Due to the poor WiFi conectivity last week – did I mention
that? – I didn’t post many photos of SIBOS.
Usually, I would post a whole load, so here are some of my favourite
memories of last week.
Obviously, there are the memories of Dubai itself, with Burj
Khalifa and Burj Al-Arab mentioned in the my first blog of the week. Alongside these however, are the wonderful
Dubai Mall fountains.
Styled on the Bellagio fountains of Las Vegas, the fountains
dance all through the night to music that varies from Arabic to Operatic.
There are many other memories of this bustling and lively City,
including all the views from way up high staying in the tallest hotel in the
worldr (JW Marriot Marquis) or eating in the highest restaurant in the world
(At.mosphere at the Burj Khalifa), but let’s get down to a few views of SIBOS
The week began with the first session on Monday on the
future of money in the innotribe.
A well attended session …
… focused upon the break-up of the traditional banking business
model and the implications for the future …
At the end, the decision from the 300-strong audience is that
we need to revolutionise our bank models, not evolve them.
This led to many other discussions and
dialogues, from the need to increase cybersecurity budgets …
… to the fact that we would see mobile payments take off
some time in the future …
Not forgetting that all of the mainstream sessions offered
opportunities for the odd impromptu photo.
There were then the many hours spent walking around the exhibit hall. Much networking, meeting, greeting, wining and even dining was done. There was even a Gold dispensing ATM …
And yes, it does dispense real gold coins, alongside
the usual cash and currency.
Then there are the stands themselves from a bank with Pasha
… to the banks with bling and ostentation,
such as Al Hilal Bank who decided to just put a McLaren car on their booth …
Speaking of banks in the Middle East, I did stumble across
the Afghanistan Banks Assocation.
As you can see, they were a bit wary of me …
… but that might be because they’ve had so many folks
surreptiously stealing their money.
This point was well illustrated by Scandinavian bank SEB,
with a magician who could make money disappear faster than you could blink …
So, if you really want to keep your money safe, this bank NBAD …
… although this is one Helaba bank …
But, if you don’t like that one, you can go for an Aktif bank …
… or deal with the new
banks, like the Agricultural Bank of China who are celebrating achieving their
… which may be better than having bankers wondering whether this makes their bum look big …
It does by the way.
Finally, just when you think there are too many banks at the
show, you can always find a Sberbank.
As you walk out of the exhibit hall, there are many other
fine moments, such as the many people who were standing around waiting for a
… only to find there were two signs at once!
Yes, these are the corridors of never-ending searches for a
room, meeting, meal and magazine …
… where you could find the pure adrenalin of SIBOS TV …
Then there are the evenings with fond memories of the night
that Gottfried Liebbrundt got up to sing and dance with the Arabic band in my
As you can tell by the reaction of the guy on the bongos,
Gottfried’s singing voice isn’t what it used to be.
Anyways, as we reached the end of the week, we all gathered
around the campfire and sang songs …
… and said goodbye to our Emerati hosts …
… although the head of SWIFT for the UAE may have taken his responsibilities
a little bit too severely as we all departed …
… giving SWIFT Chairman Yawah Shah a chauffeur
service that, some might say, is perhaps a little too extravagant ….
See you next year!