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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Spotlight on Dubai's Islamic finance sector

Dubai’s efforts to become a global Islamic finance centre are charted in a forthcoming report to be published by the global publishing, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG).

The Report: Dubai 2014 will review the performance of the emirate’s Islamic banks, which, in general, have begun to post solid results after rallying from the global financial crisis. It will also shine the spotlight on Dubai’s Takaful companies and Sharia-compliant insurance industry, weighing up the current opportunities they present, alongside the arguments for consolidation.

The firm has signed a MoU on research facilities with the Dubai Islamic Bank to help analyse the sector, explore current trends and look at the factors impacting the market’s development.

Under the agreement, OBG will have access to the bank’s expertise and research resources which will be used to help compile the Islamic Banking chapter of The Report: Dubai 2014.

OBG’s regional editor, Oliver Cornock, said that with Dubai’s international standing on the Islamic finance scene growing, the emirate appeared well positioned to increase its share of an expanding market.

“We know that global Islamic banking assets for commercial banks are expected to reach around $1.72 trillion in 2013, up from $1.54 trillion last year, while Islamic banks in the GCC look likely, in some measures, to outpace conventional institutions in the foreseeable future,” he said.

“However, while Dubai will be keen to consolidate its strong position in the global Islamic financial services sector, it faces competition from other rapid-growth markets, led by Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Bahrain and Qatar. Analysing the performance of the market from a global perspective will form a key part of our research.”

DIB chief executive officer Dr Adnan Chilwan said the decision to hold the 10th session of the 'World Islamic Economic Forum' next year in Dubai reaffirmed its standing as a major hub for the sector.

“Clearly, Islamic Finance is now an established, recognized and perhaps even a more preferred option for many across the globe”, he said.
Dubai, stated Dr Chilwan, has proven beyond doubt that it has the capability, the infrastructure and the knowledge-base and expertise to lead the global Islamic economy.

"The challenge now lies in assimilating and organizing the vast reservoir of information and data that we hold and performing the relevant analytics to identify trends so as to establish a roadmap which helps to translate the current successes into fact-based strategies for the future," he added.

On its collaboration with OBG, the DIB chief said it aims to enhance the quality of information and research available to the Islamic finance community, thus facilitating and promoting robust and sustained development of this sector while simultaneously supporting Dubai’s vision as a global leader in Islamic Finance.

"The Report: Dubai 2014" will provide a wide range of interviews with leading political, economic and business representatives.
The key interviewees include the Minister of International Co-operation and Development, Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi along with the UAE Central Bank governor Sultan Nasser Al Suwaidi and the London mayor Boris Johnson, said the OBG in its statement.

The other key players from the Islamic financial services sector will also air their views in a roundtable covering a range of topical issues, it added.
(Trade Arabia / 13 Jan 2014)
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