Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, honoured on Wednesday the winners of the 2nd Islamic Economy Award.

Initiated by the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Thomson Reuters, the award closing ceremony was attended by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

The awards were presented to a cross-section of global and local business establishments for their innovative world-class business initiatives and ideas that are Sharia-compliant and contribute to the social and economic welfare of the Muslim population.

Shaikh Mohammad presented Dr. Ziti Akhtar Aziz, Governor, Malaysian Central Bank, with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Money and Finance category award was received by the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) from Saudi Arabia; award in the Food and Health category went to Salma an entity of Awqaf & Minor Affairs from the UAE; and Media category to The 99, an initiative of Teshkeel Media Group from Kuwait.

Awards in other categories including Hospitality and Tourism were presented to Halal Minds from Indonesia; Waqf and Endowments category went to National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa; SME Development category to LaunchGood from USA; Islamic Economy Knowledge Infrastructure category to KFH Research from Kuwait; Islamic Arts category to Yusuf Islam, Singer, Songwriter & Author’ from the UK.

Hajj Saeed Bin Ahmad Al Lootah, founder of the world’s first Islamic Bank, received a special recognition from Shaikh Mohammad for his contribution to the Islamic Economy.

Mohammad Abdulla Al Gergawi, Chairmain of DIEDC said: “We, in the UAE, are keen to support innovation and creativity in various sectors. Through the Islamic economy award, we aim to inspire the business community to provide innovative Islamic services and solutions. In addition, we offer a platform to showcase and recognise the distinguished efforts of companies engaging in the Islamic economy, in line with the vision of Shaikh Mohammad in making Dubai the global capital of Islamic economy.”

During his welcome address, Hussain Qemzi, Member of the DIEDC Board and Chairman of Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, said: “The Islamic economy award in its second edition comes after one successful year that gave the UAE in general and Dubai in particular credibility in driving the growth of the Islamic economy in banking and finance, knowledge and researches, family — friendly tourism and halal industry.” In one year only, the award attracted 248 submissions compared to 148 in 2013 and from 48 countries compared to 31 in 2013.

“The importance of the Islamic Economy Award has its roots in the integrated Islamic Economy system which cuts across many economic sectors including infrastructure, tourism, health, food, art and banking services,” said Majid Al Shamsi, 1st Vice-Chairman, Dubai Chamber. “Interestingly, this comprehensive model is being adopted by many countries of the world in light of the global Islamic Economy’s potential GDP value of more than $8 trillion which clearly shows a growing trend in global consumer habits towards Islamic services and products.”

The independent jury panel, which was headed by Qemzi, included Khalid Al Aboudi, Andreas Schotter, Dr Mohammad Azmi Omar, Tayeb Abdulrahman Al Rais, Fatih Mehmet Gul, Shelina Janmohamed, Tariqullah Khan, and Fareed Lutfi.

Nadim Najjar, general manager of Thomson Reuters for the Mena region, said: “We congratulate the winners and wish them all success in their initiatives and activities that drive the growth of the Islamic economy sector — both regionally and internationally. The development of the Islamic economy landscape relies largely on the ethical practices that define the framework of businesses. This makes it imperative to recognise successful initiatives and encourage companies and individuals to endorse best practices across the various Islamic economy sectors.”