Dubai willing to be hub for Islamic firms
DUBAI - Reuters
In finance, Dubai especially wants to become a top center for the issuance and trading of Islamic bonds as well as for tarde and travel. DHA photDubai unveiled plans in the weekend to become a center for business that follows Islamic principles in areas from banking and insurance to food processing, tourism and education.
With a freewheeling commercial culture and a diverse population with cosmopolitan lifestyles, the booming emirate of 2.1 million people is not known for its Islamic scholarship.
But in the past few decades, Dubai has used its international ties to become the Gulf’s main center for finance, trade and travel. Officials said they would now focus on business related to the religious beliefs of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims.
“The total foreign trade of the Muslim world is $4 trillion. This shows the potential that is available for Dubai,” Mohammed al-Gergawi, chairman of Dubai Holding, a conglomerate owned by the emirate’s ruler, told a conference.
In finance, Dubai wants to become a top center for the issuance and trading of Islamic bonds, which are structured to avoid the payment of interest. It aims to rival the main hubs for Islamic bonds, Kuala Lumpur and London, by creating a set of clear, commonly accepted standards.
Abdulaziz al-Ghurair, chairman of the authority overseeing Dubai’s financial center, predicted the global Islamic re-insurance market would grow to $20 billion by 2020 from $11 billion at present.
The emirate will get involved in the business of certifying halal food and other products that are prepared under Islamic rules.