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San Francisco and Berlin have new competition for the capital of 'fintech'

  • Dubai is fast becoming a destination for financial technology startups because of its location, private investment and innovation.

Dubai has seen a surge of interest from fintech startups and banking assets over the last three years, according to the emirate's financial center's management body.

It's fast becoming a destination for financial technology startups because of its location, private investment and innovation.

"Dubai has its own unique attributes that the likes of San Francisco and Singapore do not have," Moussa Beidas CEO and Co-Founder of smartphone payment platform Bridg told CNBC on Thursday.

"I think there are very few places in the world where you can get so much in such a small place and yet with so much potential," he said.

The patented platform that takes digital payments offline is based at the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFCA) – a special economic area that aims to support businesses to tap into the emerging markets.

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFCA, told CNBC Thursday that in the space of three years the financial hub went from hosting 1000 companies to 1715 and banking assets rose from $50 billion to $150 billion in the same period.

"An accelerator acts as a way for them (companies) to really engage in the potential of the market, by introducing cutting edge technology solution providers from all over the globe, for them to really absorb, examine and test and really adapt …and grow their share in the market," Amiri said.

He told CNBC that the financial services industry contributes about 12 percent to Dubai's total gross domestic product and it is expected to increase to 18 percent by 2024.

Gareth Lewis, CEO and Co-Founder of Delio, which helps firms getting investment, told CNBC Thursday "there's a fantastic opportunity in the Dubai region purely around the appetite for private investment."

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