Dr Habib Al Mulla to give opening speech at Arabian Business StartUp Academy

The quarterly event will focus on the potential uses of blockchain for regional SMEs and the future of cryptocurrencies
The founder and chairman of local law giant Baker McKenzie, Habib Al Mulla.
By Lubna Hamdan
Thu 14 Jun 2018 09:21 AM

The founder and chairman of local law giant Baker McKenzie, Habib Al Mulla, is set to give the opening speech at the upcoming Arabian Business StartUp Academy, which will take place on June 27 at the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (DTEC) in Dubai Silicon Oasis.

The quarterly workshop event will see Dr Habib Al Mulla share his views on the future of blockchain, the fast-growing platform for digital assets, and cryptocurrencies, the virtual means of exchange which it supports.

A prominent and outspoken lawyer, Al Mulla will explore the digital concept’s opportunities, or lack thereof, in the region’s burgeoning business environment from a legal and regulatory perspective.

While blockchain is being rolled out in a number of sectors across the Gulf, cryptocurrencies remains a highly debated area, with a limited number of entities trading in them.

The opening speech will be followed by a panel discussion on the integration of blockchain into various businesses in the UAE. It will feature Muhammed Arafath, executive director of Apla, who will touch on developing blockchain-based platforms for governments and businesses, as well as Jihad Tayara, VP of ICT Commercial at Du, who will discuss integrating blockchain into telecoms and investing in blockchain-led start-ups. Joining them will be Imad Hammad, founder of online motor marketplace CarSwitch, which is exploring the implementation of blockchain into the digital start up.

The panel discussion will then be followed by a speech from Haytham Elmaayergi, Global Head of Transaction Banking at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), on the hype of cryptocurrency versus reality. Elmaayergi will then join a panel discussion on the rise and fall of cryptocurrencies, where he will discuss their prospective in banking.

Osama Al Rahma, vice chairman of FERG and CEO of Al Fardan Exchange, will also join the panel, alongside Tobias Young, head of hydrocarbons at Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange, to further touch on regulation challenges for digital assets in the region, and whether they will be identified as currencies, commodities or neither, by authorities. A yet-to-be-announced spokesperson from Ethereum-powered tech consultancy and incubator Consensys will also join the final panel.

Entry to the Arabian Business StartUp Academy - which starts at 8.30am - is free for the public but registration is required.

The event serves as a hub for conversation on the region’s latest business opportunities, start-up disruptions, funding deals, legal and regulatory steps to follow and much more.

It features entrepreneurs, established SME leaders, government representatives and well-known investors, and acts as a networking and informative platform for the Middle East’s growing start-up community, offering advice and insights from key industry experts.

The Arabian Business StartUp Academy is sponsored by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) and Virtuzone.

To register, visit the StartUp Academy page here. For more information, please contact Joanna.Farrer@itp.com

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Last Updated: Sun 24 Jun 2018 10:22 AM GST

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