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Deezer to focus on Arabic content to beat rivals Spotify, YouTube in MENA

French music streaming service Deezer will focus on local Arabic content in the MENA region in order to overcome fierce competition from global rivals YouTube and Spotify, according to CEO Hans-Holger Albrecht.

Deezer and Spotify’s MENA launches took place just three weeks apart, with the Paris-based firm having a head start in October.

Speaking to Arabian Business, Albrecht said Deezer is ‘not afraid’ of the competition as it focuses heavily on the region. In August, partnered with the Arab world’s largest record label Rotana to offer users a wide selection of Arabic hits and access to local content from music production group Mazzika and Saudi-based telecom provider Qanawat, in addition to 53 million tracks from global artists.

Learn more about Deezer’s strategy here


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20 innovative tech solution pilots emerge from Second FinTech Hive

FinTech Hive at DIFC, the first and largest financial technology accelerator in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, marked another milestone on Tuesday in its continued support for financial innovation with the completion of the 2018 edition of its accelerator programme.

Arif Amiri, CEO, DIFC Authority, said: “DIFC tripled its commitment to FinTech in 2018, and we have delivered on this promise by broadening our scope, bringing new partners on board and introducing dedicated streams for InsurTech, RegTech and Islamic FinTech. We have also secured support from regional and global investors who are looking to capitalise on the next big solution that will transform the financial services sector, with participants in last year’s cohort already having raised over $16 million in capital. The innovative and diverse pool of start-ups taking part in FinTech Hive this year is illustrative of the growth and success we are seeing in the sector as industry leaders realise the potential of this technology.”

Read more about DIFC’s 20 innovative tech solutions


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Kuwait Launches its Own Fintech Sandbox to Stay Competitive Among Gulf Nations

His Excellency, Dr. Mohammad Y. Al-Hashel, the Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait has announced that the bank has issued a Regulatory Sandbox Framework for fintech companies.

With a goal of spurring firms to experiment with emerging sectors in the fintech space, the sandbox guidelines will be providing flexibility to participants in meeting some regulatory or licensing requirements. The sandbox will also allow banking systems to test new technologies in a controlled environment, which the regulator hopes will improve stability.

Read more about Kuwait’s Fintech Sandbox


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18 orders per second on Souq in peak during White Friday sales with 50% digital payments

Dubai-based e-commerce giant Souq.com on Wednesday announced that the number of items sold during White Friday 2017 more than doubled compared to last year. A total of one million deals were on offer during the event, and 18 items were sold per second during peak times of the four-day sale, the retailer said in a statement.

Products from over 16,000 international fashion, beauty, electronics, grocery and other brands were on offer during White Friday 2017 which ran from November 22-25 across the GCC and Egypt.

Almost half of payments during the event were through made through e-payment methods instead of cash, the highest Souq.com said it has seen in the region to date.

Learn more about Souq’s White Friday Growth 


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