Bahrain, a prominent figure in the world of Islamic finance, continues to be a trailblazer in advancing knowledge capital and promoting innovation in the industry.

Home to influential global Islamic standard-setting bodies such as AAOIFI, International Islamic Financial Market and the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions, the kingdom has been at the forefront of developments in Islamic fintech and digital transformations.

IFN, with the support of IsDB as the multilateral strategic partner, hosted the World Islamic Finance Dialogues 2023 this week at Wyndham Grand Manama.

The one-day summit kicked off with a keynote address by Khalid Hamad Al Hamad, Executive Director – Banking Supervision, Central Bank of Bahrain, which was then followed by the first session.

It served as a platform to discuss the building of momentum through the growth of Islamic financial markets.

This discussion explored the notable achievements and milestones of Shariah compliant financial and capital markets over the past year and regulatory environments’ influence over the growth and development of the Islamic markets, according to the organisers IFN.

It also included amendments that could be made to market regulations, and the development of the Islamic capital market including increasing market depth and liquidity, driving product innovation and widening the investor base, funding routes for corporates, ongoing innovations within Islamic finance markets and how Shariah compliant structures can be further applied to the funding of clean energy projects and infrastructure.

The second session focused on reaching new heights through innovation, transformation and digitalization of Islamic financial services.

Some of the topics included the notable milestones and key developments within Islamic banking over the past year, and what the current outlook is for the sector.

It also featured the digitalization of Islamic financial services: what is working, what is not and what this means for the evolution and transformation of Islamic financial services, the prudential regulatory environments, discussions on Tier 1 and Tier 2 Sukuk and what they offer to Islamic financial institutions and funding options.

Panelists for WIFD 2023 include:

*Bilal Kahlon, Partner and Head of Finance –- Saudi Arabia, Trowers & Hamlins

*Elina Mohamed, Group General Counsel, Bapco Energies

*Fawaz Ghazal, CEO, FLOOSS

*Dr Gulnar Mulla, Head of the Finance Department, University of Technology, Bahrain

*Hakan Ozyon, CEO, Hejaz Financial Services

*Husain Sayed, CEO, Safaghat WLL

*Ijlal Alvi, CEO, International Islamic Financial Market

*Luma Saqqaf, CEO, Ajyal Sustainability Consulting

*Mughees Shaukat, Senior Manager, AAOIFI

*Rachid Ettaai, Business Development Manager, General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI)

*Dr Rizwan Malik, Head, Islamic Finance Centre, Bahrain Institute of Banking & Finance

*Sabir Ahmed, Executive Director, Islamic Origination, Standard Chartered Bank

*Dr Shaher Abbas, CEO, IFIN Services

*Tamer Al Maug, Managing Director, Codebase Technologies

The IFN has returned to Bahrain for the third time, presenting the Dialogues Format under Chatham House Rules to ensure openness among panelists, meaning no video recordings, no media presence and no attribution in the post-event report.

With an attendance of over 120 delegates, the event provided a platform for fruitful engagement, capacity-building and networking opportunities, it added. 

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