Husein Al Meeza: A Shariah-compliant banker par excellence

One of the brains behind Dubai Islamic Bank, he is a significant driving force behind the soon-to-be launched Islamic Coin

KT photo by Ehaab Qaadir

Joydeep Sengupta

Published: Fri 27 Jan 2023, 6:03 PM

Husein Mohammad Salem Al Meeza is a proud Emirati, who has carved a niche for himself as one of the leading lights of Islamic banking and insurance sector in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

Al Meeza, 68, who grew up between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, was the recipient of the coveted “The Islamic Banker of the Year” for 2006 at the 13th Annual of World Islamic Banking Conference in Bahrain.

His impressive academic credentials — he graduated with a degree in Business Commerce from Beirut Arab University in Lebanon, and an MBA from a prestigious American university — laid a solid foundation for his stellar career as a pre-eminent Arab banker.


He started his career in 1975 when he joined the world's first Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) and went on to work there for 27 years in several key roles, including the Executive Director of the Corporate Banking division.

Islamic coin

He is one of the driving forces behind the soon-to-be-launched Islamic Coin — the Shariah-compliant cryptocurrency and industry-grade financial instruments.

“Islamic Coin seeks to build value and deliver future-proof solutions, which will offer seamless digital transactions, riding high on innovations and supporting philanthropic causes,” Al Meeza said with a benign smile while ensconced in his office at Al Rigga.

Islamic Coin’s Shariah Board, as Fatwa issuer, boasts leading names in Shariah compliance, including Dr. Nizam Saleh Yakuby, Dr. Mohamed Zoeir and Dr. Essam Khalaf Al-Enezi, among others.

The board members are known to have advised on Shariah-compliant practices in some of the top financial institutions in the world, including Standard Chartered, DIB, and BNP Paribas.

“It’s a pleasure to be part of this amazing team and I look forward to building ethics-first financial instruments that will empower Muslims throughout the world,” he added.

Islamic Coin will have a finite supply and 10 per cent of each issuance is automatically dedicated to philanthropy in line with the tenets of Islam. The digital money includes an Evergreen Fund dedicated to funding ethical, Shariah-compliant start-ups throughout the world.

A sound financial mind

Al Meeza was one of the brain trusts of companies that have shaped the UAE economy and other nations in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.

He was a founder of Emaar Properties, Emaar Financial Services, and Amlak Finance, where he held positions both as a board member and the chairman of the Executive Committee.

He was also a founder of Dubai Islamic Insurance and Reinsurance, known as Aman, where he was the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

In Bahrain, Al Meeza was the Chairman of the Executive Committee at the Islamic Trading Company, and the Chairman of Liquidity Management Centre.

He was the pioneer in setting up Al Salam Bank in Bahrain in 2005, which has branches in Sudan and Algeria as well. He is the Vice-Chairman and the Chairman of the Executive Committee of Salam Bank Algeria, and Salam Bank Sudan, respectively.

In his spare time, the amiable Al Meeza loves to travel and catch fish in the Arabian Sea.

Joydeep Sengupta

Published: Fri 27 Jan 2023, 6:03 PM

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