Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Wednesday said that the first goal of the strategy launched two years ago to develop and promote Dubai as the global capital of Islamic economy has been achieved.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed hailed the achievement made by Dubai as it has overtaken other financial centres in listing Islamic bonds on its exchanges. Sukuk listed on Dubai's exchanges, rose to Dh135 billion in 2015, said a recent study published by Thomson Reuters.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid made these remarks as he chaired a meeting of the board of directors of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre.
"When we launched our plan to become the world's capital of Islamic economy two years ago, some brothers had doubts. But today we have achieved the first goal even before the date we had set. We have a clear vision for our next achievement in 2020."
"Islamic finance is the most important sector of Islamic economy and Sukuk are one of the most important tools of this sector. Today we are the world's biggest centres for Sukuk, but our vision is even wider and more comprehensive as it takes in seven major sectors of Islamic economy," H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid added.
"Thanks to its steady growth, increasing assets and straightforward principles, Islamic economy has become an established reality within the system of global economy. Through the huge economic opportunities provided by Islamic economy, and the massive partnerships that it can create, Islamic economy can provide a key to further stability and development in our region."
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid added, "We want an Islamic economy that has a global vision and local cadres to serve our national economic interests because the fast-paced global economic developments make it mandatory for us to quicken the pace of diversifying our national economy."
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, who oversees the initiative to turn Dubai to the global capital of Islamic economy, attended the meeting and emphasised that Dubai will become the global reference for all forms of Islamic finance by 2020. "We have accumulated experience, a clear roadmap and strategic partners at home and overseas to carry out the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to make Dubai the benchmark for Islamic economy."
"Dubai's strategy for Islamic economy is achieving its goals. The plan to make Dubai the world's capital of Islamic economy includes not only Islamic products and financial tools but also Islamic commodities, services and knowledge. Several initiatives were launched for these sectors. Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre will launch new initiatives in the coming period to accelerate action on the set plan," H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid added.
Sukuk listed on Dubai's two exchanges, Nasdaq Dubai and Dubai Financial Market, rose to US$36.7 billion (Dh134.38 billion), according to Thomson Reuters data.
Nasdaq Dubai accounts for the substantial chunk of US$33 billion, while Dubai Financial Market accounts for US$2.75 billion.
This put Dubai ahead of the world's three traditional Sukuk centres: Malaysia, with US$26.6 billion listed on Bursa Malaysia and the Labuan free trade zone, the Irish Stock Exchange with US$25.7 billion, and the London Stock Exchange with US$25.1 billion.
Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, noted that the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the incessant follow-up by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid, for turning Dubai into the global capital of Islamic economy, were effective in making this world-class achievement that has come three years ahead of the emirate's plan in which 2018 was the target year.
"We have an extensive and solid relationship with a wide range of international investors. We also have one of the world's best regulatory and procedural environments. We have a clear plan that is backed by all government departments. We expect action in all Islamic economic sectors to pick up speed in the coming period in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to achieve the goals that we set in 2013, before 2020," Al Gergawi added.