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UAE top Arab nation and second globally in 73-country Islamic Economy Indicator 1st add

Commenting on the launch of the report, Essa Kazim, Secretary General of DIEDC, said: "While we celebrate the achievements of Dubai?s leadership in the Islamic finance domain that have led to the emirate outpacing top global financial centres in sukuk listing, we are confident the trillion dollar industry will continue to drive innovative ideas for future investments and help enhance competitiveness across the world to create new avenues for the growth of the whole ecosystem. The State of the Global Islamic Economy Report and Index 2015 can serve as a roadmap for a world of future opportunities that investors globally can tap into." Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, said, "With the launch of this report Dubai reinforces its position as a reliable research reference in Islamic economy. We are pleased with the positive results revealed by the SGIE 2015 and the promising indicators on the sectors? growth, as well as on the progress of the UAE among the most active and healthiest Islamic economy ecosystems." Commenting on the insights, Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber, said, "These impressive growth figures point towards opportunities within a multitude of sectors in the coming years. This is the right time to be discussing ideas and crafting a roadmap of how to better serve Muslims across different geographies, seize the opportunities and in turn, further grow this market." Commenting on the report, Mustafa Adil, Acting Head of Islamic Finance at Thomson Reuters, said, "The SGIE 2015-2016 report will provide an in-depth picture of the sectors contributing to the phenomenal growth of the Islamic economy, from outlook to key trends, this is effectively a guide for entrepreneurs and businesses to help them better understand the market in different regions and make informed choices and decisions." At a time when the global economy recorded growth of just 2.6 percent in 2014, with growth estimates increasing to 3.1 and 3.3 percent in 2015 and 2016 respectively, the Islamic economy is seeing steady expansion overall, particularly in Islamic banking and finance as international financial institutions increasingly look to apply Sharia-compliant financial practices to investments that meet requirements for sustainability and economic development. Meanwhile, the abundance of Islamic assets and wealth have led to greater interest in sukuk issuance from investors seeking fixed returns with lower risk over the long term.

According to the report, 2015 has seen a number of emerging trends across the different sectors of Islamic economy. In the halal food sector, where Muslim consumer spending reached US$1.1 billion in 2014, new partnerships were formed between countries like Malaysia and South Africa as well as the UAE and South Korea. Further corporate sukuk issuance in Malaysia and the UAE has helped maintain the positive momentum in the Islamic finance market, which grew to US$1.8 billion in 2014. This growth has been supported by regional initiatives such as a joint venture between Bahrain and the UAE and the launch of Cameroon?s Afriland First Bank?s Islamic window.

The report also covers emerging trends in the areas of halal fashion - which in 2014 boasted a predominantly Muslim market size of US$230 billion, as well as tourism, media and recreation, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Amidst these findings, GIES 2015 will host more than 60 international speakers across 15 sessions, and convene over 2,000 policymakers, thinkers and business leaders. The summit will examine the changing dynamics of Islamic economy and the momentum Islamic sectors such as halal food and halal fashion are gaining on both regional and international levels. Innovation is a key area of focus this year, anchoring the discussion for a number of panels around halal tourism, halal industry and Islamic digital economy, as well as the Innovation4Impact competition.

Keynote speakers at GIES 2015 include His Highness Prince Mohammadu Sanussi II, Emir of Kano, Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, and Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri, Governor of Central Bank of the UAE. Other speakers include Tirad Mahmood, CEO of ADIB, Jamal Bin Ghalaita, CEO of Emirates Islamic Bank, and Dr Aiad Alkhatib, Head of Corporate Regulatory & Scientific Affairs at Nestle Middle East. These speakers and many others will headline the sessions that will focus on the seven core pillars of Islamic economy: Islamic finance, halal industry, family tourism, Islamic knowledge, Islamic arts and design, Islamic digital economy, and Islamic standards.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2015.

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