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Dubai to host the World Islamic Economic Forum 2014

Dubai: Dubai’s selection as host of the 10th session of the World Islamic Economic Forum 2014 (WIEF), one of the world’s largest gatherings to share knowledge, experience and expertise in Islamic economy.

This move will take the emirate a step closer to its vision of becoming the world capital of the Islamic economy, an expert in the field said.

The announcement was made during the opening day of the World Islamic Economic Forum 2013 in London.

The selection clearly indicates Dubai’s ambitions in achieving global leadership in the area of the Islamic economy. It also reflects Dubai’s potential to make a huge success of global events and presents the emirate as a viable option for hosting major international forums and conferences, said Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Chairman of the Executive Office of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and Chairman of the Higher Committee for the Development of the Islamic Economy Sector.

Leading the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry delegation to the 9th session of WIEF in London, Hamad Bu Amim, President and CEO, said that hosting this event in Dubai will highlight the city as a hub for Islamic business and its capabilities in offering Islamic products, services and practices.

Dubai Chamber will be the organisers of the 10th round of the Forum in 2014, which will be attended by prominent global leaders, including heads of states, academics, experts and decision-makers besides influential figures in the field of Islamic economy.

Abdul Kader Hussain, CEO of Mashreq Capital DIFC Limited, told Gulf News: “Hosting this event next year in Dubai will raise the profile of Dubai as a hub of Islamic businesses, including finance, halal food, cosmetics, tourism and others.”

This announcement is considered a positive sign that global markets look at Dubai as a hub for Islamic activities, which is another important development towards achieving the leader’s initiative in transforming Dubai into the capital of Islamic economy in two years’ time,” he added. “It is a global acknowledgement of Dubai as a hub for Islamic Economy.”

Dubai has all the infrastructure and facilities that required to host this huge event, Hussain said.“Despite all the initiatives that Dubai tackled to go forward with its Islamic economy, the emirate has a strategic location on the crossroads of Islamic markets.”

Faisal Aqil Al Bastaki, Deputy CEO of Consumer Wealth Management at Emirates Islamic Bank, told Gulf News: “Dubai used to host such important events, and the emirate’s Islamic economic strategy will no doubt be an adding value to this economic bloc.”

Dubai is capable of leading the Islamic economy and by hosting this forum, it will provide the right channel for the expertise in the region to exchange ideas and share the best practice about the Islamic markets and activities, he added.

Sukuk City

Developing Dubai into a hub for the Islamic economy and Sukuk will require the adoption of an ecosystem that resolves standardisation alongside market efficiencies, competitiveness and sustainability concerns, a study developed by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry released on Wednesday.

According to the study, Sukuk activity continues to gather pace in other less familiar markets West (Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Sudan) and East (Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangladesh, Pakistan and China) of the GCC, while centres as far afield as Bermuda are now supporting Sukuk.

Using the experience in the UAE, Dubai-based institutions are potentially well positioned to harness organic growth in these markets where Islamic products can appeal to the predominantly Muslim indigenous population, the research stated.