Dubai: Islamic economy initiative to boost Islamic financial services — and vice versa

The concept of developing an Islamic economy is closely linked to development of Islamic banking and Islamic finance and related financial infrastructure. said Dr. Adnan Chilwan, Dubai Islamic Bank’s Chief Executive Officer in an interview to Gulf News

Dubai’s objective to become the global hub of Islamic economy is supported by more than 40 years of history in Islamic banking and financial services. Chilwan said Dubai government’s initiative to transform the city into a hub of Islamic economy gives a platform to Islamic finance and Islamic banks to showcase what it is capable of.

“Dubai has a pioneering advantage to its credit for being a logistical hub, in being a geographic hub, a tourism hub — all these advantages were always there. A logical extension of that was to become the capital of the Islamic economy,” he said.

Islamic finance in its current form is largely home-grown for Dubai. It was here that four decades ago the idea of Islamic banking was incubated with the establishment of Dubai Islamic Bank. So it gives Dubai a natural advantage for the emirate to take this mantle forward and become the hub of Islamic economy.

Being the capital of Islamic economy does not mean just being the capital of Islamic finance. It involves the development of a whole range of businesses that follow the principles of sharia such as halal food, travel and tourism and fashion industry to name a few.

“There is about $6.7 trillion [Dh24.6 trillion] of assets within the Muslim global expenditure. Islamic finance is well placed to support all other industries that are supported by this asset base. When industries are nascent, they need proper funding, infrastructure and regulation. All the industries and elements of Islamic economy complement one another. Keeping all that in mind, I think Dubai is naturally progressing to become the capital of the Islamic economy,” said Chilwan.

*This article was originally published on Gulf News on 27 October 2014. Read the original article here.

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