Dubai: The Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) on Tuesday announced its collaboration with Nasdaq Dubai that will result in the design and implementation of new initiatives complementing Dubai’s success in emerging as a leading global sukuk-listing hub.

The announcement was made at a session to present updates on the Dubai Global Sukuk Centre initiative to His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The DIEDC outlined plans for developing the sukuk market and increasing sukuk issuances and listings in Dubai in order to boost economic growth.

The move follows recent government initiatives to incentivise economic growth and capital market activity, which initiatives called for focused efforts to develop Dubai as a hub for Islamic capital market listings.

The session was attended by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council; Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and First Deputy Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council; Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman and CEO of Emirates airline and Group, as well as a number of directors at government entities and departments in Dubai.

A key objective of the ‘Dubai: Capital of Islamic Economy’ initiative launched in 2013 was achieved when Dubai was topped other global capitals as the largest platform worldwide for attracting and listing Islamic sukuk.

Building on the momentum set thus far, the joint efforts of the DIEDC and Nasdaq Dubai will bring forward new product propositions. More specifically, the synergy will introduce retail instruments that allow individuals to invest in the sukuk market in a bid to expand the investor base while providing diverse investment options.

In addition, both entities will provide the required technical support to facilitate the process of issuing and listing sukuk and seek to attract new stakeholders within and outside the UAE.

“Sukuk has become a preferred tool for financing development projects around the world due to the stringency of its standards that guarantee wealth sustainability,” said Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of DIEDC.

“With its respect for the ethics of economic activity, sukuk revitalises the economy based on the principle of contribution, rather than debt pressure.”

The success of sukuk issuance and its listing in Dubai and the UAE is largely seen as the result of strong global confidence in the UAE as an incubator and advocate for responsible investments.

“Sukuk is an ideal tool for financing sovereign projects worldwide, especially given the global trend to invest in non-oil production sectors and diversify national income sources,” said Eisa Kazim, secretary-general of DIEDC.

DIEDC officials said the centre is keen to strengthen its role as an enabler and collaborate with Islamic financial institutions, banks and other strategic partners to raise awareness about Islamic financial instruments, particularly sukuk.

“Islamic economy, with all its standards and ethics, focuses on the involvement of entrepreneurs and supports their plans to contribute to projects that promote social production. The sustained backing, he said, opens the way for constructive competition between economic entities in their respective local markets and in the world markets as well,” said Abdullah Mohammad Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC.

“The growing demand of investors that has been met with a proportional increase in sukuk issue locally and internationally, reflects sukuk’s position of power as a core financing tool for governments and companies alike,” said Hamed Ahmad Al Ali, CEO of Nasdaq Dubai.

Dubai currently has 72 sukuk listings totalling $59.2 billion (Dh217 billion), of which 39 valued at $26.26 billion (Dh96.45 billion) are for entities and companies within the UAE, and 33 valued at $32.95 billion (Dh120 billion), are for companies and governments outside the UAE.