With the growth of FinTech across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and generally across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), it is impressive to see what the regional ecosystem has achieved in the past year.

Dubai has delivered the FinTech Hive accelerator, and the Innovation Testing Licence, a regulatory sandbox.

Abu Dhabi has launched the RegLab, a regulatory sandbox.

Bahrain has launched a Regulatory Sandbox, a FinTech Unit for the central bank, and FinTech Bay, to be launched in February 2018, designed to be the largest FinTech hub in MENA.

Globally, the Islamic FinTech community has also grown.

I first came across Islamic Finance years back working in Malaysia, a global leader in this area, and was struck by the ethical and balanced objectives Sharia compliant products sought to deliver to consumers. Abdul is an Islamic Finance specialist.

Islamic Finance is faith based and complies with Sharia law which prohibits usery fees such as interest, and has prohibitions such as alcohol.