This past Saturday in the United Arab Emirates in the city of Dubai the Ruler of the emirate made an announcement regarding advancing Islamic finance in the country.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum revealed a newly developed strategy for increasing the popularity of Islamic Finance in the region and ultimately in the world. This strategy involves the implementation of seven different pillars or focal points in a multifaceted approach to becoming the leader in Islamic Banking and Financing.
The Seven Pillars
The first of the seven pillars is positioning Dubai as the leader in Islamic finance by opening more institutions and raising more awareness amongst foreign and expatriate investors.
This is one of the four central pillars that will, hopefully, pave the way towards the city’s success.
As the emirate is already well versed in the intricacies of Islamic Banking and Finance it already has a large number of institutions that are popular amid the residents of the city. In addition, members of these institutions have a great understanding of Sukuk Bonds, which is already a large market worth approximately $100 billion USD, according to Standard & Poor’s.
The second central pillar in this strategy is further developing the Islamic art and fashion sector in the city. This process has already begun and the Dubai Design District will soon be home to a number of new local fashion talents. They will continue to encourage innovation in this field in addition to encouraging existing designers and consumers alike to explore the world of Islamic fashion.
The third important pillar is to be a leader in the development of the Islamic digital economy by creating new platforms that are specifically designed for this purpose. Websites and online Islamic banking are seen as a crucial step in this development. In addition a special focus will be dedicated to creating portals for Islamic media outlets.
The final central focus of this strategy is positioning Dubai as an international hub for growing Halal industries and tourism. Halal industries in the region range from production of leather goods, cosmetics, food and many more on the ever-growing list.
A member of the Committee of Islamic Economy, Hussien Lootah, said, “Halal products are becoming more popular in non-Muslim communities, for their nutritional value, and observance of good health standards in food products, cosmetics, and others.”
Halal tourism greatly revolves around opening hotels that have no alcohol and hotels with Islamic facilities available such as prayer rooms.
The remaining pillars in the outlined strategy include improving and expanding Islamic education and information, creating centers for Islamic certification for Halal goods and becoming the leader in Islamic economic standards.
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