On Friday the 8th of March, MEA Finance, in partnership with GSS Group and Fiorano, hosted the Open Banking and Beyond Summit 2024. Honoured with a keynote address by Suhail Bin Tarraf, Group Chief Operating Officer of First Abu Dhabi Bank, this highly special occasion, held at the Mina A’Salam Hotel in Dubai also featured welcome addresses from Jamal Saleh, Director General of the UAE Banks Federation and Mahmoud Abu Ebeid, CEO of GSS Group.

Leaders at the top level of senior management from banks and financial institutions joined them for an afternoon of enthusiastic and cutting-edge discussions on this industry changing issue.

The event’s agenda, featuring our distinguished speakers, is outlined below.

Welcome speech: Jamal Saleh, Director General, UAE Banks Federation

Keynote Thematic Address: Suhail Bin Tarraf, Group COO, FAB

Panel 1: Open banking opportunities in the UAE & MENA – 12:30pm
With parts more economically buoyant than the wider world, a collective “can-do” philosophy, increasing sophistication of financial markets and positive demographics, our region is ripe for the implementation of Open Banking. What opportunities are on the horizon for Open Banking in the region? How will opportunities arise and how can they be worked by banks and financial technology providers to the benefit their businesses and the wider public?

Moderator: Alaa AlRousan, Senior Account Director, Swift


  • Mahmoud Abu Ebeid, Co-founder & CEO, GSS Group
  • Jan Pilbauer, Chief Executive Officer, Al Etihad Payments
  • Saud Al Dhawyani, Chief Platforms Officer, Emirates NBD
  • Anshu Sharma Raja, Chief Transformation Technology Operations Officer, Standard Chartered Bank
  • Sandeep Dhawan, Regional Head of Product, JP Morgan

Panel 2: Beyond Open Banking: BaaS, Embedded Finance, Fintech Partnerships – 2pm
Baas, Embedded Finance and Fintech Partnerships are all well-known, day-to-day services and activities brought to existence Open Banking. How will these services grow and mature? Will “super-apps” become more prevalent in our market? How will AI affect the open bankingecosystem and what is in the future for partnerships between banks, technology providers and fintechs in our region?

Moderator:  Saleem Ahmed, COO, GSS Group


  • Ramana Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Magnati
  • Sampath S., Acting Group CTO, First Abu Dhabi Bank
  • Mohammed Wassim Khayata, Chief Executive Officer, Al Maryah Community Bank
  • TK Raman, Chief Executive Officer, Finance House
  • Hisham Hammoud, Chief Executive Officer, Aafaq Islamic Finance

Panel 3: Open Banking Technology & Customer Experience 3:30pm
What is the current status of Open Banking in our region? What has Open Banking actually achieved for the UAE and MENA? In terms of usage options and product innovation, has it reached its limits or is there more to come in what it might do for customers, clients banks and economies? Can all concerned sector players – banks, fintechs, regulators etc. keep pace with the quickly evolving landscape as AI becomes a bigger part of the market?

Moderator: Michael R. Hartmann, Head of Open Banking & Open Finance, ADCB


  • Biju Suresh Babu, Managing Director, Banking & Financial Services, Fiorano
  • Gauttam Dutta, MD & Head – Global Cash Product Management & Innovation, First Abu Dhabi Bank
  • Abdulla Mashaal, Head of Open Banking, Emirates NBD
  • Mike Nagavalli, Managing Director Head of Channels And Innovation, First Abu Dhabi Bank
  • Mohamad Najmeddine, Head of Digital Banking and API, Middle East Central, Asia and Africa, Citi
  • David Kelly, Head of Financial Infrastructure Transformation, Commercial Bank of Dubai