UAE Succeeds in First Cross-Border Payment Using Digital Dirham

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice-President, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Presidential Court, and Chairman of the Board of the Central Bank of the UAE, made an unprecedented cross-border payment on Monday, marking a major improvement in the UAE’s financial landscape.

The transaction, valued at Dh50 million, was executed directly with China using the UAE Central Bank’s digital currency, known as the ‘Digital Dirham.’

This historic payment was facilitated through the mBridge, a platform that leverages central bank digital currencies (CBDC) for international fund transfers among participating banks, utilizing distributed ledger technology, commonly referred to as blockchain.

The occasion coincided with a celebration marking the 50th Anniversary of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), where Sheikh Mansour also witnessed the graduation of the first batch of 1,056 Emirati citizens from the Ethraa Program.

Designed to enhance Emirati representation in the financial sector, the Ethraa program offers high-level training and qualifications through the Emirates Institute of Finance, preparing a generation of national experts to lead various sectors within the UAE.

The ceremony, held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center, showcased the remarkable journey of progress and development undertaken by the CBUAE over the past five decades, reinforcing its pivotal role in fostering financial and monetary stability and driving economic growth in the UAE.

Addressing the audience, Sheikh Mansour underscored the UAE leadership’s commitment to strengthening the nation’s position as a global financial hub. He highlighted the CBUAE’s contributions to financial stability, system efficiency, and economic prosperity, emphasizing the importance of empowering UAE nationals to lead the financial sector through skills development and knowledge enhancement.

During the ceremony, Sheikh Mansour also received updates on various initiatives, including the Aani instant payment platform launched by Al Etihad Payments and the introduction of ‘Open Finance’ to facilitate data sharing across the financial ecosystem.

He also witnessed the launch of the visual identity of the Ombudsman Unit called Sanadak, the first independent unit for settling banking and insurance disputes in the Middle East and North Africa.

Moreover, in recognition of the CBUAE’s Golden Jubilee, a commemorative coin was issued, featuring Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the obverse and the iconic CBUAE building on the reverse, symbolizing fifty years of financial excellence.

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