interim

financial results, revenue increased by 46.65% to SAR 5.76 billion in H1-22 from

SAR 3.93 billion in H1-21. Earnings per share (EPS) were SAR 1.44 in the first six

months (6M) of 2022, compared to SAR 1 the previous year.

National Bank of Umm Al

Qaiwain result H1-22

Net Profits: 25.70% (YoY) to AED

165.29 million

The National Bank of Umm Al Qaiwain’s

(NBQ) net profits increased by 25.70% year

over year (YoY) to AED 165.29 million in the

first six months (6M) of 2022 from AED 131.48

million, according to the bank’s unaudited

consolidated financials for the six months

ending on June 30, 2022. In the first half (H1)

of 2022, the bank’s net interest income and

income from Islamic products were AED

148.94 million, up from AED 140.28 million in

the corresponding period of 2021.

62 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

Masraf Al Rayan result


Net Profit: $357 million

Masraf Al Rayan, a Qatar-based

lender, has made an H1-2022 net of 1.03

billion Qatari riyals ($357 million), a

10% decrease from QAR 1.14 billion in

the previous year. Earnings per share

(EPS) was QAR 0.110, compared to

QAR 0.152 in the same period in 2021.

Net operating profit increased by

21% year on year to QAR2.2 billion,

according to a statement on the Qatar

Stock Exchange.

Qatar Islamic Bank result


Net Profit: QAR1.815 billion

by 13.8%

Shariah-compliant lender Qatar

Islamic Bank posted a 13.8% yearon-year

rise in net profit during the

first half of 2022. Total net profit

attributable to shareholders for the six

months ended June 30, 2022, reached

QAR1.815 billion ($498.5 million). Total

assets also went up by 4.8% to QAR193

billion, supported by an increase in

investing activities. Customer deposits

at the listed bank now stand at QAR129

billion, up by 3.2% compared to a year

earlier, while total income grew 4.2% to

QAR4.112 billion.

Arada result H1-22

Net Sales: AED1.49 billion

Arada sold residential properties

worth AED1.49 billion ($405.6 million)

in the first half of 2022, a 30% increase

over the same period last year. The

developer’s two Sharjah megaprojects,

Aljada and Masaar, accounted for most

home sales during the specified time.

Arada’s first-half results capped off a

particularly strong period that included

credit ratings and the successful

completion of the company’s first

public financing transaction, a $350

million Sukuk issuance.

National Bank of Kuwait

result H1-22

Net Profits: KD 237.8

million by 47.9%

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK)has

announced its financial results for

the six months ended 30 June 2022.

The Bank reported a net profit of KD

237.8 million (USD 775.4 million),

compared to KD 160.8 million (USD

524.2 million) for the same period

in 2021, improving by 47.9% year-onyear.

Net profit for the three months

ended 30 June 2022 reached KD 121.2

million (USD 395.3 million), a yearon-year

increase of 58.6% from the

comparable period in 2021.

Egyptian Gulf Bank result


Net Profit: EGP 409.46m by

23% (YoY)

The Egyptian Gulf Bank (EG Bank)

recorded a 23% year-on-year (YoY)

increase in its standalone net profits

to EGP 409.46 million in the first

half (H1) of 2022 from EGP 333.95

million, according to the bank’s initial

financials. The bank’s interest income

rose by 4% to around EGP 3.83 billion

in H1-22, compared to EGP 3.67 billion

in the year-ago period.

Du result Q2- 22

Net Profit: Dh303 million by


Net Revenue: Dh3.14 billion

The Dubai-based Emirates Integrated

Telecommunications Company, often

known as du, announced a 26.2%

increase in net profit for the second

quarter of 2022. In the three months

leading up to June, the company’s

net profit increased to Dh303 million

($82.5 million). Revenue rose by

about 10 percent to Dh3.14 billion,

while earnings before interest, taxes,

depreciation, and amortisation grew

more than 12.1 percent to Dh1.27bn

due to a sharp increase in service

revenue and gross margin expansion.

Mashreq Bank result H1-22

Net Profit: Dhs1.4bn

The bank’s operating income in H1

2022 increased by 15 per cent over

2021 to Dhs3.3bn, primarily due to

increased net interest income and

income from Islamic financing. Its

non-interest income to operating

income ratio continues to remain

high at 44.2 percent (47.5 percent

as of December 2021). The bank’s

operating profit at Dhs1.9bn is a

17 percent increase compared to

the corresponding period in 2021,

because of higher operating income.

The net profit posted was a healthy


National Marine Dredging

Company result H1-22

Net Profits: Dhs403m by 74.4%

Net Revenue: Dhs3.546m by


National Marine Dredging Company

Group has reported net profit growth

of 74.4 percent, reaching Dhs403m in

H1 2022, compared to its net profit of

Dhs231m during the same period in 2021.

The group’s revenue increased by 8.5

percent to Dhs3.546m compared to its

revenue of Dhs3.269m in the first half of

2021. The total assets of the group are now

at Dhs13.32bn, a growth of 3 percent over

the total assets in 2021 at Dhs12.92bn.

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 63

Stock Market

Union Coop Lists its shares on DFM

Union Coop, an Emiratis

supermarket chain

announced its intention to

list its shares on Dubai Financial

Market (DFM) on July 18th, making

it the first corporative to make

a breakthrough in the UAE. The

listing is the Securities Trading

Commission’s strategy to expand

the size of the Emirate stock market

competitiveness and Initial Public

Offering (IPO). The union coop

also announced that it will suspend

trading of stocks via the portal on

July 1st and resume DFM by

July 18th.

Union said it will carry out a stock

split according to the 10:1 equation

and that each member of the union

coop would receive 10 shares of each

share it currently owns.

The listing is part of the securities

and Exchange High Commission’s

strategy to expand the market in the

Emirates to 3 trillion AED ($816.6


Khalid al- Falasi, CEO of

the Union Coop, said this step

represents a key milestone in the

Coop’s development journey, as

it provides its members with an

efficient, regulated, and transparent

marketplace for the trading of their


“It also enables us, as a listed

Union Coop, to leverage the

numerous benefits of capital markets

to implement our growth strategy

and provide our members with the

DFM innovative services, such as the

seamless cash dividend distribution.”

CEO of DFM and Nasdaq Dubai

Hameed Ali said the imminent listing

underlines the joint efforts between

the DFM and various economic

sectors in Dubai to accelerate the

implementation of the emirate’s

strategy to develop its financial


Tecom Group commences trading on DFM

An overall of 625,000,000 shares,

equal to 12.5 in line with cent

of Tecom Group’s issued

percentage capital, have been issued.

Tecom Group has correctly indexed

at the Dubai Financial Market (DFM),

starting its first day of buying and

selling on July 5th below the price tag

symbol ‘Tecom’.

The group raised approximately

1.7 billion dirhams through an Initial

Public Offering (IPO). The final offer

price of the Global Offering was $

2.67 per share, and we listed 625

million shares (625,000,000 shares) of

common stock, which is 12.5% of the

outstanding share capital.

Global offerings meet great

demand, with overall over

subscription of just over 21x, and

UAE retail offerings overall are a

significant multiple of nearly 40x

oversubscription, surpassing DFM’s

previous IPOs.

Malek Al Malek, Chairman of

the Tecom Group, rang the market

opening bell at the official listing

ceremony in the presence of Dubai

Holding Group CEO Amit Kaushal,

Tecom Group CEO Abdulla Belhoul,

and CEO Hameed Ali of DFM and

other officials of Nasdaq Dubai.

“The Tecom Group’s listing on DFM is a

milestone for Dubai and a historic moment

for the company. As a public company,

the Tecom Group provides investors with

key players in Dubai’s business hub and

Dubai’s market opportunities. We offer the

opportunity to benefit from companies that

are well suited to leverage the fascinating

underlying macroeconomic, “said Malek Al

Malek, Chairman of the Tecom Group.

64 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

Nasdaq Dubai welcomes $3 billion worth US

government bonds

Nasdaq Dubai welcomed

the listing of two tranches

of US dollar-denominated

government bonds issued by the

federal government of the United

Arab Emirates through the Ministry

of Finance.

With total transactions reaching

$ 15 billion (10 times the initial

benchmark target of $ 1.5 billion),

issuance meets strong investor

demand, and the ministry has

doubled the US dollar by increasing

the size of issuance to $ 3 billion.

The re-listing brings the total

value of UAE US $ denominated

bonds listed on NASDAQ Dubai to the

US $ 7 billion.

The new listing by the United

Arab Emirates government,

represented by the Ministry of

Finance, includes a $ 1.75 billion

10-year tranche with a 4.050 percent

coupon and a $ 1.25 billion 30-year

Formosa tranche with a 4.95 percent


Nasdaq Dubai welcomes ICBC

Nasdaq Dubai today welcomed

the listing of a groundbreaking

five-tranche carbon

neutral bond totaling $ 2.68 billion by

the Industrial and Commercial Bank

of China (ICBC), the world’s largest

bank of assets. These five tranche

notes were issued by the ICBC offices

in DIFC, Hong Kong, London, and


The new issuance brings the

total value of ICBC bonds listed on

NASDAQ Dubai to the US $ 4,375


The ICBC Dubai Branch (DIFC)

was responsible for the CNHdenominated

tranche for multicurrency

issues, raising the price

of the CNH-2B notebook for two

years to 3.20%. This bond is the first

carbon-neutral bond issued in the

GCC region and the largest CNHdenominated

bond issued within

the ICBC Group. The note was well

received by investors, the final

price was raised by 55 basis points

compared to the original guidance,

and the purchase order was over 14

billion yuan when the final guidance

was announced.

Other tranches include three-year

€ 300 million bonds 1.625%, two-year

HK $ 2 billion bonds 2.95%, three-year

US $ 1.2 billion bonds 2.95%, and $

600 million three-year floating rate

bonds were included.

To celebrate the listing, Dubai

Consul General of the People’s

Republic of China, Lee Xuhang, is

General Manager of the ICBC Dubai

Branch (DIFC), Chang Junguo,

Nasdaq Dubai, and Dubai Financial

Market (DFM)

With the new issuance, ICBC’s

bonds listed on Nasdaq Dubai total

the US $ 4,375 million, making

ICBC the largest Chinese issuer on

the exchange. The issuance, which

was listed on Nasdaq Dubai on

June 2, 2022, strengthened Dubai’s

leading position as a dynamic global

capital markets hub, bringing the

total amount of bonds listed on the

exchange to US $ 111.5 billion.

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 65


Aviation industry’s upcoming contribution

to UAE economy

UAE welcomed its first passengers to commuting via flights during the early 1960s and since then

it has come a long way in 2022. The development of the aviation industry has been quite radical

with the increase in the manner of connectivity and with the pandemic the sector has undergone

major modifications. Currently, it is aiming at becoming and growing the most sustainable and

technology-driven sectors in the whole world.

With the initiation of air

transport, it was not

adding much value to the

government’s revenue system

as it is initially just a sand compacted

runaway. But the major transformation

was witnessed at the beginning of 1985

with Emirates airlines with two wetleased

aircraft that modified the nation

from a pearl diving spot to a global

hub for air transport. This marked the

globalization of the UAE with respect

to the aviation industry as it started

operating between 240 destinations and

became the world’s largest long-haul


Its imminent growth was

contributed by the fact that UAE is

located at a strategic distance between

Europe and Asia and therefore has seen

the greatest number of international

passengers as it developed into a

center for transcontinental traffic

between America and Europe on

one side and with Asia on the other.

Along with tourism and oil drilling,

the aviation industry has also been a

driving force for UAE’s economy as it

goes on to contribute over 13% to the

National Gross Domestic Product. This

also permits the boost in other related

sectors such as hospitality, tourism,

logistics, finance, and EXIM trade.

A report by the Chief Economist

at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank,

Monica Malik, has stated that “The

aviation sector has been an essential

factor behind the transformation of

the UAE economy since the 1980s and

its development into a regional and

then global service hub.” UAE has

already spent billions on developing

new attractions and easing the visa

regulations to enable both skilled and

non-skilled workers to contribute

to their economy. In the near future,

their forward-looking strategy looks

like they focus on becoming part of

the aerospace supply chain, rather

than only a customer of billion-dollar

aircraft orders placed with the world’s

66 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

The aviation industry in the UAE has already been quite primal as

it supports over 8,00,000 jobs and contributes over $47.4 billion

to the economy. With its steep progress and continued brilliance,

the UAE’s aviation market is expected to grow 170% by 2037 while

supporting over 1.4 million jobs and contributing more than $128

billion in GDP to the economy.

biggest plane makers.

In the latest study released by

the International Air Transport

Association, it highlighted the key

relevance of air transport to the UAE

which revealed that the ongoing

prioritization of aviation as a pivotal

strategical asset would thereupon

generate an additional 6,20,000 jobs

along with almost over $80 billion in

GDP for the nation’s economy by 2037.

At present, the aviation industry in the

UAE has already been quite primal

as it supports over 8,00,000 jobs and

contributes over $47.4 billion to the

economy. With its steep progress and

continued brilliance, the UAE’s aviation

market is expected to grow 170% by

2037 while supporting over 1.4 million

jobs and contributing more than $128

billion in GDP to the economy.

The government also plans on

investing more widely into smart

transport such as the DP World-backed

Virgin Hyperloop high-tech travel

system will carry passengers and

freight via floating pods in vacuum

tubes at speeds of more than 1,000kph.

Their current focus is on recouping

from the aftermath of the pandemic

as it will help accelerate the country’s

continuing economic recovery from the

Covid-19 pandemic as it brings in more

tourists, investors, and workers.

Ms. Malik further purported that

“Going forward, the focus will likely

be on working with their partners

towards a greener and more fuelefficient

aviation sector.” Also, there

always has been a pressing inclination

toward going green, and achieving

environmental sustainability has been

a top priority for local airlines such

as Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, which

announced its target of net-zero carbon

by 2050.

Etihad, which has been focused on

its fleet of GenX-powered Boeing 787’s

under its Greenliner Sustainability

programme, focuses on including the

Rolls-Royce XWB-powered Airbus

A350 fleet. While the face of the

UAE’s aviation industry has changed

dramatically over the past 50 years,

the coming decades promise more

developments in sustainability,

technology, and business models to

keep up with the changes in air travel.

The authorities are more aligned

towards formulating new technologies,

and innovative business models

that will eventually emerge, airports

and ground handling to be fully

automated, travel would be seamless

and more enjoyable, aircraft will be

green, with completely different seat

configurations and experiences, new

emerging start-ups will appear to

control travel end-to-end with hypercustomization

of offers using the

power of predictive analytics.

The aviation industry has surely

come a long way in UAE since its

inception during the late 1960s and

with the progress and implementation,

it surely will contribute more not only

to the commuters but also to the nation

and its economy as well.

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 67

Local News

DEWA to spend

Dhs40 billion

on projects

in next 5 years

The Dubai Electricity and Water

Authority (DEWA) intends

to spend Dhs 40 billion on

major projects over the following

five years. It also involves financial

contributions to the growth of clean

and renewable energy initiatives. Saeed

Mohammed Al Tayer, MD, and CEO

said DEWA intends to invest about

Dhs16bn to strengthen and expand

electricity and water transmission

and distribution networks and about

Dhs12bn to complete the independent

power producer (IPP) projects in the

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Solar Park, the Hassyan Power

Complex and the Independent Water

Producer (IWP) projects at Hassyan.

Dubai Airport announces new

24/7 customer centre

Dubai International (DXB)

announces the opening of

a new customer contact

center that offers “always-on”

access to DXB customer support

representatives whenever, wherever,

and on their preferred channel. The

contact centre includes 24/7 bilingual

support as well as the most updated

and consistent information across

all channels, including automated

flight status checks without having

to speak to an agent. DXB recorded

13.6 million passengers in Q1 2022,

marking its busiest quarter since


Dubai’s Crown Prince announces

new metaverse strategy

The Dubai Metaverse Strategy

was introduced by Sheikh

Hamdan bin Mohammed bin

Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown

Prince of Dubai and head of the

Dubai Executive Council. “We

launched the Dubai Metaverse

Strategy today, which aims to foster

innovation in new technology. Dubai

is home to over 1,000 companies

operating in the metaverse and

blockchain sectors, which contribute

$500m to our national economy,”

Sheikh Hamdan said the committee

had started work on key pillars and

the objectives of the Dubai Metaverse

Strategy at the time.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer,

MD, and CEO of DEWA

68 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

Saeed Al Maktoum appointed as chairman and

Reem Al Hashimy as CEO of Expo City

Sheikh Ahmed bin

Saeed Al Maktoum

has been named

chairman and Reem Al

Hashimy has been named

CEO of the Expo City

Dubai Authority by Sheikh

Mohammed bin Rashid Al

Maktoum, Vice President

and Prime Minister of the

United Arab Emirates and

Ruler of Dubai. On June

20, Sheikh Mohammed

announced the opening

of Expo City Dubai.

Transforming the expo

site into a new city,

Expo City Dubai will be

a smart destination for

businesses, driven by

sustainability, innovation,

education, and

entertainment. It is set to

open in October

this year.

Dubai is recognized as fifth-best

shipping hub in the world

Singapore retained its rank as

the top international maritime

hub for the ninth consecutive

year in 2022, according to the Xinhua-

Baltic International Shipping Centre

Development (ISCD) Index. The top

five international shipping centers

in 2022 are Singapore, London,

Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Dubai.

The value of global trade rose by

almost 15 percent to a record $7.7

trillion in the first quarter of 2022, an

increase of about $1tn compared with

the same period last year, according

to the UN Conference on Trade and

Development (Unctad).

Dubai maintains

its global tourist

FDI leadership

The new investments and projects

generated 5,545 new jobs during

the year, according to the Dubai

FDI Monitor report, published by the

Dubai Investment Development Agency

(Dubai FDI), an agency of the Dubai’s

Department of Economy and Tourism

(DET). Dubai’s tourism sector attracted

Dhs6.4bn ($1.7 billion) in FDI across 30

FDI projects in 2021. The value of total

FDI capital flows into all sectors in Dubai

exceeded Dhs26bn from 618 announced

FDI projects in 2021, with a growth rate

of 5.5 percent compared to 2020.

August 2022 www.thefinanceworld.com 69

Global News

ECB hikes interest rates in the struggle to control inflation

The ECB raised its benchmark

deposit rate by 50 basis points

to zero percent, breaking its

guidance for a 25-basis point

move, as it joined global peers in

jacking up borrowing costs. It was

the eurozone central bank’s first

rate hike for 11 years. Ending an

eight-year experiment with negative

interest rates, the ECB lifted its

main refinancing rate too, to 0.50%,

and promised more hikes possibly

as soon as its Sept. 8 meeting. The

euro climbed as much as 0.8% to

$1.0261, having traded at $1.0198

just before the statement but turned

negative on the day.

Twitter fast-tracks

lawsuit in October

against Elon Musk

Twitter expedites its lawsuit

against business magnate Elon

Musk over his abandoned $44

billion takeover of the social

media site. Musk backed out of the deal

to buy the platform on July 8, saying

in a regulatory filing that Twitter had

made “misleading representations”

over the number of bot accounts.

Twitter also hasn’t “complied with its

contractual obligations” to provide

information about how to assess how

prevalent the bots are on the social

media service, Musk said. Twitter

countered that Musk is asking for

information that “does not exist,

has already been provided, or is

the subject of requests only made

recently.” The billionaire “refuses to

honor his obligations to Twitter and

its stockholders because the deal he

signed no longer serves his interests,”

Twitter said in the suit.



as Sri Lanka’s new


Acting President and veteran

Sri Lanka politician Ranil

Wickremesinghe were elected

President of Sri Lanka by

Parliament Wednesday even as

protesters on the street vowed to

continue their Aragalaya (struggle)

and reiterated their demand for his

resignation, calling him an accomplice

of the discredited Rajapaksa regime.

Wickremesinghe will replace Gotabaya

Rajapaksa who fled the country and

resigned after public anger over

the country’s worst economic crisis


Fed spikes up

rates second

time in a row

For the second consecutive

month, Federal Reserve officials

increased interest rates by 75

basis points, delivering the

most aggressive tightening in more

than a generation to combat rising

inflation, but with the risk of dealing

with a serious hit to the economy.

Policymakers, facing the hottest cost

pressures in 40 years, lifted the target

for the federal funds rate to a range

of 2.25% to 2.5%. With the most recent

increase, rates are now close to what

Fed policymakers consider neutral,

or the point at which the economy

is neither growing faster nor slower.

Rate increases were anticipated by

regulators to reach approximately 3.4

percent this year and 3.8 percent in

2023, according to forecasts from










70 www.thefinanceworld.com August 2022

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