Oman Insurance crossed the AED1 billion (US$272 million) mark in premiums last year, the first company to do so in the history of the UAE insurance industry, said the August edition of MiddleEast Insurance Review Incorporating Global Takaful (MIR) in its Country Profile on the UAE, which also features interviews with market leaders as well as a ranking of insurers listed in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
UAE, having grown 28% over last year to hit US$2.7 billion in premiums, is now the largest insurance market among the GCC countries, attracting steady investments from international players. While the market is crowded and the competition is intense, things can only get better, market watchers say, pointing to a new set of laws and the economy booming with double-digit growth rates.
MIR's takaful market focus this month is on Sudan, widely seen as the home of Islamic insurance where the first takaful company was launched in the 1970s, and where all players are takaful operators. Despite the challenges, the market has grown by an average of 22% per annum for the past five years, and companies are now raising capital ahead of expected new laws which may bring the minimum capital to US$1.5 million.
In anticipation of the Global Middle East Insurance Summit hosted in London in September to mark the first anniversary of MIR, we feature the thoughts of Lord Levene, Chairman of Lloyd's, on the way forward from a London-GCC perspective. In this curtain raiser, he presents an insurer's perspective on managing risks better in today's increasingly complex environment, and the role that the Gulf states play within the global insurance market, while explaining Lloyd's strategy for the region.
The MIR August issue is packed with news and insights covering critical distribution strategies, loss adjusting in Oman following Cyclone Gonu, Shariah-compliant investments, training centres in Malaysia and more.