Fintastic Bahrain Goes Global: Rethinking Finance at Money 2020 and MoneyConf


What do fintech, blockchain, and artificial intelligence have in common? They are all products of the digital transformation that is radically taking over and changing our economies and societies. Technological developments in fintech change the way we borrow, manage and spend money around the world.

With the longest-established financial services sector in the Gulf, Bahrain has long been at the forefront of this evolution. At Money 2020 in Amsterdam from 4–6 June and then at MoneyConf in Dublin from 11–13 June, two of the fastest-growing events in the fintech space, Bahrain will bring its proud record of financial innovation to an international audience.

The launch in February this year of Bahrain FinTech Bay – the largest dedicated fintech hub in the MENA region – was the latest in a series of developments that have shown investors and entrepreneurs alike that the Kingdom is the GCC’s go-to destination for those who want to push the boundaries with new and innovative products.

Last year, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) launched a regulatory sandbox – a virtual space in which new products and services can be tested free of regulation for a period of time before being brought to the wider market.

The success of these initiatives was clear at last month’s Gateway Gulf investor forum in Manama, at which Bahrain Development Bank announced a $100 million venture capital fund of funds. The Al Waha Fund of Funds will specifically target funds that are invested in Bahrain – injecting the capital our start-ups need to keep thriving.

Taken as a whole, these developments are a classic example of what we call our Team Bahrain approach – with entrepreneurs, businesses, investors and policymakers working together to create the ideal environment for our financial services to continue blazing a trail in the region and beyond. At EDB Bahrain, we’ve always understood that the way to stay ahead in the era of technological disruption is for government to listen to the businesses at the forefront of the change, to understand their needs, and to provide them with the environment in which they can compete in the global marketplace.

That’s why more than 400 financial institutions have made their homes in Bahrain, and there’ll be more to come – not least we hope from among the visionaries who will gather at Money 20/20 and MoneyConf.

If you’re a fintech entrepreneur, whatever stage you’re at in your career, Bahrain is the ideal launch pad to start or scale up your business. Strategically located in the heart of the GCC, the Kingdom is the natural gateway to the Gulf – with easy access to all the major markets in the region. Add to that a low-cost, business-friendly environment; a buzzing start-up ecosystem and community of connected businesspeople, incubators and legislators; and a first-class lifestyle; and it’s easy to see why so many of the world’s top talent have chosen Bahrain, and why that number is growing.

Interested in learning more? Visit the Fintastic Bahrain team in Amsterdam between June 4-6 at stand J74 or get in touch with us on

David Parker

Executive Director – Investment Development for Financial Services at Bahrain EDB

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