London, July 17, 2017 - Preparations for the 7th Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) entered final stage with nominations for more than 50 categories being received from around the world.  Every year, the top award, Global Islamic Finance Leadership Award is presented to a head of state or government. The recipient of this top award is known as GIFA Laureate. The previous six GIFA Laureates include former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdullah Badawi (2011), Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak, Malaysia (2012), Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shaukat Aziz (2013), President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev (2014), Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II (2015), and President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo (2016).

"This year,  we shall install our seventh GIFA Laureate by way of honouring another president from a country in the OIC block for his relentless support in developing Islamic banking and finance not only in his country but in the East African region as well, " said Professor Humayon Dar, founding Chairman of GIFA.  In addition, a prominent country will receive the Global Islamic Finance Leadership Award (Country Category) and a leading institution will receive Global Islamic Finance Leadership Award (Institutional Category). "We also expect to announce our prestigious award, namely GIFA Central Banker of the Year Award, which will be presented to a governor of a central bank," revealed Professor Humayon Dar.

Hailed as the most prestigious Islamic finance awards programme in the world,  this year's GIFA will take place in the Kazakhstan capital city of Astana on September 6, 2017. The Awards Ceremony will be hosted by Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC)  and will be attended by a large number of CEOs of Islamic banks,  asset management companies,  brokerage firms and commodity brokers,  educational institutions and training providers, rating agencies,  technology firms,  halal businesses and charitable organisations. 

This year,  there will be seven GIFA Market Leadership Awards to be presented to seven leading institutions in banking,  asset management,  ratings and financial intelligence, sukuk, commodity brokerage and facilitation, and education and training. An additional set of categories includes FinTech. "Given the growing importance of FinTech in Islamic finance, our Awards Committee decided to acknowledge the role of FinTech companies in Islamic finance and encourage them to further progress and develop, " said Dr. Sofiza Azmi, CEO of Edbiz Consulting, the company that manages the GIFA.

"We must say that our awards are not merely celebration of the success of individuals and institutions, but rather we add value to businesses of the companies through our recognition," said Professor Humayon Dar. Edbiz Consulting estimates that one GIFA award on average adds 0.89% value to the pre-award valuation of the winner business's net asset value (NAV). "We also have estimated that an individual GIFA winner receives between 5% and 11% more in terms of remuneration should they decide to switch jobs within 12 months of their winning, " said Dr. Sofiza Azmi.

GIFA 2017 is expecting a large contingent of winners from the countries comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Previous year's winners from GCC included Dubai Islamic Bank (GIFA market Leadership Award 2016), Kuwait Finance House (Best Islamic Bank 2016), and Albaraka Islamic Bank (Best Islamic Bank for Treasury Management 2016). Other banks from the MENA region included Bank of Khartoum whose CEO, Fadi Al Faqih, was named as the Islamic Banker of the Year 2016.

About Edbiz Consulting
Edbiz Consulting is a global Islamic finance think tank with offices in London and Islamabad. For more information, please visit: Edbiz Consulting provides multiple services that balance the dual purpose of developing thought leadership in this niche industry and strengthening the Islamic finance capacity for businesses and banks. Its client base is diverse and includes financial institutions, governments, education providers, established businesses and entrepreneurs.

For further information: please get in touch with Khuram Shehzad on

© Press Release 2017