Bahrain and Dubai vie for Middle East finance crown

Published June 25th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Governor of the Bahrain Monetary Agency, Shaikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa has accepted an invitation to deliver the keynote address in Geneva, Switzerland, to the International Islamic Finance Forum. 


The move comes as Bahrain - host to nearly 200 banks and other financial institutions applying both conventional and Islamic principles - faces new competition from the recently announced Dubai International Finance Center. Dubai has thrown down a gauntlet to Bahrain by declaring it wants to become the Hong Kong or Singapore of the Middle East for financial services - including the Islamic finance sector. 


But Dubai's financial center, for the moment, exists only on paper and the thrusting member of the federal United Arab Emirates faces an uphill battle against well-established Bahrain, only 40 minutes away by air.  


As well as providing the keynote address to next month's Forum in Geneva, Shaikh Ahmed will also take part in a high level debate on the regulatory environment which will provide an answer to the question "Is Islamic finance sound finance?" 


The International Islamic Finance Forum series is organized by the Institute for International Research offices in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in association with the New York offices of Dow Jones. Some of the sponsors are the National Commercial Bank, Faisal Finance (Switzerland) and Oasis Global Management. — ( 

© 2002 Mena Report (

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