Dubai has been chosen to host the next World Islamic Economic Forum - the largest gathering of Muslim political and economic leaders from around the world.
More than 2,000 global Islamic leaders are expected to attend the annual event in November next year to discuss trade and business opportunities between Muslim nations as well as non-Muslim communities.
The announcement at the opening of the London forum on Tuesday comes several months after Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced he intended to make Dubai the Islamic economic capital of the world.
The government will promote Islamic banking and insurance, Islamic financial products and other areas including the arbitration of Islamic contracts and the setting of quality standards for halal food.
Dubai estimated recently that the value of the global Islamic economy was about $8trn.
Malaysia has traditionally dominated Islamic finance, while London has emerged as the leader among Western countries. The UK this week announced a plan to become the first non-Muslim country to sell Shariah-compliant sovereign debt, in what will be a world first outside the Muslim world.
In the GCC, Islamic banks now command roughly 25 percent of the banking market, according to an estimate by Ernst & Young.
Last month, Thomas Reuters global head of Islamic finance Sayd Farook said MENA markets represented 60 percent of global tourism expenditure, creating enormous business opportunities for cities worldwide, not only in Islamic countries.
“Imagine the influence that catering to the Muslim markets can have on types of tourism, whether it’s in Dubai or it’s in the UK or it’s in America,” he said.For all the latest GCC news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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