I recently had the privilege of visiting our MEA regional headquarters in Dubai to celebrate a very special anniversary – Mastercard’s 30 years in the UAE! As a young nation that will be commemorating its 45th National Day this December, the UAE has served as our gateway to this wildly diverse region, increasingly recognized for its tremendous potential for trade and investment, technology, travel and tourism and, most importantly, innovation.
In 1986, we licensed our first customer in the country – Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank – to issue Mastercard payments cards. 25 years later, I was there when we celebrated our silver jubilee with our customers and colleagues. Five years later, our innovation with our partners continue, and it was wonderful to see our hand in projects like the Emirates NBD Future Lab, part of their digital strategy to enable and accelerate the development of next generation digital and mobile banking services.
It is no coincidence that we set up our regional headquarters for MEA in Dubai. As a flourishing canvas for the payments sector, the UAE is where investments in technology and research go hand-in-hand with a shared commitment towards a cashless economy. The country’s leadership has been instrumental in driving innovation and motivating industry players to work towards a more connected future.
Our global brand, extensive payments network, innovative products, trust amongst merchants and a deep understanding of the cultural ethos have propelled us towards numerous achievements in the UAE, and we celebrated 30 milestones in the country with our partners under the stars next to the Burj Al Arab, one of Dubai’s iconic symbols.
From pioneering cutting-edge solutions and driving our partners’ success alongside our own, to encouraging the next generation to build careers in STEM and supporting the integration of women into the workforce – we have come a long way in our journey while making a tangible difference in the lives of many in the country.
This success is the result of the passion of our team – a diverse group of professionals I had the pleasure of getting to know better during my two days in the market. Each team member brings their individual experiences from across the globe to their role, and has played a critical part in driving our business to the heights it has reached.
My work takes me to different parts of the world where companies and communities are brought together by our company. The UAE chapter is a memorable one in Mastercard’s inspiring stories of collaboration, and a commendable achievement by our colleagues.