Visa opens regional Innovation Centre in Dubai

New hub designed for technologists, financial institutions and developers to co-create next generation payment and commerce applications

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Visa opens regional Innovation Centre in Dubai Visa and TECOM Group executives pose for a photo after signing a memorandum of understanding at the launch of the Innovation Centre in Dubai.
By  Manda Banda Published  May 18, 2016

Visa, a global payments technology company, has opened its innovation centre in Dubai Internet City (DIC), the region's largest ICT free zone.

This centre will serve the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) regions and is part of a network of new innovation centres that Visa is opening around the world over the course of 2016 and 2017.

The new 4,000 square foot facility in DIC supports Visa's commitment to drive cashless economies throughout the region. According to the company, the Dubai facility is designed to replicate the success of Visa's flagship innovation centre, One Market in San Francisco and the Asia Pacific innovation centre that recently opened in Singapore.

In addition, the innovation centre in Dubai, along with Visa's other global network of innovation facilities, is a key part of the company's focus on fostering innovation and promoting "open commerce".

"The UAE has been among the leaders in the region in adopting and promoting the acceptance of innovative technologies. Fostering a knowledge economy is one of the four pillars outlined in the UAE Vision 2021, highlighting the country's commitment to technological innovation," said Kamran Siddiqi, group executive, CEMEA, Visa. "The country's strategic location, which in itself is a diverse and exciting part of the world, makes it an ideal place for us to build this facility where Visa will work alongside clients and partners to imagine and build creative, cutting-edge digital commerce and payment experiences."

Visa and TECOM Group also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) attended by Dr. Amina Al Rustamani, Group CEO, TECOM Group and senior management members of TECOM and Visa, at the launch.

Malek Al Malek, CEO, TECOM Business Parks, said: "We are very proud to partner with Visa to further foster and support innovation in the region. This is a major strategic pillar for TECOM Group, which has played a vital role in Dubai's diversification and is now supporting efforts to transform the Emirate into an innovation-led economy and smart city.

"As part of TECOM Group's innovation strategy, we have led major innovation initiatives including a strategic partnership with Smart Dubai, launch of the in5 Incubation arm in 2013 to support the growth of entrepreneurs and startups across our different verticals thus enforcing a solid entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region."

Al Malek added: "Visa's decision to launch its innovation centre in DIC is a testament to our partnership as well as the sector development across the UAE and our leading position in the region. We look forward to working closely with Visa to take the industry into further heights in innovation and creativity."

The CEMEA innovation centre is led by John McGuire, vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships and head of the Dubai Innovation Centre. McGuire will work with a dedicated team of veteran fintech experts, the larger Visa network and our partners to conceive and develop commerce and payment prototypes.

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