The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has announced the acceptance of seven new firms into its regulatory sandbox.
The DFSA’s regulatory sandbox permits tech companies to apply for an Innovation Testing License (ITL), which is part of the agency’s commitment to support innovation and the development of financial technology by enabling successful applicants to test their FinTech solutions in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
The sandbox’s latest cohort include companies that are developing a range of innovative, technology-driven solutions and products, including green financing, the digitization of bond and sukuk issuances using smart contracts, SME funding platforms, robo-advisors for Islamic finance, and the tokenization of equities and debt issuances.
After being accepted into the DFSA’s latest cohort, successful firms are now invited to apply for an ITL. The license will allow the companies to test and develop innovative concepts without being subject to the full regulatory requirements normally applicable to DFSA regulated firms. The DFSA expects to grant the first batch of licenses in March.
“I am particularly pleased by the mix of international and local candidates that have been successful and the wide range of technology solutions and products on offer, including ethereum and Corda blockchains, artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms and smart contracts development,” said Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA. “The cohort also had strong representation from companies that aim to support wider Dubai and UAE objectives and government initiatives, including environmental efficiency, support for SMEs across the UAE, and the promotion of Islamic Finance. We shall continue to support the Dubai Government and the DIFC in the development of the Dubai FinTech ecosystem and consolidate Dubai’s role as the regional Fintech hub.”
The DFSA said that it will continue to offer two open cohorts each year, during which, applicants should provide a clear explanation of their business model and proposed innovation in financial technology. The next opportunity to apply to participate in a cohort will be in May.
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