The proposed Islamic governance center, which is set to open in the second quarter of next year, will develop standards to guide companies' financial as well as non-financial activities. It is a key part of the UAE's plan to become a "hub" for Islamic business in the upcoming years.
According to Ali Ibrahim from Dubai's Department of Economic Development, the center's standards will not be compulsory for firms to adopt, but companies and banks that meet the center's standards will receive "sharia-compliance certificates."
Ibrahim did not discuss how the Islamic standards will diverge from usual corporate best practices, but shared with Reuters that the standards would focus on issues associated with corporate transparency and disclosure.
Demand for the sharia-compliance certificates is expected to primarily come from UAE firms at first, but later "may appeal to companies elsewhere."
The announcement of the center represents one of the first times the Dubai government has publicly attempted to standardize Islamic guidelines for corporate behavior beyond bank and insurance institutions.
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