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Heads up for Islamic finance

Deepa Narwani
Filed on September 6, 2011

DUBAI Islamic finance is the broad term used to describe a wide range of financial transactions that have been approved by a recognised authority as compliant with Islamic law (Shariah).

The economic growth in many Gulf countries has meant that an ever increasing number of Muslims and non-Muslims are seeking to invest their wealth in a Shariah compliant manner.

Seeing the need for more and more awareness about these principles, universities and institutions in Dubai have introduced various courses to cater to the increasing demand.

The Canadian University of Dubai (CUD) is launching an MBA in Islamic Banking – the only UAE accredited university degree of its kind to be offered in the Middle East — this year at NAJAH Education and Careers exhibition in Abu Dhabi to be held from October 18 to 20.

“The MBA in Islamic Banking has been introduced in response to the increasing popularity of this type of banking in the region, and aims to equip post-graduates with the necessary skills to manage banking activity that is consistent with the principles of Islamic law,” said Dr Muhammed Kabir, Vice President, Academic Affairs, Canadian University of Dubai.

He added: “Islamic Banking is one of the fastest growing fields in Banking and Finance. This interest has been driven by the recent banking crisis throughout the world and how the Islamic Banking sector has dealt with the crisis. CUD is proud to be the first university to offer a UAE accredited MBA in Islamic Banking.”

The one year full-time degree in Islamic Banking will be available for graduates who are already in employment because students have the option to choose classes over the weekend and in the evening.

“Technically, the course has started; CUD’s MBA programmes are designed to be flexible for the working individual,” said Dr Kabir. “The first eight courses are general to all MBA students while the last four courses are specialty courses for Islamic Banking. The programme is taught in 12 four-week modules, so registration is happening on an ongoing basis.”

Currently, CUD is the only UAE Accredited University offering an MBA in Islamic Banking. This is subject to change due to the popularity of the programme.

Dr Kabir said: “All of CUD’s MBA programmes are taught by highly competent internationally recognised professors. All MBA professors have to have a PhD degree and most of our professors have degrees from well-known Canadian and US universities. Specialised courses in Islamic Banking will be taught by professors with PhD in the field of Islamic Economics and Banking.”

The MBA courses start at Dh2,100 per credit hour and offers two options. “Candidates have the option of studying in the evenings during the week or on the weekend. We have worked hard to meet the needs of the UAE working community and therefore we offer these options for working professionals.” The course entails 36 credit hours.

CUD will be joined by more than 30 other universities at NAJAH, taking place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), where they will meet thousands of school leavers deciding their next education move.

“NAJAH is a very important link to promote Canadian education to the local community,” added Dr Kabir. “The event sets the ideal stage to bring together thousands of school leavers, graduates, and young professionals with universities throughout the country. We want to increase public awareness about our courses and therefore increase the number of Emiratis at the university.”

As the UAE federal government dedicates Dh4.6 billion to the education sector in 2011, major universities and training institutions have been signed up for NAJAH.

Khurram Saeed, Exhibition Director for NAJAH said: “According to the National Bureau of Statistics, more than half of the estimated population of 948,000 Emiratis in the UAE are under the age of 20, highlighting the need to emphasise the importance of a strong educational foundation for the country as it continues to develop its knowledge economy”.

deepa@khaleejtimes.com

The 12 modules that can be completed in a year for MBA in Islamic Banking at CUD are as follows:

Generic

- Managerial Accounting

- Managerial Finance

- Quantitative Analysis for Manager

- Managerial Economics

- Marketing Management

- Operations Management

- Management of Information Systems

- Business Strategy specific to islamic banking

- Al-Shari’a, Economy & Society

- Theory & Practice of Islamic Banking-Fiqh Al Muamalat

- Islamic Financial Systems

-Accounting in Islamic Financial Institutions

Institutes offeringIslamic finance in Dubai

1) Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance

2) The Cass EMBA in Dubai offers the choice of building a general management Executive MBA with concentration in Islamic Finance

3) Understanding Sukuk Structures and Documentation workshop, will run from September 12 to 14, and will be conducted by the Dar Al Sharia team in association with Durham University and Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance. For more information log onto http://www.hawkamah.org/

Some definitions

1) Murabaha—a financer, such as a bank, buys a commodity and sells it to the purchaser at a higher price

2) Mudaraba—the bank provides funding to entrepreneurs, who share the profits of any venture. The entrepreneurs do not put up any capital.

3) Musharaka—the bank provides funding to entrepreneurs, who also contribute capital. Profits from the venture are shared.

4) Ijarah—Arabic for leasing. An agreement in which banks lease an asset to a client for a specific time at a specific price. At the end of the leasing period, the client may or may not own the asset.

5) Istisna—The purchaser asks the seller to create a product, which is then sold to the purchaser at a given price.





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