Mohammed attends Global Islamic Economy Summit in Dubai

Category: Economy & Finance
Published: Wednesday, 07 October 2015
Written by Admin

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the second edition of the Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES) in Dubai today (Monday). Over 2,000 policymakers, thinkers and business leaders gathered to take part in the two-day summit hosted by the Dubai Chamber, the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), and Thomson Reuters.

In efforts to continue facilitating the growth and development of the Islamic economy, Sheikh Mohammed also officially inaugurated lsquo;Salaam Gateway, the first and only online platform for all Islamic economy-related industry intelligence, news, information, and data. Insights and intelligence, in both Arabic and English, are provided by Islamic economy experts, analysts, and industry and thought leaders.

The platform was designed by DIEDC and Thomson Reuters as a business-to-business tool for the increasingly Shariah-sensitive Muslim professional, providing a comprehensive knowledge resource on all sectors of the Islamic economy. It is also the repository of an extensive database of Islamic economy companies from across the globe.

Following on from the past edition of the summit and last years roundtables, the Islamic Economy Awards, under the guidance of Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, took centre-stage at the summit today (Monday).

The awards, presented by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, recognise initiatives and ideas pertaining to eight key categories that have served to enhance bilateral trade and investment relations between Islamic nations.

The winners of the awards were: Dubai International Financial Centre for Money amp; Finance; Chemical Company of Malaysia Berhad for Food amp; Health; Unity Productions Foundation for Media; Hajjnet for Hospitality amp; Tourism; Centre for Zakat Management for Waqf amp; Endowments; Affinis Labs for SME Development; Amanie Advisors LLC for Islamic Economy Knowledge Infrastructure; and Gould for Islamic Arts. Additionally, the lsquo;Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Iqbal Khan, founder and CEO of Fajr Capital, for outstanding contributions to the Islamic economy.

Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, opened the awards ceremony with a keynote speech.

He highlighted that the Global Islamic Economy Summit reflects the emirates concerted efforts in turning Dubai into a global capital of Islamic economy while providing an ideal platform for networking and exchange of experiences in encompassing a broader consumer base, standardisation and identification of core challenges affecting the various segments of the Islamic economy.

Al Ghurair pointed out that the Islamic economy is a way of life experienced by over 1.6 billion Muslims around the world and its model cuts across all aspects of economic and social lifestyle of individuals and communities. This model has proved its excellence during the global financial crisis, making it a perfect choice for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

The summit began with welcome remarks from Abdulla Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, followed by a keynote address by Mubarak Rashid Al Mansoori, Governor, Central Bank of UAE, who highlighted that UAE is globally recognised for having one of the healthiest Islamic ecosystems, and attributed the success to the UAEs banking industry and the Central Banks role in continually strengthening the regulatory framework to ensure alignment with the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision (BCBS) recommendations and international best practice.

The plenary session of the day featured a vigorous debate amongst CEOs of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates Islamic Bank, and Kuwait Finance House, on the relevance of Islamic finance to other sectors within the Islamic economy.

The session, moderated by Axel Threlfall, Editor-at-Large at Reuters, UK, saw Tirad Al Mahmood, Dr Adnan Chilwan, Jamal bin Ghalaita, and Mazin Al Nahedh offer perspectives from a range of stakeholders in the Islamic finance industry and present their case on how they believe Islamic finance can engage with the Islamic economy.

Nobel Laureate and Founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh Professor Muhammad Yunus was the special guest of a conversation with CNNs Middle East correspondent John Defterios on the power of social businesses.

Before sharing his journey of Grameen Bank and the conception of microfinance, Professor Yunus took a moment to thank the organisers, and said: This is important for me because I come from a long drawn struggle trying to persuade banks to extend their services to the people who are underserved.

He explained how Grameen Bank revolutionised what was earlier being done by NGOs they created, instead, a self-sustaining model of capital to invest in business ideas of poor people, worked with them to make them successful and enabled them to return the initial investment in order to lsquo;plough back in to the bank, in to the next poor person. He stressed that the spirit of entrepreneurship is an innate human quality.

To the question of harnessing talent within the Islamic economy, Professor Yunus said: The only answer is to create a new institution to serve the people that are underserved or never served, and added: There needs to be an independent regulatory authority for microfinance in every country pan-regional legislation will not work, it will only serve to encourage countries to start thinking about the poor and recognise that banking can be a solution to human problems.

Another keynote, the session led by Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, Secretary General and Board Member of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), and Ambassador Hameed Opeloyeru, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation, discussed ways in which the Saudi and UAE economies have successfully capitalised on the opportunities within the Islamic economy and achieved significant growth.

During the discourse, they highlighted the impact on exports, inward investment, SME development, urban employment and rural agricultural development, offering guidance to policymakers in the audience on assessing strengths and weaknesses within the evolving parameters of the Islamic economy.

The Chairman of Dubai Chamber added that under the wise vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to consolidate Dubais status as the capital of Islamic economy has culminated in the emirate occupying the first rank globally in the issuance of Islamic Sukuk.

He said, With 57 speakers, 16 panel discussions and 4,000 participants from around the world, the summit highlights the potential of Dubai in the area of Islamic economy while emphasising its commitment to making the emirate a global capital of Islamic economy.

Nadim Najjar, Managing Director Middle East and North Africa, Thomson Reuters, added: Todays discussions have led to interesting outcomes, inciting a great degree of interest in the audience amongst whom were policymakers and business owners looking for clear direction on capitalising on the opportunities. We are pleased to see GIES evolve into a breeding ground for ideas and a platform for meaningful discourse and learning.


His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, visited the Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES), being held at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai on Monday.

Earlier this morning, the second edition of GIES kicked off in Dubai with more than 2,000 delegates participating in the conference in order to strengthen the emirates role further in the fast growing Islamic finance and economy sectors.

The two-day summit will highlight successful innovations as well as new opportunities in ethical/impact investment, organic food, modest clothing, family-friendly travel, media, recreation trends and technology solutions.

Being held in Madinat Jumeirah, the summit features more than 60 international speakers across 15 sessions, offering comprehensive insights on seven core pillars within the Islamic economy: Islamic Finance, Halal Industry, Family Tourism, Islamic Knowledge, Islamic Arts and Design, Islamic Digital Economy, and Islamic Standards.

Mohammed Al Gergawi, Chairman of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), said: The second edition of the summit will definitely have considerable impact on the trends within the Islamic economy sector, especially in terms of identifying and developing insights across the key segments of Islamic economy. The upcoming summit will aim to showcase some of the worlds best practices in this domain, and boost innovation and creative approaches to investment opportunities. We will utilise the summit to create new opportunities to support our position as pioneers of the Islamic economy in the World.

The second edition is being held at a time when the Islamic economy is driven by a consumer base of 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide - a population base that projected to grow at almost double the rate of the worlds non-Muslim population and is expected to spend nearly $3.7 trillion by 2019 in the core sectors of the Islamic economy.

GIES 2015 will build upon the success of the inaugural edition in 2013 with its focus on innovation, growth strategies, and the high uptake of brands and services within the Islamic economy sector. The landmark event will offer insights on a number of pillars of Islamic economy:

bull; Islamic Finance: Islamic banking, Islamic asset management, takaful, retakaful, sukuk and capital markets, as well as awqaf

bull; Halal Industry: Agriculture, ingredients including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, manufacturing, retail, logistics, research and product development, food and services

bull; Family Tourism: Travel

bull; Islamic Knowledge: University/other education, research, Muslim consumer marketing and research

bull; Islamic Arts amp; Design: Art amp; design, fashion

bull; Islamic Digital Economy: Technology and innovation, VC financing, incubation, media/new media

bull; Islamic Standards: Compliance, and standardization

Amongst other highlights, winners of the ongoing Innovation 4 Impact competition organised in partnership with Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority will be announced at the summit, whose business propositions will serve to enhance the digital technology landscape for a Muslim audience.

The competition, unlike any other platform available in the Middle East, will effectively serve as an incubator for SMEs across the world that aim to serve the Islamic economy with their innovations.

The incubation services that will be awarded to the winner of the competition, worth over $10,000, will support them in establishing a presence in Dubai and bringing their idea to fruition.

Digital might of Muslim consumer: Spending to grow fastest by 2020

Category: Economy & Finance
Published: Sunday, 20 September 2015
Written by Admin

A new report estimates that the overall value contributed by Muslim consumers worldwide to the global digital economy in 2014 stood at $107 billion, representing 5.8 per cent of the total global digital economy.

The lsquo;Digital Islamic Economy Report for 2015, reckons that growth in total value of Muslim consumers contribution to the global digital economy (at a CAGR of 17 per cent by 2020) is expected to outweigh the growth of the total global digital economy (at a CAGR of 15 per cent by 2020).

The report has been published by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) and Thomson Reuters, with support from the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) in collaboration with DinarStandard.

It focuses on a new and a more specialised area of Digital Islamic Consumer Services.

Currently, more than 2,000 Islamic lifestyle services are being provided across websites and mobile platforms worldwide. The most popular categories include News and Insights (used by 21 per cent of users), followed by Retail Sales and Media and Entertainment. Five segments within Digital Islamic Consumer Services have emerged as the most promising Islamic segments, namely Sharing Economy; Social Commerce; Retail e-Commerce; Food Transportation and Logistics, and Islamic Finance Investment Products.

E-commerce within the modest fashion sector has been identified as the most successful Islamic business model. Modanisa and SefaMerve, the top fashion online retailers, are among the top five leading Islamic consumer websites. The others include, and

The findings indicate that social media services customised for Muslims have proven less successful as business models, especially services pertaining to News amp; Insights, which typically rely on revenue support from online advertising.

In terms of popularity and usage, the Islamic web and mobile application lsquo;Muslim Pro ranks highest in terms of downloads. Productivity and education apps, as well as apps for Halal food ratings and modest fashion also feature prominently on the Digital Islamic Consumer Services leader board.

Commenting on the significance of the report, Dr Mohammed Alzarooni, Vice Chairman and CEO, DSOA, said: We are confident this report will benefit individuals and businesses targeting the Islamic economy industry by providing data and insights that can serve as a guideline for them to make more informed decisions.

Nadim Najjar, Managing Director of Thomson Reuters, Middle East and North Africa, said: The report reaffirms that Islamic digital economy has an integral part of everyday life, and indicates significant opportunity for growth in terms of business and innovation.

Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, said: The promise and potential of the Islamic digital economy at the global level is well captured in the report, which offers viable solutions well beyond the typical sectors of banking and finance.

The report serves as a precursor to the second edition of the Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES) that will be held on October 5-6 in Dubai.

DIFC reports impressive growth in first half of 2015

Category: Economy & Finance
Published: Friday, 11 September 2015
Written by Admin

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), an established global financial services hub connecting businesses and financial institutions with emerging markets across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), saw impressive growth in the first half of 2015 (H1 2015).

The number of active companies registered at the Centre grew 8.3% while the number of people employed within DIFC jumped nearly 5% to more than 18,500.

Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC and Chairman of DIFC Authority, said the Centres encouraging performance illustrated the solid foundations of its 10-year growth strategy, announced in June, which expects DIFCs operations to treble by 2024.

With a growing portfolio of active registered firms and an ever expanding and vibrant workforce, we are maximizing the opportunities for investment into and trade with the emerging markets of the MEASA region.

Operational highlights H1 2015

bull; A total of 1,327 active registered companies now operate within Centre, compared with 1,225 firms at the end of 2014, and 1,113 in the first half of 2014, representing an increase of 8.3% and 19.2%, respectively.

bull; 140 new companies licensed during the first six months of the year (36 financial services firms, 91 non-financial services companies and 13 retailers).

bull; The total number of people employed by companies within the Centre rose 4.8% to 18,521, from 17,680 at the end of 2014, and 11.8% compared with 16,560 in the first sixth months of 2014

bull; Ground-breaking of 11th office building in The Gate District announced

bull; An additional 178,376 square feet of commercial space leased

Out of the 1,327 active firms in the first half of 2015, 382 are financial services firms, up 9.1% from 350 in the first half of 2014; 750 are non-financial services firms, up 25% from 600, and 182 are retailers, up 14.5% from 159 in the first six months of last year.

Among the new companies setting up operations in H1 2015, DIFC welcomed Lloyds of London, the global leader in specialist insurance and reinsurance, in March.

Joining in April, Bae, Kim amp; Lee (BKL), DIFCs first Korean law firm, will advise the growing community of Korean companies investing in the Mena region.

BankMed, one of Lebanons fastest growing banks, officially launched its operations in March. The first Mena-based financial institution to receive a Category-1 licensing, BankMed will leverage its experience in corporate banking and risk management to offer a wide range of financial solutions, from credit to trade finance and treasury service, within the UAE and GCC region.

Middle East focus

DIFCs first-half results data is further evidence of the Centres appeal as a global financial hub, with the majority of registered companies originating from the Middle East (53%), followed by Europe (19%), North America (8%) and Asia (6%), with the rest of the world accounting for 14%.

By comparison, in the first six months of 2014, Europe represented 35% of registered companies, while the Middle East, North America and Asia represented 30%, 14% and 12%, respectively.

Banks and capital market firms now account for 42% of active financial firms operating at DIFC (24% and 18%, respectively), while wealth management companies represent 41% and insurance firms 16%.

The latest expansion of the DIFC site master-plan, part of the Centres 2024 growth strategy, saw the Gate Village Building 11 break ground in July. Representing a Dh205 million investment, the building will span a total area of 200,000 square feet, including 160,000 sq. ft. of office space and nearly 40,000 sq. ft. for retail and Famp;B outlets. The project is set for completion in the second quarter of 2017.

In line with Dubais lsquo;Smart City initiative, DIFC launched a dedicated portal offering registered entities a range of administrative services, including employee services, registration and licensing, certification and online payments to help. Efforts are also underway to enhance the IT systems and capabilities to further step-up the overall client experience to further streamline the operations of its clients and tenants.

Trade relationships

DIFC consolidated its trade and investment relationships around the world in the first half of the year, with senior representatives meeting the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Karim Massimov, Indias Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha, and Alan Yarrow, Lord Mayor of the City of London.

The Centre also signed an MoU in May with the National Bank of Kazakhstan to promote joint cooperation in the development of Kazakhstans own financial centre in the capital city of Astana, as well as opportunities for MENA-based businesses to access Kazakhstans domestic market.

Senior delegations also attended high-level industry gatherings including The Institute of International Finance Spring Meetings in Doha, CityWeek in London, Dubai Week in China, the Fund Forum in Monaco, as well as industry events Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

The forward momentum established in early 2015 will drive further expansion of our operations throughout the rest of the year and consolidate DIFCs position as the leading financial hub of the MEASA region, added Essa Kazim.

Aspiring to rank among the worlds top 5 financial hubs, DIFC announced its 10-year growth strategy in June aimed at deepening its core client synergies and further expanding the Centres regulatory and physical infrastructure.

In addition to connecting the developed markets of the West with the emerging economies of the East, the Centre will realize further operational expansion by stimulating trade and investment in the South-South corridor.

DIFC aims to grow the financial sectors share of the UAE economy to 18% of GDP by 2024, compared with 12% in 2013.

Nuclear talks source: Deal will be sealed in 48 hours or won't happen at all ...

Category: Economy & Finance
Published: Sunday, 12 July 2015
Written by Admin
July 1, 1985: The day Israeli capitalism was born - Economy Finance - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News