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Thu 9 Nov 2017 02:43 PM

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More non-Muslims in the UAE turning to Islamic banking - survey

2017 Islamic Banking Index reveals 7% rise in adoption of Islamic products

More non-Muslims in the UAE turning to Islamic banking - survey
General view of Emirates Islamic Bank in Dubai. (Getty Images)

UAE consumer uptake and perception of Islamic banking products and services has risen for the third consecutive year, according to the 2017 Islamic Banking Index published by Emirates Islamic

The results of the 2017 survey show that over half (52 percent) the population of the UAE currently have an Islamic banking product, an increase of five percent on the inaugural 2015 survey.

It also showed that there has been a seven point increase in the adoption of Islamic products by non-Muslim bank customers.

The research has also revealed a steady increase in the average UAE consumer perception of Islamic banking products and services, also rising by five points from 2015.

It showed a distinct closing of the gap in how Islamic Banks are perceived in relation to conventional banks – particularly when it comes to being technologically advanced and innovative, and offering superior customer service.

Jamal Bin Ghalaita, CEO of Emirates Islamic, said: “The results of this year’s Islamic Banking Index clearly show that more people in the UAE are recognising the positive attributes of Islamic banking, leading to a wider adoption of Shari’a-compliant products and services.

"This is a welcome trend that bodes well for the future of the Islamic banking sector and supports the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai to make Dubai the global capital of Islamic economy.”

Launched in 2015, the index tracks consumer behaviour and sentiment towards Shari’a-compliant banking products and services.

The latest survey said Islamic banks are consistently (over three years) perceived to be more trustworthy, more community minded and more financially sound than conventional banks while 29 percent of non-Muslim consumers believe Islamic banks offer the best profit rates on deposits.

It also showed that knowledge of Islamic banking continues to grow with 65 percent of consumers familiar with at least one Islamic banking product – an increase of 6 points on 2015.

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