DUBAI, May 7 (Reuters) - Dubai Holding, the investment vehicle of the emirate’s ruler, said it plans to invest up to 1 billion dirhams ($272 million) over the next five years in a digital bank in the United Arab Emirates that is expected to launch its first product in 2019.
The move comes as Dubai and other cities across the Gulf region are competing to establish themselves as regional powerhouses in financial technology or fintech.
The digital bank will target small and medium-sized businesses, Dubai Holding said in a statement on Monday.
Emirates NBD, the largest lender in Dubai, last year established a digital banking service targeted at millennials as it seeks to bolster its retail business.
Dubai Holding said it plans to eventually expand the bank’s services across the Middle East and North Africa.
$1 = 3.6730 UAE dirham Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh; Editing by Saeed Azhar