Region’s largest FinTech hub set to open in Bahrain
Manama - Bahrain FinTech Bay (BFB), billed as the largest dedicated FinTech hub in the Middle East and Africa, is scheduled to open in February next year, it has emerged. A joint venture involving the Economic Development Board (EDB) and FinTech Consortium Bahrain, the new hub aims to further the development and acceleration of Fintech firms as well as the interaction between investors, entrepreneurs, government bodies and financial institutions. Offering 10,000 square feet of usable space, BFB will be located in the Arcapita building overlooking Bahrain Bay. It will comprise state-of-the-art facilities, co-working spaces, communal areas, workstations, hot desks, and a variety of other shared infrastructure, making it the ideal hub for local and international corporate innovation labs and FinTech start-ups to base themselves in. FinTech Consortium Bahrain, a subsidiary of FinTech Consortium, has been appointed as the operator and ecosystem builder of BFB. The consortium will apply physical and digital solutions to manage the hub, as well as integrate BFB into its numerous FinTech platforms, including blockchain, insurance technology, regulatory technology (RegTech), and others. BFB will be a part of FTC’s global network of locations - New York, Singapore, and now Bahrain - and work closely with its counterparts to promote collaboration and shared innovation. “We are excited about the opportunities that FinTech presents in the region and in Bahrain’s ability to serve as a hub for innovation in this sector,” said Economic Development Board chief executive Khalid Al Rumaihi. “We know that in order to realise these opportunities, it is vital to get the right ecosystem, including ensuring a supportive regulatory environment and infrastructure is in place. He said Bahrain’s regulatory sandbox allows entrants to test their banking ideas and solutions and shows the extent of support available to FinTech. “This partnership to develop the dedicated FinTech co-working space and digital ecosystem platform will play an important role in developing this further,” he added. According to FinTech Consortium co-founder Gerben Visser, “With strong support from the Bahraini government and Central Bank of Bahrain and a world-class infrastructure, we are confident that Bahrain FinTech Bay will contribute to the future-proofing of Bahrain’s financial centre.” “Bahrain today offers the most compelling and credible FinTech proposition in the Middle East,” said FinTech Consortium Bahrain chairma Maissan Al Maskati. “It has strategically provided the key ingredients that are a necessary to build a successful FinTech ecosystem including the Central Bank’s guidelines on FinTech, the introduction of advanced technological infrastructure through AWS, and now the launch of Bahrain FinTech Bay.” BFB is being founded together with a number of regional and international founding partners, strong support and partnership with the Central Bank of Bahrain, other government entities, and financial institutions.