1 July 2019 — DFSA signs MoU with Smart Dubai on organisation-wise smart FINAL

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Dubai, UAE, 30 June 2019: The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Smart Dubai to collaborate on organisation-wide smart transformation initiatives spearheaded by Smart Dubai.

The MoU was digitally signed by Waleed Saeed Al Awadhi, Chief Operating Officer of the DFSA, and H.E Wesam Lootah, Chief Executive Officer of Smart Dubai Government Establishment making it one of the first digitally signed MoUs in the UAE.

As per the MoU, the DFSA and Smart Dubai will work together to empower, deliver, and promote an efficient, seamless, safe, and impactful experience for residents by drawing on technology innovation. The two entities will cooperate on the Dubai Data Initiative as part of the Smart City vision by managing data based on clear guidelines, aligned with international best practices and achieving integration and harmony between the services provided by federal government agencies and local government bodies.

The MoU complements the ongoing initiatives of the DFSA in driving organisation-wide digital transformation by promoting a culture of innovation and exploring the application of artificial intelligence and next-generation technologies. It also builds on the DFSA's commitment to be future-ready by incorporating best practices that are most suited to the digital world.

The DFSA and Smart Dubai will also jointly promote transparency by forming governance rules and controls on the exchange of data while ensuring data confidentiality and privacy. The DFSA will also contribute to Smart Dubai's startup support initiative by establishing testing environments in the UAE for startups and entrepreneurs.

Al Awadhi said: "Our agreement with Smart Dubai underlines our commitment in supporting the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the directions of H.H Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid AlMaktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of Dubai International Financial Centre, to position the emirate as a hub for digital technology adoption and promote a culture of innovation, both of which are central to us in shaping the digital future of the DFSA. The MoU will further enhance the initiatives we have already rolled out and will position us as a thought leader in digital innovation for the financial services and regulatory sector."

H.E Wesam Lootah commented: "The collaboration of public and private sector entities, specialised in all economic sectors, is central to achieving the smart city vision outlined by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The MoU with the DFSA will further accelerate the digital transformation by covering areas related to data science within the financial services sector."

Through the MoU, the DFSA will also promote the Dubai Paperless initiative to support Dubai government's aim to become completely paper-free by 2021. Representatives of the two entities will meet regularly to discuss and outline plans to achieve these common objectives.

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For further information please contact:
Corporate Communications
Dubai Financial Services Authority
Level 13, The Gate, West Wing
Dubai, UAE
Tel: +971 (0)4 362 1613

Editor's notes:

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a purpose-built financial free-zone in Dubai. The DFSA's regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading, Islamic finance, insurance, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange. In addition to regulating financial and related services, the DFSA is responsible for administering Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) legislation that applies to financial institutions and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPS) in the DIFC. [] Please refer to the DFSA's website for more information.

Waleed Saeed Al Awadi: Chief Operating Officer joined the DFSA in March 2013. He has over 16 years of international and local experience in leadership and strategy in financial services, Islamic banking, real estate, media and telecommunications industries. He is responsible for strategic operational excellence at the DFSA by leading the development and implementation of world-class, innovative solutions and smart initiatives. Mr. Al Awadhi represents the DFSA on strategic initiatives with Government entities and with local and regional regulators and international standard-setters. He plays a leading role in building UAE National capabilities both at the DFSA and the broader society. Previously, Mr Al Awadhi led the Marketing and Communication division at the Abu Dhabi Media, Priority Banking at Emirates Islamic Bank, and was Deputy Head of Retail Banking and Deputy Chief Marketing Officer at Dubai Bank, where he led Royal Banking and Wealth Management, Branding, Marketing and Communications. He was also the Global Director of Marketing and Sales at Sama Dubai, a member of Dubai Holding, and was responsible for over 20 international markets. Mr Al Awadhi is an alumni of Harvard Business School where he completed the General Management Program. He has a Master of Law with a double major in Arbitration & Dispute Resolution and Financial Crimes & Money Laundering, and a Bachelor degree in Applied Business Science. Mr Al Awadhi published his first book entitled 'The Sustainability of Family Businesses in the United Arab Emirates – A Legal and Operational Perspective For Best Practice.' An article based on his book was recently published in the International Company and Commercial Law Review.