DUBAI- Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), announced that remarkable progress has been achieved in three strategic sectors of Islamic economy – Islamic finance, halal trade and industry, and Islamic lifestyle.
He noted that among the objectives of DIEDC’s updated strategy for 2017-2021 are consolidating Dubai’s status as the global capital of Islamic economy through boosting the sector’s contribution to the GDP, increasing the share of halal products in the country’s trade, and collaborating with international markets to grow the Islamic economy system worldwide.
Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri made his statements while chairing DIEDC’s board meeting on Tuesday (30 May) at its headquarters at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Drawing the attendance of all DIEDC’s board members, the meeting focused on reviewing the progress of the strategy in Q1 and Q2 2017.
Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri said: “The Dubai: Capital of Islamic Economy strategy gains momentum from the initiatives adopted by Dubai and the UAE in many vital sectors including industry, energy, sustainable development, and science. I have the utmost appreciation for the efforts of DIEDC’s partners for their efforts in executing the milestones of the initiatives within set deadlines.”
He added: “I commend our partners on their contributions that helped us make significant headway across more than 75 per cent of our initiatives within such a short time span. I am also delighted at the progress we have collectively achieved in promoting the culture of Islamic economy with the aim of attracting consumers and investors to its sectors.”
Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri noted: “Dubai and the UAE are instrumental in raising awareness about the culture of Islamic economy worldwide and boosting global interest in adopting its principles. Today, non-Muslim countries view Islamic finance, halal lifestyle, and sharia-compliant trade and industry as the pillars of their sustainable development plans. The Islamic economy strategy adopted by Dubai and the wider UAE is truly unique in its ability to foresee economic changes, offer secure investment options, and utilise bonds to finance major projects across the globe.”
In closing, he said: “Achieving social and financial stability in countries regardless of their backgrounds depends mainly on stimulating the growth of the real production sectors while taking into consideration fair partnership and wealth protection – the core values of Islamic economy.”
As part of the agenda, Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, presented a comprehensive review of the milestones achieved during the past six months and the efforts made to overcome challenges. In addition, board members discussed new initiatives, such as exploring the possibility of establishing a national re-takaful company, as well as setting up a central sharia advisory entity to streamline the provision of sharia review services to Islamic financial institutions in the UAE.
Board members examined ways of leveraging the strong presence of local companies and institutions at global events to advance international synergies in Islamic economy sectors and boost the country’s global competitiveness in foreign investments, infrastructure and legislative systems. They concurred that the UAE, in line with the UAE Vision 2021 and the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, is now ideally positioned to spearhead the development of the global Islamic economy, positively influence global investment trends, and forge long-term partnerships with emerging markets in Africa, Asia, and the Balkans.
The board members agreed on the urgent need to increase spending on research in the field of Islamic sciences and culture in a bid to support the country’s plans to develop a post-oil economy based on knowledge, innovation, and science. They also highlighted the vital role of digital Islamic economy in boosting entrepreneurship through the opportunities it provides to SMEs in e-commerce and digital product innovation that cater to Muslim and non-Muslim consumers worldwide.
Furthermore, the participants reviewed efforts to collaborate with academic institutions in providing educational programmes focused on Islamic economy. Such programmes would help build a generation of specialists in various Islamic economy sectors and empower the youth in driving the implementation of the Dubai: Capital of Islamic Economy initiative.
The board members stressed the importance of jurisprudence and legislation in developing Islamic finance and investment mechanisms that align with local and international ambitions to achieve sustainable financial stability and balanced wealth distribution. They also agreed on continuing efforts to achieve an international consensus on halal industry standards to help the sector reach its full potential and meet the global health and safety requirements.
The meeting also discussed ways of enhancing the UAE’s global position in charity and humanitarian work, developing the endowment segment, and reinforcing the role of takaful insurance to achieve the ultimate objectives of Islamic economy – social justice and universal well-being.