Dubai: In the presence of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the emirate announced its Islamic Economic Strategy which aims to turn Dubai into the Capital of Islamic Economy in three years.
The Supreme Committee of Islamic Economy supervised by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, has developed its strategy based on two main pillars to achieve its goal which includes sector building and infrastructure.
These pillars will focus on eight main areas including Sukuk, re-takaful, Halal Parks, Dubai Halal certification company, Islamic digital economy, financial services regulation and Sharia governance and centre of Islamic economy standards.
Present at the announcement was Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad and Shaikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. A large gathering of top government officials and media representatives were also present. A comprehensive presentations was given about how the Islamic Economic Strategy in Dubai will work and its goals.
Mohammad Al Gergawi, Chairman of the Committee of Islamic Economy and Minister of Cabinet Affairs, said that within six months the committee has developed this strategy based on several different tracks and 46 initiatives.
“A lot of work has been done to develop action plans and mechanism for the implementation of the various initiatives,” Al Gergawi said.
He also said some of these initiatives have already been launched, such as the Dubai Global Sukuk Centre, which aims to transform Dubai into one of the main centres for Sukuk Issuance. Dubai is expected to have more than Dh60 billion Sukuk by the end of this year, he added.
“The Islamic Economy, which is valued at $8 trillion (Dh29.4 trillion), or 11 per cent of Global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and involves around 1.6 billion Muslims world wide, has gained increasing importance in recent years, and bridging the gap between the current situation and the vision is a necessity to achieve Dubai Islamic Economy strategy.”
Discussing in detail the main pillars of the strategy, Eisa Kazim, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee of the Islamic Economy and Managing Director and Chief Executive of Dubai Financial Markets, said that to achieve Dubai’s strategy, there should be a focus on what the elements of the Islamic economy are and find opportunities and growth prospects.
“We are working on the establishment of institutional and legislative structure, legislative and regulatory bodies, laws and regulation, Islamic standard for products as well as quality standards,” he said.
He also added that despite the fact that Islamic foreign trade is growing — it recently reached $4 billion, growing at 24 per cent per annum — the importance of the Islamic economy lies in the fact growth is expected to accelerate.
However, Kazim pointed to the need to establish a legal Islamic infrastructure, which can be used as a global reference.
“This will help organise the banks and Islamic financial institution, increase Islamic finance, promote financial products and services, and enhance Islamic insurance as well as promote the Islamic financial markets.”
Kazim said Dubai will stand out as a pioneer of the Islamic digital economy.
To accomplish this, the emirate will launch initiatives to make it a destination for family friendly tourism, the capital of Islamic fashion, arts and design, and a global network of Islamic economy information and education as well as world class centre.
Dubai Islamic Governance Centre
Sami Al Qamzi, the Vice Chairman of the Supreme Committee and the Director General of the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) said: “Having such a centre in Dubai will encourage and attract local and foreign investments as well as will promote and develop local Islamic industries.”
He said standards for corporate governance will be ready by the end of this year and will be applied by the second quarter of 2014.
“We set up the legislations of the governance centre based on the rules of Islamic law and the needs of the business sector,” Al Qamzi added.
The Re-Takaful (Islamic insurance) globally is worth $11 billion, and it is expected to grow to $20 billion in the next six years, said Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Committee Member and Vice Chairman of Dubai International Financial Centre.
“The Islamic Economy Strategy is based on setting up re-takaful companies to meet the needs of takaful companies.”
There are 19 companies in the re-takaful sector globally, which need to expand to create more opportunities, according to Al Ghurair
“Licensing and monitoring are the main two factors that enables the re-takaful companies and these are among the main services provided by the DIFC,” he added.