UAE makes first cross-border digital dirham payment, transferring $13.6 million to China

Transaction took place during a celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the CBUAE
UAE makes first cross-border digital dirham payment, transferring $13.6 million to China
UAE initiates inaugural cross-border transaction with digital dirham currency

The first cross-border payment using the Digital Dirham has been successfully completed by the UAE. AED50 million ($13.6 million) was sent to China, with 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 (CBUAE), initiating the payment. The transaction took place during a celebration marking the 50th Anniversary of the CBUAE. This historic cross-border payment using the Central Bank’s digital currency, the Digital Dirham, was made directly with China through the “mBridge” platform.

The mBridge platform facilitates international fund transfers between participating banks using central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and is based on distributed ledger technology (DLT), also known as “blockchain.”

Read more: CBUAE launches CBDC strategy Digital Dirham

Graduation of first batch from “Ethraa” program

During the event hosted by the Central Bank of the UAE, Sheikh Mansour also witnessed the graduation of the first batch of 1,056 male and female citizens from the “Ethraa” program. This program aims to enhance Emirati representation in the financial sector by developing national expertise and capabilities to lead the business sectors in the UAE. The graduates completed a high-level training and qualification program at the Emirates Institute of Finance.

Journey of progress: 50 years of CBUAE

The ceremony highlighted the progress and development journey of the CBUAE over the past 50 years. The central bank has played a significant role in strengthening financial and monetary stability, driving economic growth in the UAE, and launching innovative projects as part of the Financial Infrastructure Transformation Program (FIT program) to accelerate digital transformation in the financial services sector. These initiatives are part of a broader strategy to position the CBUAE among the top central banks globally. Sheikh Mansour emphasized the commitment of the UAE’s wise leadership to strengthening the country’s position as a global financial center.

“Aani” instant payment platform

Sheikh Mansour was also briefed on the services provided by the “Aani” instant payment platform, launched by Al Etihad Payments in October 2023. The platform offers fast, convenient, and secure fund transfers based on the highest international security standards. He also witnessed the launch of “Open Finance,” a system that allows consumers to connect and share data across the entire financial ecosystem. Additionally, Sheikh Mansour attended the unveiling of the visual identity of the Ombudsman Unit called “Sanadak” (meaning “Your Support” in Arabic). This unit is the first independent unit for settling banking and insurance disputes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). 

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