Watania is slated to begin offering services to individuals in the 3rd quarter of 2011 from its corporate headquarters in Abu Dhabi
After a highly successful IPO in April, The National Takaful Company (Watania), an Abu Dhabi based Sharia'a-compliant (Islamic) insurance company was officially launched on Sunday, May 22, 2011 at an Constituent General Meeting of shareholders. At the Meeting shareholders announced the final establishment of the company, approved the founders’ reports on establishment procedures and costs, Watania’s Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association as well as the appointment of an auditor, a Shariah supervisory committee and members of the board of directors.
Aref Ismail Al Khouri, Chairman of Watania’s Founders’ Committee said, “Watania founders and investors attending the Constituent General Meeting were updated on the really outstanding results of the IPO, which was oversubscribed sevenfold. In addition, they were presented with the company’s strategy and its Takaful insurance services, as well as expansion plans and, crucially, measures that will be taken to ensure the newly establish company operates according to its stated values of integrity, transparency, excellence, teamwork and innovation.
“Watania has been established to play a central role in developing the increasingly popular Shariah-compliant insurance industry in UAE, and that was clear from the phenomenal demand on Watania shares during the IPO. This reflects the confidence in the potential of the Takaful industry of both founders and investors. With the success of the IPO Watania is well-positioned to become insurer of choice for Abu Dhabi and the UAE. Not only does Watania have the financial strength and capacity to retain risk, and, thus, greater profitability in the UAE, the company offers a unique suite of Shariah-compliant products that meet the needs of all customers.”
Al Khouri added, “Watania is perfectly positioned to support the realisation of Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, including huge infrastructure projects as well as initiatives to diversify the Emirate’s economy and further support the growth of non-oil sectors. These are extraordinary opportunities for the company and will certainly contribute to the growth our business in the coming months and years.”
Watania is slated to begin offering services to individual and corporate customers in the 3rd quarter of 2011 from its corporate headquarters in Abu Dhabi. The company’s presence across the UAE will be established gradually thorough the opening in a second branch in Abu Dhabi and 2 branches in Al Ain during the first year, and 3 branches in Dubai, Sharjah and the Western Region of Abu Dhabi in the second year.
The company is currently in the process of building its human resources, through recruitment and training in Takaful disciplines. This, according to Al Khouri, will drive the growth and expansion plans. Khouri confirmed that Watania is committed to empowering local talent through training and employment, to ensure that young nationals and fresh graduates will have the opportunity to build skills and careers in this growing profession.
Watania’s Shariah Supervisory Committee, which is composed of jurists specialized in “Fiqh Almuamalat”, will direct, review and supervise all activities of Watania to ensure that they are in compliance with Shariah principles and authoritative religious edicts, as well as providing assurance to the Board that all key transactions and dealings are accurate and reliable.
The Watania IPO took place from April 18th until May 1st and was oversubscribed by 7 times with the company receiving subscriptions for 590 million shares of an available 82.5 million shares.