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Global Islamic Economy Summit to begin today


DUBAI / Emirates Business

The third Global Islamic Economy Summit 2016 is all set to start at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai under the theme “Inspiring Change”.
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the two-day summit is organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Center (DIEDC) with Thomson Reuters as strategic partner.
This year’s edition is set to welcome more than 3,000 leaders, decision makers, experts, and specialists from all sectors of the economy, in addition to academics from the world’s largest universities and academic institutions. What is more, GIES 2016 will include a speech given by Her Excellency Ameenah Gurib, President of Mauritius. Also on the speakers list this year are H.E. Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future and Chairman of the Board of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre; His Excellency Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs; Her Excellency Chiara Appendino, Mayor of the City of Turin, Italy; and His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Hashel, Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait.
His Excellency Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber and Board Member of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, said: “Over the course of the past few years, the Global Islamic Economy Summit has proven its status as a global platform where tier-one speakers, leaders, decision makers, and experts from various fields converge to exchange opinions and expertise, and explore effective and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing the various sectors of the economy. The solutions they reach together helps move economic development and growth forward.”
H.E. Al Ghurair added: “The agenda for this year’s summit touches on issues affecting all key sectors of the Islamic economy and explores ways to develop those sectors and achieve further growth and prosperity.”
Meanwhile, H.E. Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, Chief Executive Officer of DIEDC, said: “We believe the discussions at this year’s summit will enrich development plans, and consolidate efforts of governments, private organisations and all social segments in building a more sustainable world. We strive to increase international awareness around the importance of adapting Islamic standards in financial and economic activities. We are also confident that the summit will motivate the youth to actively participate in forming the future of this platform, which guarantees the achievements of their aspirations.”
The Global Islamic Economy Summit seeks to cement Dubai’s position as a capital for the Islamic economy and provide an integrated platform for decision makers and specialists to discuss key issues and major trends in Islamic economy in the region and the world.
The Summit sheds light on the Islamic economy’s role in sustainable social development and the part it can play to improve people’s lives. GIES also seeks to serve as a catalyst for the efforts to develop a balanced and fair economic model that offers innovative solutions to boost growth in all sectors. This year’s event will include six plenary sessions covering, on the one hand, broad topics such as the global dynamics shaping the Islamic economy, as well as, on the other hand, more specific subjects such as Islamic finance and sukuk. In addition to that, the summit will host parallel sessions discussing individual Islamic economic sectors. Over the course of the two days, the Summit will tackle a host of subjects including investing in SMEs, Islamic finance and sukuk, Halal products, and modest fashion, among others.
Day one of the summit will kick off with a plenary session discussing ways to mould young Muslims into adaptable leaders and productive members of their communities, and equip them to assume transformational roles in the Muslim world and beyond. Meanwhile, another plenary session will take on the subject of philanthropy in the Islamic world, shedding light on the successes of philanthropy and endowments in developed markets, which have adopted innovative models to ensure high returns and a strong social impact. The session will also explore effective strategies for managing Islamic charity funds in a way that creates real impact in modern society. Also on the agenda for day one is a session exploring the role of wealthy Muslim governments, sovereign wealth funds, and Islamic financial institutions in achieving the sustainable development goals within a realistic timeframe.

Elsewhere, a parallel session will look into the evolution of Islamic art exploring its aesthetic transformation and investment appeal, while another session examines the international halal market – one of the fastest-growing sectors within the global Islamic economy. Furthermore, a session will be exploring the role of social media in promoting modest Islamic fashion, where several social media entrepreneurs have managed to acquire an impressive market share for themselves. A parallel session, in the meantime, will ask whether sukuk can deliver a way out of global economic uncertainty.
Day two of the Summit will host sessions examining the digitisation of the banking sector and whether Islamic banks are equipped to handle these swift transformations, in addition to the role of Islamic banks in financing SMEs. Moreover, other sessions will look at ways to revive Islamic art using non-traditional applications of Islamic art, architecture, design, and calligraphy in the Muslim world and beyond; as well as the role of crowdfunding in the Islamic economy, where it can be used to bridge the funding gap in Muslim markets; and the evolving demand in the Muslim travel market.
On another note, the Summit has enlisted a number of influential sponsors, including Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) and Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) at the top of the list, with the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (Dtec) of Dubai Silicon Oasis as a Diamond Partner, Tawreeq Holdings and the Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation as Gold Partners, and Fitch Ratings and National Bonds as Silver Partners. Meanwhile, Noor Bank joins the summit as an Art Sponsor, with Dubai Design District as a Design Sponsor, Dubai Culture as a Knowledge Sponsor, and Path Solutions as Exhibitor.

Islamic banking takes roots in UAE

DUBAI / Emirates Business

Emirates Islamic, one of the leading Islamic financial institutions in the UAE, has today unveiled the results of its second ISLAMIC BANKING INDEX by EMIRATES ISLAMIC™, the first-of-its-kind consumer focused survey on Islamic Banking in the UAE that was launched in 2015. The index provides an annual benchmark of shifts in the ‘penetration’, ‘perception’, ‘knowledge’ and ‘intention’ of UAE consumers when it comes to Shari’a compliant banking. This year’s results show a positive increase in each of the four segments, indicating that public acceptance, awareness and demand for Islamic banking in the UAE is increasing.
Commenting on the results of the 2016 Islamic Banking Index, Emirates Islamic CEO, Jamal Bin Ghalaita said: “At Emirates Islamic, we seek to drive the growth of Islamic banking in the UAE, and through the data-driven insights of the Index, we hope to pave the way in understanding the opinions and intentions of UAE’s banking consumers. This year’s survey brings much good news to the industry, providing clear evidence that the strength and scope of Islamic Banking in the UAE is on the rise. 51% of banking consumers have at least one Islamic product, demonstrating that the efforts by Islamic banks to improve their customer outreach are paying off.”
Bin Ghalaita added: “The survey results are extremely encouraging, as Islamic banking’s appeal is growing among both Muslim and non-Muslim consumers, demonstrating the potential opportunity that will drive the industry’s future growth in the country. Another key finding is that more than half of the consumers will consider Islamic banks, only if the benefits are comparable to or better than conventional banks. The survey also highlights the key challenges for Islamic banks. For a second consecutive year, Islamic banks lag behind conventional banks in technology, innovation and customer service.
“The message to Islamic banks is very clear; we have to put customer service and technological innovations at the heart of our growth strategies and at the same time provide a value proposition to our customers. It is now up to us to seize the market opportunity and stay focused on ongoing improvements in our product and service proposition.

“Emirates Islamic has already made strides in catering to the millennial mindset by offering banking services via Twitter, a first among Islamic banks in the UAE. We have added new features to our mobile banking app including ‘Scan to Pay’, that enables customers to pay DEWA bills via their smartphones. We are confident that our continued investment in ‘customer focused technology’ will enable us to widen Islamic banking’s proposition, as we forge ahead in support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai’s vision to make Dubai a global capital of the Islamic Economy,” concluded Bin Ghalaita.

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