Category: Technology News

Fintech Saudi Annual Report says the number of fintech companies has grown by more than a third over the past year

The number of fintech companies operating in Saudi Arabia has grown by more than a third over the past year with investments exceeding SR1.3 billion ($347 million).

Over the last 12 months, the fintech industry in Saudi Arabia has continued to grow at a rapid pace, according to the Fintech Saudi Annual Report 2020/2021.

The number of Saudi fintech companies has risen by 37 percent as the industry continues to mature in the Gulf kingdom.

Nejoud Almulaik, director of Fintech Saudi, said: “As we emerge from the challenges of Covid-19, it is clear that the digitalization experienced during the pandemic is here to stay.”

Almulaik added that “regulation clarity” is helping to attract more investment in the sector.

The report showed that over the last year, new fintech companies have emerged in a variety of areas including payments, capital markets, insurance, and business tools for SMEs.

Read more: Arabian Business

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Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company, plans to open an infrastructure region in the UAE in the first half of 2022, it announced on May 26.

The new AWS Middle East (UAE) region will consist of three availability zones (data centers) and become AWS’s second region in the Middle East after Bahrain. It will enable local customers with data residency requirements to store their data in the UAE, while also providing even lower latency across the country. The new region will build upon AWS’s existing investment in the country, which includes two AWS Direct Connect locations and two Amazon CloudFront edge locations launched in 2018.

Organisations using this region will also be able to access advanced technologies from the suite of cloud services to drive innovation including compute, storage, networking, database, analytics, machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile services and more, a statement said.

The company aims to continue to build teams of skilled individuals to help customers transition to AWS. To foster entrepreneurship and the growth of new businesses in the UAE, AWS will be further expanding the AWS Activate programme to support the UAE’s startups and SMBs.

“We are excited to build on the great momentum of cloud adoption in the Middle East by providing more choice for customers in the UAE to run applications and store data locally,” said Peter DeSantis, senior vice president of global infrastructure, AWS. “The new AWS Region supports the UAE’s focus on promoting technology innovation that has made it a thriving global hub for entrepreneurs, e-governments, and multi-national businesses. With the new region, organizations of all sizes will be able to innovate faster and serve end-users with even lower latency across the region.”

 

Read more on Gulf Business

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The Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority has announced its new brand identity, which is in line with the directives of the wise leadership represented in Decree No. (23) issued on September 27, 2020 to amend some provisions of the Decree Law No. (3) of 2003 regarding organization of telecommunications sector. The amendment includes addition of the “digital government” to the responsibilities and name of the Authority.

The new identity reflects the central role of the Authority in line with the orientation of the UAE over the next fifty years, which includes accelerating the pace of digital transformation in the UAE and shaping a future based on advanced technology supported by artificial intelligence, smart cities, and a knowledge-based society and economy.

The announcement was made in a virtual press conference held by the Authority in the presence of H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority, leaders and employees of the Authority and media representatives.

The Authority had launched a series of brainstorming workshops and consultations to choose the new brand identity of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority. The new identity is aimed to have a set of well-established meanings such as trust, leadership, innovation and future foresight. At the same time, the identity is aimed to reflect simplicity and aspiration towards customer happiness. The new design came as a result of these internal consultations and activities, and as a summary of the meanings to be implied in the Authority’s orientations for the next phase.

On this occasion, H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority said: “We are proud of the high confidence given by the wise leadership to the Authority by adding digital government to its name. We see this as a mandate we are honored to carry out, and as a challenge that we place at the top of our missions for the next phase. We insist on achieving success as we did in our previous tasks under the guidance of our wise leadership and with the support of the national teams in the authority and other government partners in digital transformation. We also depend on support of our ICT sector partners, who held the responsibility with us and contributed to the country’s leadership in ICT.

He added: “Today we launch the new identity of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority, which expresses the Authority’s aspirations for the next 50 years. It is embodied in the investment of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and 5G potential for enabling digital government and achieving digital transformation. Digital transformation is now a strategic social and economic program aimed at facilitating people’s lives, and providing them with quick solutions and services around the clock.”

Ms Ahlam Al Feel, Director of the Authority’s Corporate Communications Department highlighted the implications of the new brand identity, saying: “We made the new brand ends with the letter A on purpose. It is the start of the English alphabet and it is the end goal for the UAE citizens whose final objective is always the 1st place.”

She added: “The Authority leadership wants to convey an important message by this brand: “We are inspired by our leaders to start from the dream and the vision. We write our story from the last chapter, and then we start the journey of implementation.”

The new logo of the authority is attractive and modern with a lot of prestige and power. It tells a visual color story that symbolizes communication and correlation. It reflects the image of optical fibers, and their impact on the advanced telecommunications sector.

The new logo clearly expresses the long-term future vision of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority. It is simply abbreviated as (TDRA). It easily pronounced in both Arabic and English.

 

Read the whole article at: TDRA

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Dubai’s financial regulator has published a framework to regulate the use security tokens as technology continues to play an increasingly important role in the financial sector.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) said it has put out the framework for public consultation for a period of 30 days.

The DFSA said it is actively engaged with key stakeholders in Dubai and around the world on the future of finance and the rapidly growing area of financial technology, including various Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) applications.

Security tokens are essentially digital, liquid contracts for fractions of any asset that already has value, like real estate, a car, or corporate stock. Using security tokens means investors can expect that their ownership stake is preserved on the blockchain ledger.

The framework goes beyond typical securities to also cover derivatives. This enables the use of DLT and similar technologies across the full spectrum of investments in a consistent manner, the DFSA added.

Some of the key changes proposed are allowing facilities that trade security tokens to have direct access members, including retail clients; enhanced systems and controls requirements to address risks associated with the use of DLT or similar technology; enhanced disclosure in prospectuses and enhanced requirements for those providing custody of digital wallets.

Read more at Arabian Business

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“CloudTalk Online Matchmaking Summit” – Eurasia’s most comprehensive and widely attended online cloud computing event will bring together household names in the cloud sector across the region for the 2nd consecutive year between 26-27 May 2021.

Talking about the event, CloudTalk CEO Burkay Yapağcıoğlu said that he wants to exploit the full potential of online events in 2021, amidst the continuation of the pandemic and accompanying health hazards and social distancing norms. He stated that the previous version of the event i.e., CloudTalk Online 2020 saw the coming together of 2000+ technology professionals from 20 countries giving them the opportunity to engage with 60+ international cloud experts in five halls.

“We had an extraordinary digital conference and fair experience for our participants in 2020”, said Yapağcıoğlu, before adding that their CloudTalk Online 2021 goals are more ambitious, and the event can see the coming together of more than 3,000 participants this year.

Get an opportunity to meet tech mammoths with a never-seen-before fair Experience

1,200+ one-on-one meetings, over 124,000 interactions, 570 hall meetings, 3,700 message deliveries, an average of 300 viewers per session, and 5,000+ profile viewing were among some of the key achievements of last year’s event.

Tech giants like Alibaba Cloud, Cloudflare, Acronis, Mailchannels, Reseller Club, and Synacor interacted with participants in the virtual foyer area during the previous year’s version of the event, thus making it one of the best networking event in Eurasia. It linked individual experts and participants within their respective fields and to the job opportunities they were in search for.

Now the 2021 event aims at bringing together more than 100 tech enterprises and over 3,000 IT professionals in the virtual foyer. It will give participants an opportunity to link with a greater number of prospects in the cloud computing sector.

Digital Infrastructure that Will Enable You to Reap the Maximum Gain from the Event

CloudTalk Online Matchmaking Summit is designed to facilitate professional time management by allowing meeting plans with thousands of participants from over 20 countries spread across Eurasia before and during the conference. It also offers conference video calls in the form of roundtables in the networking lounges, enabling participants to engage in meaningful conversation with people with similar interest through the chat feature. The open-participants interface allows everyone to see one another and enjoy an interactive experience.

The notification and reminder features in the interface guarantees that all participants can reap maximum benefits from the event by simplifying presentations in the five different halls sorted according to their interests.

Broad participation to open the door to new opportunities in the business world

Apart from the presence of global tech giants like IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, and Alibaba Cloud, the participant profiles of the 2020 event consisted of IT specialists, C-level IT managers, system and network administrators, data center specialists, security managers, software developers, cloud architects, product managers, independent consultants, sales and business development representatives, and end-users.

Hurry! Register for CloudTalk Online 2021 today

CloudTalk Online 2021 is open for registration now. Burkay Yapağcıoğlu stated that the process of forwarding meeting requests and creating personal agendas to match different participants with one another will start three days before the event. All registered participants and partners can continue communicating on the platform for 2 additional days after the event.

He further stated that they are extremely pleased with the interest this year, though the registrations have just started.

To register for this one-of-a-kind event, visit the website today.

 https://cloudtalksummit.online/en

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Biometrics will have a key role to play in restoring passenger confidence in the airline industry during the current coronavirus crisis and once the world is finally free of the pandemic, according to Ricardo Vieira,          regional director Middle East & Africa, Vision-Box.

Dubai-based Emirates Airline is leading the way, with the contactless airport experience open to passengers travelling from and through the emirate, Vieira told Arabian Business.

He said the technology, which was first introduced through Emirates back in November 2019 and relaunched in October last year after the coronavirus-enforced lockdowns, has taken on greater significance in light of the virus and necessary safety precautions.

He said: “The fact that you just look at the camera and the doors open and go, that created quite an excitement. Nowadays because of Covid it even has an added appealing factor which is that you don’t touch anything.

“The fact that you are in self-service mode and just presenting your face to a camera and you don’t need to touch anything and you won’t have an officer picking at your passport and boarding pass and then giving you it back, that’s a direct benefit.”

 

Read more on Arabian Business

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Oracle has become the latest tech giant to place a ‘cloud’ in Dubai, as more organisations place all of their valuable data and processes into that space. Amazon and Microsoft have made significant investments in cloud-based data centres in the UAE.

The Oracle one is first of two planned ‘cloud regions’ – the Dubai addition makes it the company’s 26th worldwide. By July next, it will have 36 such cloud regions. Clients can use these services for disaster recovery and data compliance requirements, with some countries having legislation that does not allow data of its citizens to be hosted in a different country.

“Oracle’s second-generation cloud region in Dubai will help accelerate the digital transformation initiatives of organizations across the UAE’ government entities, large enterprise and SMEs,” said Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, Senior Vice-President – Technology, MEA & CEE, Oracle, which recently picked up TikTok’s ownership in a bold gamble away from its expertise in enterprise solutions.

Blue-chip clients

DP World, the port operator, and Damac, the developer, are among those to have migrated onto the Oracle cloud in Dubai. “We are focused on developing highly efficient, agile and cost-effective, secure logistics operations,” said Mike Bhaskaran, Chief Operating Officer – Logistics and Technology of DP World in a statement. “Our goal is to facilitate the movement of goods around the world at the click of a button.”

Read More on Gulfnews

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Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi-based sovereign investment company, on Monday announced that it will become an investor in Group42 (G42), an artificial intelligence and cloud computing company, via the integration of Injazat and Khazna Data Centres.

As a result of the transaction, Injazat, and Khazna – both nurtured over the past decade as part of Mubadala’s information, communications & technology portfolio – will become part of G42’s deepening technology capabilities.

Mubadala group CEO and managing director, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, said: “For Mubadala, this decision is consistent with our strategy of investing in next-generation technology companies that are poised for substantial growth. G42 is highly respected as a technology leader, with a broad portfolio covering major areas including healthcare, smart cities, analytics, and energy.”

Mubadala group CEO and managing director, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak

Al Mubarak added: “We incubated Khazna and Injazat and invested in them to become leaders in their field. G42 will benefit from their strong operational capabilities and complementary offerings.  With the outstanding talent this adds to G42, it will continue to break new ground across many key sectors.”

Peng Xiao, CEO of Group 42, said: “We are looking forward to the expertise Mubadala brings to our organisation, having founded and grown not only these two thriving companies, but also other complementary businesses.”

Injazat is a regional market leader for digital transformation, cloud and cyber security while Khazna provides organisations with dedicated commercial wholesale data centre solutions to meet the growing need for data centre operations in the UAE.

 

Read more: ArabianBusiness

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The maps of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been updated using high-resolution images captured by KhalifaSat, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced on Tuesday.

The UAE’s first high-resolution satellite imaging system called ‘Mosaic’ pieced together individual digital images to create a single high-resolution picture of the UAE terrain.

According to MBRSC, Mosaic provides a comprehensive view of the UAE’s topography, using remote sensing systems, image processing, geographic information systems, and artificial intelligence.

The system is part of the MBRSC’s efforts to support federal and local government entities, research and academic institutions as well as the private sector in understanding the geography, topography, and environmental impacts of large areas in the UAE more accurately.

More on Gulfnews

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Dubai has established a strong startup ecosystem that attracted leading international brands to invest in the emirate’s technology sector, an industry veteran said.

In an exclusive interview with Gulf Today,

Ali Homadi, founder and CEO of Loyica, said Dubai has emerged as a strong hub for technology sector by attracting top brands into the emirate.

Referring to multimillion dollar acquisitions of Souq.com by the US giant Amazon and Careem by Uber, he said Dubai has potential to create more unicorn firms in coming years.

“Loyica has potential to become first unicorn of the UAE in technology sector as it received tremendous response on the country’s first locally-developed CRM software Saphyte during its soft launch in the last quarter of 2019,” Homadi said.

The UAE’s first locally-developed customer relationship management (CRM) attracted some of the leading businesses in the region and now looks set to disrupt the global CRM market through its commercial launch in second half of 2020.

“Saphyte is the first locally-developed CRM in the UAE that is globally competitive cost- and performance-wise. It has the potential to be the next unicorn tech company,” Homadi said.

Established in late 2016, Loyica is a Dubai-based company which develops top-of-the-line technology solutions to help small businesses and startups by providing end-to-end digital solutions of their corporate problems. It also offers centralised tech systems to fintech and martech industries.

“Saphyte’s basic features are easy to use. Saphyte’s lead and client management tools let users gather relevant information about their leads. With the system’s campaign management and email marketing features, businesses are guaranteed to have increased chances of sales conversion,” Homadi said.

He said CRM is a game-changing concept in today’s competitive and tech-driven corporate world as no business can thrive without an advanced CRM software such as Saphyte. He said Saphyte is competitive to other softwares marketed by Western and US companies such as Salesforce, Zoho, Hubspot, Pipedrive and Microsoft, among others.

 

Read more on Gulf Today

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Technology is enabling new Ramadan traditions beyond breaking the fast with friends and family on Zoom, with many UAE organisations offering programmes to deepen religious knowledge and faith during an unprecedented time.

Some 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide are observing the holy month amid strict social distancing restrictions to tackle the Covid-19 crisis.

Almir Smajlovic, a volunteer khateeb, the reader of the sermon, and a speaker on religious issues in Dubai, said Muslims around the world turn to learning about their faith during Ramadan.

He said technology has enabled people to continue their journey of learning about their faith, even as the coronavirus pandemic has meant in-person lectures or prayers are not possible this month.

“There are so many reminders for people through webinars, lectures or online sessions. There are things geared towards people of all ages,” said Mr Smajlovic

During these testing times, the tradition of reflection and knowledge sharing continues, thanks to digital and emerging technologies

Saeed Al Gergawi, Dubai Future Academy

He advised people to research, listen to question and answer sessions, and increase their knowledge.

Dubai Future Academy, an initiative of the Dubai Future Foundation, has moved online for its Ramadan Pioneer Series, now in its third year, under the title ‘Life after the coronavirus (Covid-19)’. The interactive series is convening futurists and experts to test and share their ideas on how to tackle the pandemic, while allowing the public to interact with pioneers in the UAE and globally.

“During these testing times, the tradition of reflection and knowledge sharing continues, thanks to digital and emerging technologies – a powerful reminder of just how connected we are to one another,” Saeed Al Gergawi, head of Dubai Future Academy, said.

Speakers range from ministers and academics including Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, chief executive of Alliances for Global Sustainability, Sara Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, and Dr Shaikha Al Dhaheri, secretary general at the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi.

 

Full Article: National.AE

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Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC) recently hosted a fireside chat with Teresa Carlson, the vice president Worldwide Public Sector, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and one of the most accomplished forwarding-thinking technology leaders in the world.

As the founder and leader of AWS Worldwide Public Sector, Carlson has helped change mindsets of both individuals and organizations around the world modernize policies at all levels of government and cultivate a 21st century global workforce equipped with the skillset necessary to leverage the full potential of cloud to drive innovation.

During the discussion, Carlson talked about how tens of thousands of government agencies, education institutions, and nonprofit organizations around the world are using AWS today to pave the way for disruptive innovation and to make the world a better place.

She underscored AWS’s committed to the Middle East and its continued investment to support the region’s digital transformation across governments, enterprises, and startups. She also commended the UAE’s efforts, particularly in the public sector, in fostering entrepreneurship and driving a culture of innovation.

Carlson noted that while the rapid pace of innovation creates expansive economic development opportunities, the shortage of the right skills put governments and businesses at risk to succeed over the long-term in the new digital economy.

She highlighted that as the Middle East looks to become digitized, governments, private enterprises, and educational and nonprofit organizations all have a role to play in bridging the skills gap in order to reap the benefits of technology. For that reason, AWS is making significant investments in education, training, and certification programs to help advance technical skills in the Middle East.

As a strong advocate for empowering women in the technology field, Carlson also outlined her belief that gender inclusion and diversity are key to driving innovation. Her passion lead to the creation of “We Power Tech,” AWS’s diversity and inclusion initiative, which has been extended to the region, providing events and free training courses to support technology skills development for women in the Middle East.

Nadine Halabi, business development manager at DBWC, said: “DBWC is thrilled to host AWS and Teresa Carlson as part of our continued commitment to providing quality training, mentoring and guidance to the council’s members.”

“Hosting such high-quality seminars with the presence of influential and successful figures in the business world is important to inspire and guide businesswomen and female entrepreneurs in the UAE.

 

Read more at: TradeArabia

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The use of new technologies has largely contributed to enhancing Abu Dhabi’s security and hence the city has been ranked the safest in the world, an official with the Abu Dhabi Police has said.

Captain Ali Hassan Al Madfaei, division manager, Abu Dhabi Police Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) administration, said year on year, Abu Dhabi security has been boosted by the introduction of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cameras, sensors, drones and smart traffic systems to detect and control crimes and to improve safety on the roads.

Last month, Abu Dhabi was named the safest city in the world for the fourth year in a row. Abu Dhabi was ranked first in the list brought out by crowd-sourced global data website Numbeo. It topped the list ahead of 376 cities from around the world.

“From road systems developed to monitor traffic to systems that combat cybercrimes – these technological initiatives have made Abu Dhabi the safest city in the world,” Al Madfaei told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) Innovation and Police Technology Summit in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

“The Abu Dhabi Police have introduced cutting edge technologies and the latest development in robotics and AI in all areas of operations. The force uses monitoring and control devices in public and private facilities to prevent crime and maintain public security in the emirate.”

Read more at Khaleej Times

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