Ripple expands in the Middle East with new office and annual Swell Global conference in Dubai
On the back of strong growth in the Middle East, Ripple, the leader in enterprise blockchain and crypto solutions, is expanding its presence in the UAE by opening a new office location in the heart of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and bringing Swell Global 2023, the seventh edition of its annual customer conference, to Dubai on November 8-9.
Ripple has long focused on serving customers around the world with over 90% of the company’s business outside the US. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is a key market for the company, with around 20% of all RippleNet customers, such as SABB, Qatar National Bank, Lulu Financial Holdings, Al-Ansari Exchange, and RAK Bank, based here. Over half of Ripple’s MENA payment volume consists of cross-border payments such as remittances from the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to India. In 2020, the company chose the DIFC as the location for its MENA headquarters due to Dubai’s innovation-forward regulations, expansive network and reputation as a leading global financial centre.
“We chose Dubai as both a key office for Ripple, and to bring Swell Global to the city, in large part due to its forward-thinking regulatory environment. Regulators here have risen to the challenge of establishing a framework that allows the local crypto industry to thrive, create jobs and increase economic growth, while also ensuring participants act in a responsible manner,” said Brad Garlinghouse (pictured), Ripple CEO. “Dubai is playing an important part in shaping the world’s future economy. By demonstrating truly visionary leadership, the Emirate has positioned itself as an exciting fintech hub that is embracing crypto and blockchain technologies to bring innovation and foreign investment into the space.“
In late 2021, Ripple announced the launch of its first-ever On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) deployment in the Middle East, with Pyypl, the international blockchain-based financial services technology company in the Middle East and Africa. ODL leverages the digital asset XRP to underpin instant and low-cost cross-border payments. By using ODL, financial institutions and Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) can leverage previously trapped, pre-funded capital to grow and scale their businesses. Billions of dollars have been transacted to and from MENA customers through ODL since launch.
“In a hyper-global connected world, the need for cross-border payments is on the rise, with an estimated $156T worth of cross-border payment flows in 2022 alone. As a region containing a number of significant remittance markets and corridors, the Middle East’s financial institutions are focused on making payments faster, cheaper and more efficient for the people who need it the most. This is where Ripple excels. We were the first enterprise company to leverage crypto to tackle the trillion-dollar challenges associated with cross-border payments – expertise that we have been bringing to our customers in the Middle East for a number of years. Ripple is proud of its presence in the UAE and we are excited about what the future holds for our business in the region,” said Navin Gupta, Managing Director, South Asia & MENA, at Ripple.
When Swell Global lands in Dubai, it will follow previous successful events which saw hundreds of Ripple’s customers and partners come together in London and Singapore, two other major global financial centres.
The conference announcement comes as Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse spoke in Dubai as a keynote speaker at Dubai Fintech Summit 2023. Garlinghouse took the main stage alongside other global thought leaders, decision-makers and policymakers from the worlds of fintech, finance and crypto.