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Finance, Banking and Capital Markets

Middle East Banking Forum 2015

Dubai, Middle East |
Speakers include:
Scott Bales

Scott Bales

Author, Mobile Ready: Connecting with the Untethered Customer

H.E. Abdul Aziz Abdulla  Al-Ghurair

H.E. Abdul Aziz Abdulla Al-Ghurair

UAE Banks Federation

Asad Batla

Bank Nizwa


The sixth annual Middle East Banking Forum will take place on 11 November 2018 in Dubai.
For full information and to register please visit:

Banks must move with the times if they are to provide the products, services and experiences that today’s customers demand. Technological, economic, political and social change has altered the financial landscape forever. Banks that do not innovate, evolve and improve will lose out to more versatile and adaptive competitors. This is as true in the Middle East as it is any other region. Banks have to reinvent themselves and their customer offerings if they are to survive and, ultimately, thrive.

The UAE Banks Federation and The Banker presented the third Middle East Banking Forum: Leaders of Innovation, a half-day event focused on new ways of banking. Through presentations, panel sessions and on-stage interviews, senior executives from regional and international banks was joined by thought leaders from other organisations to give their views on what banks must do to stay ahead of the game. Topics discussed included the power of original thinking, change management, digital banking, social media, bank accelerator programmes and innovation labs, emerging global banking threats, cyber security and new product and service development.


fallback Add to my Calendar 11/16/2015 08:15:0011/16/2015 15:00:00trueMiddle East Banking Forum 2015The sixth annual Middle East Banking Forum will take place on 11 November 2018 in Dubai.For full information and to register please visit: MiddleEastBankingForum.comBanks must move with the times if they are to provide the products, services and experiences that today’s customers demand. Technological, economic, political and social change has altered the financial landscape forever. Banks that do not innovate, evolve and improve will lose out to more versatile and adaptive competitors. This is as true in the Middle East as it is any other region. Banks have to reinvent themselves and their customer offerings if they are to survive and, ultimately, thrive.The UAE Banks Federation and The Banker presented the third Middle East Banking Forum: Leaders of Innovation, a half-day event focused on new ways of banking. Through presentations, panel sessions and on-stage interviews, senior executives from regional and international banks was joined by thought leaders from other organisations to give their views on what banks must do to stay ahead of the game. Topics discussed included the power of original thinking, change management, digital banking, social media, bank accelerator programmes and innovation labs, emerging global banking threats, cyber security and new product and service development. Middle-East-Banking-Forum-2015ad709681c66aae2c3e2919a15a051ec5MM/DD/YYYY

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Keynote Speaker (1)

Scott Bales

Scott Bales

Managing Director, Innovation Labs Asia
Author, Mobile Ready: Connecting with the Untethered Customer

A technology and innovation guru, Scott Bales is a global leader in the cutting edge arena known as “The Digital Shift”, encompassing innovation, culture, design, and mobility in a world gone digital. As a thought leader, he thrives on the intersection between cultural and behavioural changes in the face of technology advancement. Originally from Australia, Mr Bales is Managing Director of Innovation Labs Asia, based in Singapore, and the founder of MetLife’s Innovation Centre, also in Singapore, which went live this year. 

He is a founding member of Next Bank, sits on the Board of Care Pakistan and holds advisory positions at Fastacash, Our Better World, The HUB Singapore and Apps 4 Good. Previous positions include Chief Mobile Officer for Movenbank, now Moven, the US mobile financial services provider. Outside of the corporate sphere, he has worked with various governments around the world, taking on key advisory roles. When not in a boardroom or on centre stage, he is tweeting and blogging on the latest and greatest in the world of mobility, digital, innovation, user experience and entrepreneurial leadership. He has contributed to the best-selling books Bank 3.0 and Next Generation Finance and is author of the consumer behaviour best-seller Mobile Ready and the soon-to-be published Innovation Wars.

Speakers (15)

H.E. Abdul Aziz Abdulla  Al-Ghurair

H.E. Abdul Aziz Abdulla Al-Ghurair

UAE Banks Federation

His Excellency Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair has been Chairman of the UAE Banks Federation since 2012, a position that entails dealing with the key issues facing the country’s banking sector, encouraging cooperation between banks and promoting the important role banks play in the economy and the wider community. He is also the CEO of Mashreq Group and member of the Board of Directors of Abdulla Al Ghurair Group, one of the biggest businesses in the Middle East with operations in more than 20 countries.

His Excellency’s current positions include Chairman of Abdullah Al Ghurair Foundation, one of the leading institutional philanthropic initiatives focused on education. Other positions include Chairman of the Executive Committee of Al Ghurair Investment, Vice Chairman of the Higher Board of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC); Member of the Board of the Emirates Foundation; Chairman of Masafi Company, Oman Insurance; President of FBN GCC, a non-profit international network for family businesses; and a Trustee of New York University President’s Global Council.

HE Al Ghurair was elected as The Speaker of the United Arab Emirates Federal National Council (UAE Parliament) for tenure of four years, which ended in February 2011. He has previously sat on the Board of Directors of major companies such as Emaar, Dubai Investments, visa International, MasterCard and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and has been Co-Chairman of the Arab Business Council – World Economic Forum (WEF). He was also a member of the Constitutive Council for GCC Leaders and President of The Knowledge Fund.

His Excellency has been recognised multiple times in leading awards, conferences and seminars, both international and local, and he is a five-times recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards. His awards include:

• Business Leader of the Year from Gulf Business Industry Award 2016 and 2017.

• Banking Business Leader of the Year from Gulf Business Industry Award 2017.

• Arab Banker of the Year award 2015-2016 from The Union of Arab Banks (UAB) in Rome, Italy.

• Innovator of the Year Award – Gulf Business Industry Award 2014.

• Lifetime Achievement Award - Gulf Business Industry Awards 2012

• Best CEO Award - CEO Middle East magazine 2008.

• Lifetime Achievement Award - The Arab Bankers Association of North America (ABANA) – USA in 2008.

• Best CEO Award for supporting Emiratisation initiative in UAE from the National Career Fair - Banking and Finance in 2008.

• Lifetime Achievement Award - Euromoney in 2008.

• Lifetime Achievement Award – Banker Middle East 2009.

• Best Banking Contributing Personality Award – Banker Middle East 2011.

• MEED Leadership Award 2011.

• The Arab Banker of the Year in the Private Sector Award

2010-2011 from The Union of Arab Banks (UAB) in Rome, Italy.

HE Al Ghurair has an honours degree in industrial engineering from California Polytechnic State University.

Asad  Batla

Asad Batla

Head of Consumer Banking
Bank Nizwa
Nima  Abu-Wardeh

Nima Abu-Wardeh

Former Presenter, Middle East Business Report
BBC World News; and Founder, and UAE Saves Week

Nima Abu Wardeh is an award-winning bilingual English-Arabic broadcast journalist. Regarded as an opinion leader, she is approached by think-tanks, the corporate world and government entities for her insight. She regularly chairs and is a speaker at regional and global gatherings, including the World Economic Forum and the Arab Business Council meetings. She presented BBC World’s business and finance programme “Middle East Business Report” for its lifetime and was part of the team that set it up. She has written opinion pieces for Forbes Arabia and has taught media courses at Zayed University in the UAE as a visiting lecturer. Ms Abu Wardeh’s passion for empowering people saw her create UAE Saves Week to enable people to change their daily behaviour with money and set them on the path to financial empowerment and their own sustainability. She writes about money and life as a weekly columnist with The National, the UAE's flagship newspaper. She is a former member of the Arab Thought Foundation’s Advisory Committee as well as a board member of the World Congress for History Producers

Elias  Aractingi

Elias Aractingi

General Manager, Retail Banking

Elias Aractingi became General Manager, Retail Banking, at BLOM Bank in 2013. He joined the bank in 1995, as adviser to the chairman, and began working on an extensive reorganisation of the bank’s branches and head office departments. After this he created and headed the bank’s Retail Banking division and developed, managed, processed and marketed a complete portfolio of basic as well as innovative retail products, helping BLOM achieve record levels of performance and a multitude of international awards. He also led the team that acquired the Misr Romanian Bank in Cairo and became temporary CEO of the renamed BLOM Bank Egypt twice, in 2005/6 and 2009. In 2009, he was promoted to Deputy General Manager and returned to Lebanon while remaining on the board of BLOM Bank Egypt.

Before BLOM, Mr Aractingi was a consultant with Booz Allen & Hamilton in South East Asia, working on a number of banking assignments and becoming a Principal and Head of the Thailand Office. Prior to this he worked for several banks in New York: BSI-Banca della Svizzera Italiana, Bank Audi USA and Manufacturers Hanover Trust. He has had articles published in the Journal of Retail Banking and numerous other publications. He is the author of Boosting YOU: The Book That Helps YOU Become a More Successful Executive. He has an MBA in Finance from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in New York, and a degree with distinction in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut.

Anthony Browne

Anthony Browne

Chief Executive Officer
British Bankers’ Association

Anthony Browne joined the BBA as CEO in September 2012 from Morgan Stanley, where he was responsible for external engagement on political and regulatory issues. He previously worked as policy director for economic development for Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London. He oversaw the London Development Agency, London’s international promotional agencies and set up the London apprenticeships programme, recruiting 40,000 apprentices in one year. Before working for the Mayor, Mr Browne ran Policy Exchange, the UK’s largest free market think tank. He spent the first two decades of his career as a television and newspaper journalist, covering politics, business and economics.

Dominic Corradi

Dominic Corradi

Middle East Digital Financial Services Leader

Dominique Corradi is the Digital Banking Middle East Leader, and Director of Financial Services Advisory, for EY in the UAE. He joined the firm in 2015. He previously worked for PwC and IBM and has more than 18 years’ international consulting experience for financial institutions in the UK, Europe, India, the Middle East and North Africa. Projects he has led include the implementation of a multi- channel distribution framework for a Moroccan bank, the core banking transformation e-banking channel for an Islamic bank in Saudi Arabia, the creation of a captive offshore delivery centre in India, the post-merger integration of the commodity and structured finance business of two corporate and investment banks in France, and the implementation of a centralised customer data repository for a corporate and investment bank in France. Mr Corradi has an MBA from Henley Management College, UK, and an MSc in Computer Science from the University Pierre & Marie Curie, Paris.

Neal  Cross

Neal Cross

Managing Director and Chief Innovation Officer
DBS Bank

Neal Cross is Managing Director and Chief Innovation Officer of DBS Bank and a strong advocate for innovation thinking and culture. He drives the bank’s innovation agenda regionally, as DBS moves to shape the future of banking, to enhance customer experience and better engage customers in the digital landscape. Mr Cross has more than 20 years’ experience in technology, innovation and financial services. Working with internal stakeholders and external collaborators, he charts the innovation roadmap for DBS to enhance customer experience and better engage the bank’s customers in the digital landscape.

On the back of DBS' recent “World’s Best Digital Bank” accolade, he won the “Most Disruptive” CIO global award by impressing judges Steve Wozniak and Sir Richard Branson at the finals of the Talent Unleashed Awards 2016.

Previous to DBS, Mr Cross was at MasterCard, where he was responsible for driving innovation as Vice President of MasterCard Labs in the company’s Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions. He started working in the Asia time zone at Microsoft in Australia and later in Singapore as the financial services industry director.

On his weekends he lives in the Sumatran jungle where he has founded Hotel Orangutan, a social enterprise to help save the critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan and to give local villagers employment and education.

Florence Eid-Oakden

Florence Eid-Oakden

CEO and Chief Economist
Arabia Monitor

Dr. Florence Eid-Oakden is the CEO and Chief Economist of Arabia Monitor. She has been a professor of economics and finance at the American University of Beirut and a visiting professor at INSEAD and HEC Paris. Formerly head of MENA research at JP Morgan, Dr. Eid-Oakden has also worked with the World Bank on Latin America & North Africa and on the buy side as a hedge fund investment professional. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Arab Banking Corporation International Bank in London and in Jordan, the Arab Bankers Association of North America in New York, and sits on the Advisory Council of the Al Faisal University College of Business, Saudi Arabia. She has also served as a Trustee of the American University in Paris, and a Director of Shuaa Capital in Dubai. Dr. Eid-Oakden received her Ph.D. in Organization Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a joint MIT-Harvard Doctoral Committee. She is fluent in Arabic, English, French and Spanish.

Raimund  Genes

Raimund Genes

Chief Technology Officer
Trend Micro

Raimund Genes brings more than 30 years’ computer and network security experience to his position of Chief Technology Officer at Trend Micro, the cyber security software company which has its global headquarters in Japan and regional headquarters in other parts of the world. Based in Germany, Mr Genes is responsible for introducing new methods to detect and eradicate threats. He has a team of developers and researchers around the globe who research and develop new core technology components to protect against email, web and file-based threats under the Smart Protection Network umbrella. Mr Genes has held several executive management positions in Trend Micro, including General Manager for Trend Micro’s Incubation Business, President of European Operations; European Vice President of Sales and Marketing; and Managing Director. He worked in the German air force for 12 years in radar guidance and aircraft tracking and holds an MSc in radar guidance from the German Air Force Academy. He is also a Certified Network Engineer.

Keith Gross

Keith Gross

Chairman, Cyber Security Working Group, European Banking Federation and Head of Financial Crime and Security
Banking and Payments Federation Ireland

Keith Gross is Head of Financial Crime & Security at the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI), formerly the Irish Banking Federation, where he has worked for more than 10 years. He is also Chairman of the European Banking Federation’s Cyber Security Working Group, a position he has held for four years. In addition, he serves on the Financial Services Advisors Group to Europol’s European Centre for Cybercrime, EC3. He specialises in fraud, e-fraud, high- tech crime, money laundering, terrorist financing, physical security and cash-in-transit. His roles involve engaging with the financial sector, as well as with law enforcement agencies and government departments. He is the Irish national representative at various national and European committees and advisory groups. Mr Gross was educated at the National University of Ireland Galway (Bachelor of Commerce), the Dublin Institute of Technology (postgraduate studies) and is currently completing a Masters in Criminology, Risk & Security at the University of Leicester, UK.

Terry Kane

Terry Kane

Head of Auto, Finance, Telco, Travel, MENA

Terry Kane has been Head of Auto, Finance, Telco and Travel for the MENA Region at Facebook since May 2014. He has more than 15 years’ experience in technology, strategy and marketing in large national and international organisations. He has worked across multiple verticals and industries and before joining Facebook he was Head of Digital Strategy for the Jumeirah Group, the Dubai-based international luxury lifestyle organisation. He has developed recognised expertise in multiple disciplines, including brand and strategic marketing, digital communications, research, and software development. Mr Kane has published research for the World Economic Forum, and also serves on multiple non-executive boards and is a regular speaker at international events. He has an MBA from London Business School and undergraduate degrees from Bournemouth University and The University of Ulster.

Emre  Karter

Emre Karter

Managing Director, Head of Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS), Middle East North Africa Pakistan, Turkey, UAE

Emre Karter is responsible for Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solution businesses in the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey, and is based in Dubai. He is also a senior business risk officer. He has more than 19 years’ experience in banking, in areas including relationship management, credit and risk, product, and business management. Prior to his current role he was Head of TTS for Russia and Central & Eastern Europe (CEE). Before that he managed the transaction service business for Turkey and Central Asia and Transcaucasia. He joined Citi in Turkey in 1996 and held various positions in corporate banking as a relationship banker, as well as spending a year in Brussels coordinating the Global Relationship Banking franchise across CEEMEA. Before joining Citi, Mr Karter worked at Coca-Cola in Turkey and Prudential Securities in the USA. He has a BSc in Management from Bilkent University, Turkey, and an MSc in International Business and Finance from New Hampshire College, USA.

David Parker

David Parker

UK and Ireland Banking Lead

David Parker is a Managing Director in Accenture’s financial services business, leading the banking practice in the UK and Ireland. He has more than 20 years’ experience of shaping and delivering business and IT transformation at global and UK banks. Prior to this position he was the client lead for several major UK banks. He is a regular contributor to industry journals and the author of a number of articles, including “The Banking Standards Review: Readiness and Implementation”, “Restoring profitability whilst re-building capital”, “Core banking systems – time to grasp the nettle” and “Digital disruption”.

Greg  Rung

Greg Rung

Partner, Financial Services
Oliver Wyman, Member of the Management Team, Tri International Consulting Group (TICG)

Greg Rung is a Partner in the Financial Services practice at Oliver Wyman. He is also a Member of the Management Team at TICG, the joint venture management consultancy founded by the Kuwait Investment Authority, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and Oliver Wyman. Over his 20 years of experience, he has managed 200-plus projects. Key areas of focus are banking, insurance, asset management and sectoral competitiveness. He was previously with the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank Group, where he made equity investments and conducted advisory activities. Prior to this, he served for three years as a member of the Executive Committee of OSEO (now Public Investment Bank), a French institution related to the Ministry of Finance. He also worked for McKinsey & Co in Europe. Mr Rung is a graduate of the London School of Economics, HEC Paris and the University of Chicago. He is fluent in English, Spanish and French. He is a regular speaker at industry conferences and has written articles on emerging markets in various leading publications.

Derek White

Derek White

Chief Design and Digital Officer

Derek White is the Chief Design and Digital Officer for Barclays. He is the creator of Rise, Barclays’ accelerator programme for financial technology start-ups, which operates in London and New York City, and he launched Pingit, Barclays’ mobile payments app. Before joining Barclays he worked at two internet banks, Wingspan and Juniper. At college he co- founded Roomies, a sports and entertainment business. He started his first business when he was nine years of age.


Agenda - 16th Nov

  • 8:15am
    Registration & networking
  • 9:00am
    Conference Chairman's Opening Remarks

    Michael Imeson, Contributing Editor, The Banker

  • 9:10am
    Welcome from the Chairman of the UAE Banks Federation

    H.E. Abdul Aziz Abdulla Al-Ghurair, Chairman, UAE Banks Federation. 

  • 9:15am
    Opening remarks from the Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE

    H.E  Mubarak Rashid Khamis Al Mansoori, the Governor of the UAE Central Bank

  • 9:25am
    Keynote presentation: Innovation wars

    Technology guru, entrepreneur and best-selling author Scott Bales will explain how creative ideas are kick-starting success in the financial services sector and disrupting traditional ways of doing things. He will:

    • Describe how banks are innovating and turning new ideas into commercial realities.

    • Explain how innovation damages existing business models, and what banks must do to adjust.

    • Give practical advice on how to encourage creativity in your organisation to develop new products and services that improve the customer experience AND deliver shareholder value.

    Scott Bales, Managing Director, Innovation Labs Asia, Singapore; author, Mobile Ready:Connecting with the Untethered Customer; and former Chief Mobile Officer, Movenbank


  • 10:00am
    Panel discussion: The digital revolution – new strategies for forward-thinking bank leaders

    • How do you make the most of digital banking to improve the customer experience, increase revenues, cut costs and deliver shareholder value?

    • How rapidly are traditional banks losing ground to new entrants – the “challenger” banks and non-bank payment providers?

    • What does a winning electronic banking strategy look like? Where does social media fit in? Will crypto-currencies like Bitcoin ever become mainstream?

    • Is there a future for cash, cheques, paper documents and branches?

    Elias Aractingi,General Manager, Retail Banking, BLOM Bank, Lebanon

    Asad Batla, Head of Consumer Banking, Bank Nizwa, Oman

    Dominique Corradi, Middle East Digital Financial Services Leader, EY, UAE

    David Parker, UK and Ireland Banking Lead, Accenture, UK

    Moderator: Michael Imeson, Contributing Editor, The Banker

  • 10:45am
    On-stage interview: Feeding the imagination – banks as incubators of financial technology and digital businesses

    Banks and other financial institutions around the world have set up innovation laboratories and accelerator programmes to push forward the boundaries of financial technology. They are doing this internally to develop their own business, and in some cases externally to assist and fund entrepreneurs and start-ups.

    • What exactly do these labs and programmes do, and how successful have they been?

    • Case study: Citigroup has established accelerator and incubator programmes and innovation labs around the world, and a venture capital arm in California, to create and support technological development and new digital business.

    - How do these initiatives work, and what have they achieved so far?

    - How has digital innovation changed the way Citi thinks about business and how it pursues growth?

    - How are advances in financial technology – such as the cloud, application programming interface (API) and blockchain – creating new opportunities for the bank and its clients?

    • Case study: Barclays has created Rise, a business "escalator" that helps innovators and start-ups in London and New York develop disruptive technologies to support the bank’s four core businesses.

    - What is Rise, and what has it achieved to date?

    - How does it operate?

    - What are its future objectives?

    Emre Karter, Managing Director, Head of Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS), Middle East North Africa Pakistan, Turkey, Citigroup, UAE

    Derek White, Chief Design and Digital Officer, Barclays, UK

    Interviewer:  Nima Abu-Wardeh, former Presenter, Middle East Business Report, BBC World News; and Founder, and UAE Saves Week 

  • 11:10am
    Networking refreshment break.
  • 11:35am
    On-stage interview: Emerging global banking threats – what keeps bankers awake at night?

    • How big is the burden of financial regulation and the risk of political interference? Will the pressure ever ease?

    • What threats are posed by the macro-economic environment?

    • Technology risk. Advances in technology are creating huge opportunities for banks, but they are also creating new risks, such as legacy IT issues, the difficulties of implementing new digital banking services and the advent of crypto-currencies. What are the big technology risk for banks, and how should they manage them?.

    • How do banks remain profitable in the face of competition from established players, challenger banks and non-bank entities entering the financial services marketplace?

    • Poor corporate governance – how can it be improved?

    Anthony Browne, Chief Executive Officer, British Bankers’ Association, UK

    Interviewer: Nima Abu-Wardeh, former Presenter, Middle East Business Report, BBC World News; and Founder, and UAE Saves Week

  • 11:55am
    Fireside chat: Combatting cyber crime – leading the way in deterrence, detection, mitigation

    • Cyber crime in financial services: how serious is it?

    • What new strategies are banks, financial regulators, law enforcement agencies and governments taking to prevent, detect and mitigate cyber attacks? 

    • What innovative software tools are being developed to improve cyber security in the banking system.

    Raimund Genes, Chief Technology Officer, Trend Micro, Germany

    Keith Gross, Chairman, Cyber Security Working Group, European Banking Federation, Belgium; and Head of Financial Crime and Security, Banking and Payments Federation Ireland

    Moderator:  Michael Imeson, Contributing Editor, The Banker

  • 12:20pm
    Presentation: Reinventing banking

    Banks must move with the times, think differently and creatively, and change the way they do things if they are to provide the experiences today’s customers demand. So:

    • What is changing in banking markets? How can banks harness the power of social media to their benefit?

    • How should banks respond to change, use their imagination and reinvent themselves?

    • What is the secret of becoming a successful leader of innovation?

    Brunon Bartkiewicz, Chief Innovation Officer, ING Bank, Netherlands

  • 12:40pm
    Panel discussion: Product and service innovation – the role of original thinking

    • How do you generate new financial products and services, develop them for the market and ensure their success?

    • In the public spotlight: recent product successes and failures in online/mobile banking, contactless payments, plastic cards, social media, branch banking, SME banking, private banking/wealth management and Islamic finance.

    • How are new entrants – not only challenger banks, but also non-financial institutions like Facebook, Google and Apple –  stimulating original thinking in financial services?

    Terry Kane, Head of Auto, Finance, Telco, Travel, MENA, Facebook, UAE

    Mouayed Makhlouf, Director, MENA, International Finance Corporation, UAE

    Dr Florence Eid-Oakden, CEO and Chief Economist, Arabia Monitor, UK; Board Director, Arab Banking Corporation International Bank, UK and Jordan; and Board Director, Arab Bankers Association of North America, USA

    Greg Rung, Partner, Financial Services, Oliver Wyman; and Member of the Management Team, Tri International Consulting Group (TICG), Kuwait

    Moderator:  Michael Imeson, Contributing Editor, The Banker

  • 1:20pm
    Closing keynote address: Building engines of innovation

    The best ideas can be generated by one person or one company, but they also come from collaboration with others.

    • How DBS Bank is leading the way in using advanced innovation techniques to co-innovate with external eco-systems to define the future of banking.

    • Banking 2025 – where will we be 10 years from now? 

    Neal Cross, Chief Innovation Officer, DBS Bank, Singapore

  • 1:50pm
    Final remarks

    H.E. Abdul Aziz Abdulla Al-Ghurair, Chairman, UAE Banks Federation.

  • 1:55pm
    Summary of key themes and closing remarks

    Michael Imeson, Contributing Editor, The Banker

  • 2:00pm
    Networking lunch

Who Attends?

FT Live has a reputation for delivering very senior board level audiences to attend a wide range of world class thought-leadership events across the globe for nearly 40 years.  

This forum has been produced to meet the needs of senior banking and finance professionals, including:

  • Central Bank Governors
  • Finance Ministers
  • Heads/Directors of Banking Supervision 
  • Financial regulators
  • Chief Executive Officers
  • Chief Financial Officers
  • Chief Investment Officers
  • Chief Operating Officers
  • Investment Committee Members
  • Heads of Investment / Asset Allocation
  • Head of Funds / Portfolio Management
  • Chief Compliance Officers 
  • Heads/Directors of Regulatory Affairs 
  • Heads/Directors of Retail Banking 
  • Heads/Directors of Consumer Banking 
  • Heads/Directors of / Business Banking / SME Banking 
  • Heads/Directors of Digital Banking 
  • Heads/Directors of Mobile Banking 
  • Heads/Directors of Channel Delivery
  • Heads of Innovation




Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Jumeirah Rd

United Arab Emirates

Tel: +971 4 348 0000


Organisers (4)

Established in 1982, the UAE Banks Federation is a professional representative body comprising 48 member banks operating in the UAE. The Federation advocates all banks' interests, and enhances cooperation and coordination among them, in order to promote and upgrade the UAE's banking industry for the benefit of the banking sector, its customers, and the national economy.

The UAE Banks Federation's mission and objectives are focused on developing and representing the interests of the member banks and defending their rights. The federation plays a major role in raising public awareness around the beneficial role and distinctive financial, economic and social contribution of the banks to the UAE.

The Federation has an Advisory Council consisting of Bank CEOs which oversees the implementation of the policies, follows up on UBF's activities and makes necessary decisions, and 19 specialized technical committees who discuss all relevant banking issues.

The Banker provides economic and financial intelligence for the world's financial sector and has built a reputation for objective and incisive reporting. It leads the debate on all the issues surrounding the global banking industry, providing in-depth news and analysis, exclusive interviews with senior industry figures and definitive regional bank listings, including the internationally acclaimed Top 1000 World Banks.

Financial Times Live (FT Live) is the global conferences and events division of the Financial Times Group. Chaired by senior journalists from the Financial Times Group, the summits, conferences, awards and strategic forums organised by FT Live gather the world’s brightest minds and most influential decision-makers.

Exclusive on-stage interviews, stimulating presentations and lively panel debates – available on multiple content platforms – provide the cutting-edge insights, unique personalities and peer audience engagement that have the power to transform finance, business, politics, society and culture.

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. In 2016 the FT passed a significant milestone in its digital transformation as digital and services revenues overtook print revenues for the first time. The FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of more than 910,000 and makes 60% of revenues from its journalism.

SPI Exhibition Organisers is a well-established name in the market for hosting high profile corporate events. The most popular summits and conferences are Emirates NBD Global Business Series, Global Innovation Summit and SME World Summit. Over 15,000 top decision makers have attended events conceptualized and organized by the group in the last two years thereby becoming the no. 1 SME platform. The events are aimed at giving recognition and visibility to the sponsors.

Lead Sponsors (10)

Emirates NBD is a leading banking Group in the region. As at 30th June 2016, total assets were AED 425.8 Billion, (equivalent to approx. USD 116 Billion). The Group has a significant retail banking franchise in the UAE and is a key participant in the global digital banking industry, with over 87 per cent of all financial transactions and requests conducted outside of its branches. The bank currently has more than 220 branches and over 955 ATMs and CDMs in the UAE and overseas and a large social media following, being the only bank in the Middle East ranked among the top 20 in the ‘Power 100 Social Media Rankings’, compiled by The Financial Brand. It is a major player in the UAE corporate and retail banking arena and has strong Islamic Banking, Global Markets & Treasury, Investment Banking, Private Banking, Asset Management and Brokerage operations.

The Group has operations in the UAE, Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and representative offices in India, China and Indonesia.

The Group is an active participant and supporter of the UAE’s main development initiatives and of the various educational, environmental, cultural, charity and community welfare establishments.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has one of the largest networks in the UAE, with 108 branches and cash offices and more than 542 ATMs across the country. NBAD’s growing international presence consists of 45 branches and offices in 17 countries stretching across five continents from the Far East to the Americas, giving it the largest global network among all UAE banks.

Since 2009, NBAD has been ranked consecutively as one of the World’s 50 Safest Banks by the prestigious Global Finance magazine, which also named NBAD the Safest Bank in the Emerging Markets and the Middle East.

A comprehensive financial institution, NBAD offers a range of banking services including retail, investment and Islamic banking. NBAD grows strategically toward its vision to be recognised as the World’s Best Arab Bank. 

ADCB was formed in 1985 and as at 31 March 2018 employed over 5,000 people from 80 nationalities, serving retail customers and corporate clients in 49 branches, 1 pay office and 2 branches in India, 1 branch in Jersey and representative offices in London and Singapore. As at 31 March 2018, ADCB’s total assets were AED 267 billion.

ADCB is a full-service commercial bank which offers a wide range of products and services in both conventional and Shari’ah compliant banking, operating in four business segments including Consumer Banking, Wholesale Banking, Treasury and Investments and Property Management.

ADCB is owned 62.52% by the Government of Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi Investment Council). Its shares are traded on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. As at 31 March 2018, ADCB’s market capitalisation was AED 34 billion.

Abu Dhabi Islamic bank is one of the leading Islamic financial institutions operating in the Middle East. Awarded internationally for its excellence, ADIB offers a full suite of banking, financing, equity, and investment services, all in accordance with Islamic-Sharia principles. Established in 1997, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank now serves over 930,000 customers through a network of more than 80 branches and more than 740 ATMs, as well as online and mobile applications, making it one of the largest banking networks in the UAE. ADIB caters to a variety of sectors through its network of corporate, commercial, and community banks, and offers dedicated services for financial institutions and the government and public sectors.

Barclays is an international financial services provider engaged in personal banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth and investment management with an extensive presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Barclays’ purpose is to help people achieve their ambitions – in the right way.
With over 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 130,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.
Barclays has been part of the MENA community for over 150 years supporting individuals, businesses and economies across the region by providing individuals and family offices with wealth and investment management services and businesses with loans and specialised services such as trade finance, cash management, debt finance and credit facilities. Furthermore, Barclays Investment Bank continues to provide comprehensive financial advisory, capital raising, financing, structuring, risk management and execution services to corporations, governments and financial institutions worldwide.
Barclays is a driving force in the MENA banking space and is committed to delivering Barclays’ global platform and sector expertise to local MENA markets.
For further information about Barclays, please visit our website

The Bank was incorporated in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 1969 and is registered as a Public Shareholding Company (PSC).

The Bank is listed on the Dubai Financial Market and is fully owned by UAE Nationals, including 20% by the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD). The Bank employs around 1,159 staff of 44 nationalities. It offers a wide range of conventional and Islamic banking products and services to its corporate, commercial and personal banking customers through a network of 25 branches, 3 digital kiosk and 2 Cash Offices. Moreover the Bank has invested in an extensive network of 199 ATMs/CDMs.

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), established in 1975, is the first Islamic bank to have incorporated the principles of Islam in all its practices and is the largest Islamic bank in the UAE. DIB is a public joint stock company, and its shares are listed on the Dubai Financial Market. The bank currently operates 90 branches in the UAE.

The bank’s leading position has been reaffirmed by more than 165 local, regional and international accolades that it has won since 2004. DIB has won awards across retail, corporate and investment banking, as well as CSR and consultancy services. DIB’s notable recognitions recently included winning five accolades at the Banker Middle East Industry Awards 2015. DIB was also recognised for its retail banking services at the Banker Middle East Product Awards 2015 as well as being chosen as the "Islamic Bank of the Year -UAE" and "Most Established Bank of the Year - UAE" at 2015 Business Excellence Awards. The bank has been recognised for its expertise in arranging complex deals, winning accolades for “Murdarbah Deal of the Year”; “Ijarah Deal of the Year”; and “Pakistan Deal of the Year” at the Islamic Finance News Deal of the Year Awards 2015.  

Mashreq is one of the UAE's leading financial institutions, having originally been established as Bank of Oman in 1967.

Mashreq's branch network is extended strategically across the seven Emirates. The Bank is present in 12 countries with plans for rapid expansion in Bahrain, India, Bahrain, Egypt, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States. It is ranked amongst the fastest growing banks in the Middle East Region and is highly regarded for its innovation. The Bank has established itself as a market leader by delivering award-winning customer experiences and innovative thinking across its financial products and services.

Throughout its history, Mashreq has pioneered many of the products, services and technologies that customers in the UAE now take for granted. It was the first bank to issue and provide travellers' cheques, credit cards, ATMs, credit card merchant acquiring services and is still the only bank to issue fully chip enabled credit cards. It has the largest network of POS machines in the Middle East using the bank's most advanced EMV compliant terminals. The bank is also one of the few to provide e-commerce solutions to merchants who want on-line payment solutions.

Mashreq's various banking divisions cater to its own unique specialisms and expertise and include: Corporate Banking, Retail Banking, International Banking, and Innovative Treasury Services. The bank also allows for customers to experience Sharia'h Compliant financial banking solutions. As a leading financial institution, Mashreq is committed to supporting every community it serves. Mashreq is proud to be the only financial institution in the UAE to have been awarded the CSR Label by Dubai Chamber for five years in a row.

In keeping with Mashreq's planned growth, developing its human capital has become a prime focus area. We are known for investing heavily in the development of our Human Resources capabilities and providing them learning opportunities at all levels. The organization encourages excellence and rewards employees for their creative thinking. It also believes in empowering its people in order to excel and achieve personal growth.

The National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah is a public joint stock company incorporated in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. The Bank was founded in 1976 and underwent a major transformation in 2001 as it shifted its focus from purely corporate to retail and business banking. The Bank operates via four main business divisions: Retail Banking, Wholesale Banking, Treasury, and Insurance. It offers a wide range of personal and business banking products and services, as well as Islamic Banking solutions via RAKBANK AMAL, throughout its 35 branches and its portfolio of electronic banking solutions including Telephone, Online, and Mobile Banking services.


The Government holds 52.77% of RAKBANK’s share capital and is listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. The Board of Directors consists of members of the RAK ruling family and businessmen from UAE and Kuwait. Historically, the strategy focus has been on the retail and small business divisions in which the Bank enjoys a strong foothold. Towards the end of 2013, the Bank re-established itself in the commercial banking sector. According to The Banker's 2015 Top 1000 Bank Rankings, RAKBANK is the 1st in the UAE and 26th in the world by Return on Assets. It was also rated as the second best performing commercial bank in the Gulf Cooperation Council in the 2014 darien analytics survey.

Union National Bank (UNB) is a public joint stock company incorporated under the laws of the United Arab Emirates in 1982. UNB is the only bank in the UAE with significant shareholdings by the Governments of both Abu Dhabi (50%) and Dubai (10%). The remaining 40% of the shares are publicly held. The shares of UNB are listed on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

UNB operates through a wide network of branches and ATMs throughout the UAE.  UNB has extended its reach to Egypt through a successful acquisition of the erstwhile ACMB and currently operates in the country as UNB Egypt through a number of banking centres. It has ventured into Doha with a branch at the Qatar Financial Centre and has also opened a representative office in Shanghai China, being the first bank from the region to do so. UNB also has a branch in Kuwait Branch operational since Oct 2012.

UNB's subsidiaries include, Union Brokerage Company (UBC) which provides brokerage services for clients at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and the Dubai Financial Market, Al Wifaq Finance Company (AWFC) offering Shari’a compliant products and services to the growing Islamic banking market and INJAZ Marketing Management which provides marketing management related services, through a dedicated team of professional sales and marketing representatives.

Official Arabic Broadcaster (1)

CNBC Arabia is the Arab World's preeminent and first 24-hour Arabic language financial and business information Channel, presenting in-depth & up-to-the-minute coverage of regional and international affairs from an Arab economic perspective. CNBC Arabia brings real-time information to the most influential, powerful and affluent audience in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

Broadcasting to the Middle East and North Africa, from  Dubai, free – to – air on Nilesat and Arabsat, with bureaus in major MENA region, CNBC Arabia is supported by the global newsgathering resources of CNBC.

Official News Broadcaster (1)

Sky News Arabia is a 50-50 joint venture between Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp (ADMIC), a private investment company, and Sky PLC, the UK’s leading pay television provider. Based in Abu Dhabi, Sky News Arabia is a multi-platform news organization that delivers Arabic-language news on a free-to-air news channel, a video-rich website, mobile devices & most social media platforms.

Vision:  To be the most trusted, far-reaching and influential Arabic media platform.

Mission: To deliver fast and accurate news reportage across all platforms, while promoting a respect for human values and preserving our core principles of journalistic integrity and excellence through:

  • Attracting top-tier talent
  • Establishing a culture of creativity and innovation
  • Championing the use of cutting-edge technology

Sky News Arabia provides comprehensive coverage of the regional and international news agenda and content is being created and delivered by more than 500 multimedia journalists, supported by a full technical and operations team, broadcasting to over 50 million households in both HD and SD formats. Sky News Arabia also operates a network of over 30 newsgathering bureaus across the MENA region, including offices in London and Washington DC. Sky News Arabia also have access to Sky News’ wider network of international bureaus and newsgathering resources.

The company is committed to engaging staff from the UAE and across the MENA region, working with the community to develop local talent.


سكاي نيوز عربية في سطور

سكاي نيوز عربية هي ثمرة شراكة بين شركة أبوظبي للاستثمار الإعلامي، شركة الاستثمار الخاصة، وشركة سكاي البريطانية، الشبكة التلفزيونية الرائدة في المملكة المتحدة.

تعمل سكاي نيوز عربية من مقرها في أبوظبي، وهي مؤسسة إخبارية متعددة المنصات؛ تبث الأخبار باللغة العربية عبر قناة تلفزيونية مجانية بجودة الـHD عالية الوضوح، فضلاً عن تقديم خدماتها عبر موقعها الإلكتروني، ومن خلال تطبيقات الأجهزة المتحركة والذكية ومعظم منصات التواصل الاجتماعي.

تقدم سكاي نيوز عربية محتوى مميزاً وتغطية شاملة لأخبار المنطقة والعالم من خلال شبكة متكاملة تضم أكثر من 500 صحفي وإعلامي يتلقون الدعم من فريق تقني كامل ومن خبراء العمليات. وتبث القناة أخبارها إلى أكثر من 50 مليون منزل بالدقة العالية HD وبصيغة SD.  تملك سكاي نيوز عربية أيضاً 30 مكتباً في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا، إضافة إلى مكتبيها في لندن وواشنطن. كما تتعاون القناة مع شبكة المكاتب العالمية والمصادر الإخبارية المختلفة لقناة سكاي البريطانية.


تلتزم سكاي نيوز عربية باستقطاب أفضل الكوادر الصحفية من مختلف أرجاء الوطن العربي والعالم، كما تتعاون مع مختلف جهات المجتمع المحلي لتطوير قدرات المواهب المحلية وتوظيفها


رؤية ورسالة المؤسسة

الرؤية: "المصدر الإعلامي الموثوق الأوسع انتشاراً والأقدر على التأثير"

الرسالة: إيصال الخبر بدقة وسرعة عبر كافة المنصات، ومراعاة القيم الإنسانية، من خلال:

  • اتباع أعلى المعايير المهنية، واستقطاب أفضل الكفاءات.
  • تكريس ثقافة الإبداع والابتكار.
  • الريادة في توظيف التكنولوجيا.

Coffee Break partners (2)

Media Partners (5)

The Business Year (TBY) is a global media group specializing in economic news, research on national economies, and business intelligence across emerging markets. With operations in over 35 countries, we bring first-hand insights to investors, businesses, and governments worldwide.

ITP was founded in 1987 in the UK, and won The Queen's Award for Export Achievement in 1995. Reflecting the international scope of its business, the company subsequently relocated to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The company now publishes more than 80 weekly and monthly magazines and has a wide portfolio of market-leading digital properties. ITP organises more than 50 business and consumer events and conferences each year. ITP Customer Publishing publishes the in-flight magazine of Etihad Airways, the catalogues, previews and daily show newspapers for all exhibitions organised by Dubai World Trade Centre as well as a host of specialist publications for major retail and financial organisations.

The company has a dominant position in the Middle East media industry and has successful and fast-growing subsidiaries in India and the UK.The company employs close to 500 staff based in its Dubai Media City headquarters building and in its national offices in BahrainMumbai and London. ITP Publishing Group is part of ITP Holdings, a privately held, owner-managed company. 

First published in 1974, Gulf States News (GSN) is the Gulf-focused business information portal of Cross-border Information (CbI), a business intelligence company with a long established research focus on the politics, energy and financial sector trends of Africa and the Middle East. 

Through continual monitoring, independent research and an extensive network of local sources and on-the-ground experience, GSN has become one of the leading providers of political analysis on the region and the best source of accurate information about the business, financial and political affairs of Gulf royals, merchant families and the region’s ruling elites.

Daily News Egypt is a completely independent news provider for Egypt and the wider MENA region.

Working with local Arabic sources we provide the English speaking world with an insight into breaking news, in print and online every day of the week. We aim to build our reputation for honest and reliable reporting, to make us a point of reference on Egyptian current affairs for readers all over the world.

Business Media Group for press, publishing and Distribution Company ,BMG , obtained the rights to the Daily News Egypt in May 2012, in order to reinvest in paper and return it to pinnacle of English language news publishing in Egypt.

We provide news articles on politics, business, opinion, tourism articles and interviews.

Our team of journalists, editors, photographers and designers are all committed to a high standard of impartial journalism.

Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal

Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal was established in 1979 when it launched the first Pan-Arab business monthly magazine “Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal”. In 1993, it became the first Arab media group to establish a strong start in the conference industry in the region, an activity that was solely the preserve of western institutions. The Group has organized 250 events in 25 countries, attended by more than 10,000 leading businessmen and investors from the region and worldwide.

Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal magazine

Nominated as the leading Arab business publication in the region (according to Ipsos BES 2008, 2009, 2010), Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal magazine, and since 1979, is still the most comprehensive source of information on Pan-Arab business and economy, delivering relevant, in-depth and timely coverage of news you can use.

With its 12 monthly regular issues and 15 special issues published with transparency and professionalism over the year, Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal with 10% market share over all other 247 business publications in the region, is the right tool for a better understanding of major industries and country economies, as well as investment and business opportunities in the region.


'Inspirational, educational',  Dr. Rebel Hanna

'Very professionally organised. While content/themes could have been more ambitious, the speakers and format mix was very engaging',  Raymond HuxleyPwC

'Excellent program, networking, venue. Keep doing good things!'  Bernardo NicolettiTransigma

'Good speakers on the panel and contemporary topics of interest discussed,'  Anon

'An insightful and useful day spent looking at the significant opportunity that exist for the UAE banking market,'  Anon 

'An opportunity to listen to the voices of the financial brains from Middle East,'  Anon 


Photos from the 2014 Forum

ME 2014 photos

To view the 2014 Middle East Banking Forum photos, click here


Contact Us

Yemi Otuyemi
Delegate Booking and Registration Enquiries
Financial Times
Luke McGreevy
Head of Commercial - Middle East and Africa
Financial Times
Claire Arpa
Speaking Opportunities
Financial Times
Wendy Wong
Media Partner And Press Enquiries
Financial Times

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