The Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) international exchange, Nasdaq Dubai, accounted for approximately 64% of the world’s dollar-denominated sustainable sukuk market as of September 2023, according to Governor Essa Kazim.

The DIFC has positioned itself as a global hub for sustainable finance, with DIFC’s Nasdaq Dubai emerging as the largest environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) sukuk market in the world, Kazim said, speaking at the Future Sustainability Forum.

Nasdaq Dubai accounted for approximately 64% of the world’s dollar-denominated sustainable sukuk or $16.4 billion out of $25.8 billion, along with 46% of the world’s all-currencies sustainable sukuk ($17.5 billion out of $38.3 billion).

“The current outstanding listing value for ESG bond and sukuk on DIFC Nasdaq Dubai is $24 billion today, reinforcing Dubai’s position as a global hub for sustainable finance,” Kazim said.

Earlier today, Nasdaq Dubai also announced the debut listing of $350 million green bond by FIVE Holdings, a hospitality and development company based in Dubai.

With industry experts weighing in on the complexities of a green economy and the challenges that lay ahead, Kazim said that as a government authority, DIFC was following through on the roadmap laid out by the government to “drive tangible progress to climate action.”

“Today, we find ourselves at a certain crossroads in history, where the world is facing unprecedented challenges,” he said. “Our united priority should be converging on a single level to combat climate change on the road to Cop28.”

Taking a macro view, Kazim said that an estimated $4 to $5 trillion is required annually to meet the needs of the UN’s 2030 agenda for sustainable development goals. “The need for sustainability has been growing at rapid pace with a strong demand from investors for governments and the private sector to deliver on sustainability commitments,” he added.

(Reporting by Bindu Rai, editing by Seban Scaria)