Dubai Exports, Zawya launch first UAE Islamic finance directory

DUBAI — Dubai Exports and Zawya have jointly produced the first UAE Islamic Financial Services Directory that will promote the country’s expertise globally.

By Abdul Basit

Published: Sun 26 Jun 2011, 11:21 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 4:52 AM

“I believe that the directory will lead to greater product development within the Islamic Financial services sector as more investors and borrowers see its great potential,” said Engineer Saed Al Awadi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Exports, an agency of the Dubai Department of Economic Development, Government of Dubai.

“This publication is an important resource for the country’s Islamic Financial sector in being able to market its services to global clients. I strongly encourage everyone to use this valuable resource in order to identify appropriate partners from the UAE,” Al Awadi said.

The first edition of the directory has been very ambitious in its aim of covering Islamic banking, insurance or takaful, investment and asset management, as well as Islamic scholars.

Over the past five years, the Islamic Finance industry has arrived on the world stage with an average annual growth rate of 15 to 20 per cent and more than $1 trillion in assets. By 2016, industry growth is expected to reach 28.6 per cent a year, more than four times the rate of conventional investing, and $5 trillion in assets.

“The directory consists of more than 100 companies including asset management, Shariah advisories, insurance, legal, education, software,” Zawya General Manager Jean Marc Paufique told Khaleej Times at the launch of the directory.

“It also includes some collaborative tools as we just not want to make it a directory, which has a list of companies. We asked most prominent partners in the UAE to write some article from their own expertise on topics like legal, investment trends, etc. and we also provide some statistics from Zawya,” he said.

He said the directory will make country’s Shariah-compliant companies visible to the world and underpin a projected 20 to 25 per cent growth in the sector’s asset base to $1 trillion.

The directory allows global users to obtain essential details of companies with the necessary expertise in the field of Islamic Finance in one convenient publication.

The directory was launched at Dubai Exports Islamic Finance Forum. Addressing the forum, Paufique said the UAE was a gateway to Islamic finance with the country topping the list of Gulf Cooperation Council countries in terms of sukuk issuance.

He mentioned that this year, three sukuk were issued in the UAE with total value of $1.4 billion namely Emaar, Sharjah Islamic Bank and HSBC Middle East. More sukuk are expected to materialize this year as healthy pipeline includes Nakheel’s 4th Sukuk to be issued by end of June 2011, he added.

Historically, the UAE is the second largest issuer of Sukuk worldwide with $32.8 billion issued to-date, compared to $151 billion out of Malaysia which ranks first. Current outstanding sukuk market globally is estimated at $174 billion of which 11.7 per cent or $20.4 billion comes from the UAE.

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