Mastercard: Smart cities key to a more connected MEA

Mastercard was a sponsoring patron at the recent World Cities Summit in Singapore.
Updated 23 July 2018
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Mastercard: Smart cities key to a more connected MEA

Mastercard, a leading technology company in the global payments industry, continues to champion the fundamental role of smart cities in enabling a more connected and inclusive future for the Middle East and Africa (MEA). The company reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the development of smart cities through meaningful partnerships with both the public and private sectors at the recent World Cities Summit in Singapore, where Mastercard was a sponsoring patron.
Markets across the region are already heavily investing in the future of cities, with figures from the International Data Corporation forecasting that spending on technologies that enable smart city initiatives will reach $1.26 billion in MEA in 2018.
Commending the exceptional efforts of regional governments in implementing smart city initiatives and creating more opportunities for their cities’ transformation into vibrant hubs for innovation, Mastercard experts at the summit shed light on the significance of a “public-private-people (3P)” model and data analytics as key enablers of the technologies that will open doors to the cities of the future.
“An inclusive future for all is a shared responsibility and we believe that effective collaborations hinged on a dynamic public-private-people model is the way forward if we want to unlock the full potential of our cities. Mastercard is focused on making cities more efficient and inclusive by enabling ecosystems that benefit residents, visitors and local businesses. The key to the success of these cities is partnerships, and we will continue to engage with governments, NGOs and leaders in innovation to enable a smarter and more connected future for all,” said J.K. Khalil, cluster head, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Mastercard.
As part of its participation at the summit, Mastercard welcomed a delegation of the region’s most prominent journalists and influencers, where it facilitated in-depth discussions with industry experts and showcased the latest technologies to demonstrate and build advocacy for smart and connected cities.
With two billion adults around the world still lacking access to financial services, Mastercard is helping advance inclusive communities globally through its collaborations. The company has partnered with over 60 governments globally to deliver more than 1,600 scalable programs in various cities and communities around the world.


Top CEO Conference & Awards wraps up in Bahrain

Updated 17 April 2019
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Top CEO Conference & Awards wraps up in Bahrain

The Top CEO Conference & Awards 2019, organized by TRENDS magazine — Mediaquest and international business school INSEAD, has concluded at the Al-Areen Palace and Spa in Bahrain. The event, held on Thursday, included seven key panel discussions under the theme “Growth in a Volatile Future” as well as the Top CEO Awards 2019 ceremony, which recognized the region’s most successful and trendsetting CEOs from more than 700 companies listed on GCC stock exchanges.

Top business leaders and more than 30 speakers from across the GCC shed light on the Middle East’s dynamic but volatile region and the burning issues facing the corporate world today. This year’s theme focused on a score of relevant issues, such as oil price fluctuations, tech disruptions, armed and political schisms that pose new risks, and opportunities. Speakers such as renowned economist Professor Nouriel Roubini provided growth solutions and road maps for businesses in the GCC region.

Alexandre Hawari, CEO of Mediaquest, said: “In its fifth edition, the Top CEO Conference & Awards fully encapsulated the theme of ‘Growth in a Volatile Future’ by acknowledging and exploring the growth transformation that the region is undergoing through digitalization and the fourth industrial revolution amid geopolitical tensions, looming trade wars and a rapidly evolving business environment. Building on the huge success of the previous years, the Top CEO Awards 2019 recognized CEOs and companies who have raised the bar by navigating challenges, implementing new strategies, and have demonstrated unquestionable growth, profitability and excellence in corporate governance.”

The conference kicked off with an opening keynote from Jassim Al-Seddiqi, CEO of the Abu Dhabi Financial Group and chairman of GFH Financial Group, who delved into the potential of transforming the region into a fintech hub and the importance of jumping on the digital bandwagon. 

The prime panel discussion on the “Future of Growth Amid Volatility” brought together five CEOs who explored methods to create future-proof strategies that can not only tackle challenges but also boost growth in a tough geopolitical and economic climate. 

Hisham Al-Rayes, CEO and board member of the GFH Financial Group, said: “Investing in the future in areas such as fintech, education and technology, the foundations for strong, enduring knowledge-based economies, is a priority for the group and the governments of the region in which we invest.”

“The Blockchain Opportunity” and “The Human Factor and Tech Innovation” panels brought together industry experts from Facebook, the Bahrain FinTech Bay and King Abdul Aziz University. 

“The Future of Women’s Business Leadership” panel discussed positive strides taken by GCC governments and businesses in leveling the playing field for women professionals.