UAE: Dubai sets out to become capital of Islamic economy

Economic development to focus on 7 areas

07 October, 15:54

    Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) 2012 [ARCHIVE MATERIAL 20121014 ] Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) 2012 [ARCHIVE MATERIAL 20121014 ]

    (ANSAmed) - DUBAI, OCTOBER 7 - Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktum and officials working in the emirate's economy and institutions this past weekend launched a drive to become the capital of Islamic finance through diversification. With a clear reference to Islam's ''five pillars'', the economic plan is divided into ''seven pillars'': finance, halal (i.e. in line with Islamic precepts) industries and tourism, the digital economy, the promotion of arts and fashion, the establishment of a standards and certification centre and an international centre for information and education - all rigorously Islamic. The total gross domestic product of the world’s Islamic nations is more than USD 8 trillion, equal to 11% of world GDP, with some 1.6 billion Muslims among potential consumers.

    While over the past few decades it has been limited to specialist financial circles, Islamic finance has recently gained ground and currently enjoys a steadily rising 24% annual growth rate.

    The 46 different initiatives that the plan includes will all be up and running in 2014. Some, such as the Dubai Global Sukuk (bonds) Center or the Global Islamic Economy Summit, are already operative. Two areas will be given particular attention. The first is the banking and financial sector, with the development of an operating and legislative platform that fills some of the current gaps and consolidates Dubai as a centre of excellence for the Islamic economy. The second is the promotion of halal industries - from food products to cosmetics, from pharmaceuticals to textiles and tourism. The World Halal Forum estimates this market to be worth some 2.3 billion dollars worldwide, with food products totalling 700 billion dollars per year. Many of the emirate's hotels already refuse to serve alcohol and offer menus strictly in line with religious precepts, as well as related other services for religious observance. Italy has also made use of its solid position for international certification. In 2012 Halal Italia, the certification agency for Italian products made in conformity with Islamic precepts, received official recognition, enabling it to enter the Gulf market. In 2010, export value for the region was at 50 billion dollars.

    (ANSAmed).

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