Global Islamic Economy Summit opens in Dubai

Published October 5th, 2015 - 09:07 GMT

The second edition of the Global Islamic Economy Summit opens Monday at Madinat Jumeirah with participation from more than 2,000 policymakers and business leaders and finance professionals.

The Summit organised by Dubai Chamber, Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and Thomson Reuters will examine the changing dynamics of the Islamic economy.

The event aims to examine the seven core “pillars” within the Islamic economy. They are: Islamic Finance, Halal Industry, Family Tourism, Islamic Knowledge, Islamic Arts and Design, Islamic Digital Economy, and Islamic Standards.

The Islamic economy is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world, growing at nearly twice the rate of the global economy and Muslim consumer spending in excess of $1.8 trillion (Dh6.6 trillion). Islamic banking assets hover at some $1.3 trillion and are expected to double in just five years from today.

The recently published State of the Global Islamic Economy report by DIEDC and in partnership with Thomson Reuters and DinarStandard shows data that highlight the significant progress achieved by the Islamic economy in its seven sectors, and the promising opportunities offered by Islamic markets worldwide.

“In light of the insights provided by the State of the Global Islamic Economy report into this multifaceted sector, we look forward to what will be two days of prolific discussions and brainstorming among innovators and Islamic industry experts from around the world. This platform is essentially a breeding ground of ideas that will positively shape the Islamic economy in the years to come,” said Nadim Najjar, Managing Director of Thomson Reuters, Middle East and North Africa.

Muslim population

The event is significant for Dubai as it aims to position itself as the global capital of the Islamic economy. Globally, the Muslim population is growing at twice the rate of the global population, and Muslim consumer spending across the different sectors of the Islamic economy is expected to reach Dh9.55 trillion ($2.6 trillion) by 2020, compared to Dh6.6 trillion ($1.8 trillion) in 2014.

At a time when the global economy recorded growth of just 2.6 per cent in 2014, with growth estimates increasing to 3.1 and 3.3 per cent in 2015 and 2016 respectively, the Islamic economy is seeing steady expansion overall, particularly in Islamic banking and finance as international financial institutions increasingly look to apply Sharia-compliant financial practices to investments that meet requirements for sustainability and economic development.

Day one of the summit will kick off with a panel discussion on “Global and Regional Economic Dynamics” by Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri, Governor of Central Bank of the UAE, who will discuss the impact of Islamic economies on global markets and what to expect in the coming years. Led by a trio of prominent leaders from the UAE’s Islamic finance industry — Dr Adnan Chilwan, Group CEO of Dubai Islamic Bank, Tirad Al Mahmoud, Group CEO of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Jamal Bin Ghalaita, CEO of Emirates Islamic.

Crucial role

Islamic banking and Islamic finance will be a key area off discussion along with other pillars of Islamic economy. “Islamic finance has a crucial role to play in the growth of every sector of the Islamic economy and I look forward to the discussion with my peers from other major Islamic banks at the GIES. Though we may compete with each other on a regular basis, it is imperative for all Islamic banks work in cohesion to develop a robust model and road map to further the growth of the Islamic economy,” said Jamal Bin Ghalaita.

Keynote speakers at the event also includes Abdullah Al Maeeni, Director General of Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology, Hussain Al Qemzi, CEO of Noor Awqaf, and Ambassador Hameed Opeloyeru, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs of OIC. They will, respectively, discuss the need for a standardised and effective regulatory framework in the growing food and cosmetic and personal care sectors of the Islamic Economy, and the role of Islamic finance in broadening the positive impact of the institution of awqaf.

The event is designed to include a number of sessions to address developments in each of the seven pillars of Islamic economy. In addition to panel discussions and extensive networking opportunities, GIES 2015 will feature a number of new initiatives that address gaps in the needs of consumers of Islamic products and services around the world.

By Babu Das Augustine

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