Dubai International Financial Centre records 45% rise in Islamic assets

DUBAI, Dubai International Financial Centre, DIFC, has marked a significant rise in Islamic assets being managed in the Centre, recording a 45 percent growth between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019.

According to a press release issued by DIFC on Wednesday, Islamic finance is growing at 1.5 times the rate of traditional finance, and the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region continues to be a steady driver of this industry, fueled by a number of jumbo sukuk issuances and almost US$1 trillion in financial assets across GCC countries.

Dubai remains one of the world's largest centres for Sukuk listings by value at US$62 billion, with DIFC-based Nasdaq Dubai at US$60 billion.

The DIFC continues to be a catalyst for growth in this sector, with more than 40 firms offering sharia-compliant products and services, using the Centre as a springboard to reach a Muslim population of over 600 million in the Middle East and Africa region alone.

The Centre's robust legal and regulatory environment, alongside its highly developed and dynamic financial ecosystem, has attracted major Islamic institutions such as Maybank Islamic Berhad to establish their regional headquarters in Dubai.

Commenting on the achievement, Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, said, "The growth in the number of financial institutions with a sharia-compliant offering, alongside the rise of Islamic assets managed from the DIFC highlights the increasing demand for Islamic financial products in the region. Aligned with the vision of Dubai's leadership to establish the city as the capital for Islamic economy, we are committed to continuously enhancing our world-class business environment to support the growth of sharia transactions here in the Centre."

The Centre has also become the preferred home for emerging Islamic FinTech firms, contributing to the UAE's position as the fourth largest Islamic FinTech hub in the world. The DIFC has showcased its commitment to developing the sector by establishing dedicated an Islamic FinTech stream in its award-winning FinTech Hive accelerator programme, alongside RegTech, InsurTech and FinTech.

As part of the programme, the budding start-ups receive guidance and mentorship from leading Islamic institutions such as the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, Emirates Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, amongst others from FinTech Hive's network of 22 partners.

Together, these key components have created a market-leading environment for Islamic financial services to thrive, firmly positioning Dubai as the home for Islamic Finance in the region, transforming the future of finance.

Source: Emirates News Agency