His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, today announced his vision and initiative for setting up an integrated platform for an “Islamic Economy.” In large print, the words “Dubai: Capital of Islamic Economy”, were projected on the podium’s background and facing the overcrowded seated area, where dignitaries, business leaders and captains of industry sat.
The new strategy would establish logistics and policy infrastructure for products and services aimed at giving birth to an Islamic economy that operates parallel to the existing robust current economy of Dubai . The platform proposed will include Islamic finance instruments, Islamic insurance, Islamic contracts’ arbitration, Islamic food industry and trade standards (Halal food), as well as Islamic quality-management standards.
Islamic economy, an all-encompassing term that refers to all economic practices carried out within a Sharia-compliant system, is a growing trend worldwide, and of which Dubai has already been a leading player and setter . The Dubai Islamic Bank, set up in 1975, was perhaps the first modern Islamic bank to be established worldwide.
The global Islamic economy has been growing fast worldwide and today it accounts for $2.3 trillion in gross product activity , helped and supported by a growing community of 1.6 billion Muslims. Dubai’s new initiative is expected to further attract and promote the inflow of investments. The announced strategy would also bring Dubai closer to MENA and Asia region-markets that are fast embracing Sharia-compliant economic activities. Shaikh Mohammad added that setting up such integrated economic framework and promoting an Islamic economy would further strengthen Dubai as an international business hub. It would lend further momentum to Dubai’s well-diversified and adaptive economy.
A few hours later, Shaikh Mohammad then commissioned Dubai Crown Prince Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum to lead the development of the Islamic Economy initiative, transforming it into a major economic sector.  Shaikh Mohammad also approved setting up a high committee tasked with the development of the initiative.