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Sat 5 Sep 2015 12:59 AM

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Islamic fashion market set to be worth $327bn by 2020

Growth in modest fashion sector to be one of the talking points at Global Islamic Economy Summit in Dubai

Islamic fashion market set to be worth $327bn by 2020
(AFP/Getty Images)

The Islamic fashion market is projected to grow by six percent annually to be worth $327 billion by 2020, according to new figures released ahead of a major summit being held in Dubai next month.

In 2014, Islamic, or modest, fashion sector expenditure reached $230 billion, constituting 11 percent of the global fashion market.

But the sector will be worth $327 billion by 2020, according to the upcoming State of the Global Islamic Economy report, to be published in conjunction with the Global Islamic Economy Summit taking place in Dubai this October.

The 2015 summit, organised by Dubai Chamber, the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and Thomson Reuters, is set to gather over 2,000 policymakers, thinkers and business leaders on October 5-6 at Madinat Jumeirah.

Contrary to the rest of the fashion industry, which is facing financial pressures as a result of global recession, it continues to expand.

Initially catering to the inherent modesty of the Muslim world, Islamic fashion is generating demand from other regions and cultures where modesty is a priority, as well as attracting attention from major mainstream fashion players.

Sefamerve, a leading modest fashion retailer, said: "While global brands that focus on modest fashion have been catering to Muslim sensibilities for years, they must also keep in mind a fast-growing conservative customer base that is also interested in modest fashion. These two complementary groups can help elevate these brands into key players in the fashion industry."

Alia Khan, chairwoman of the Islamic Fashion and Design Council, added: "People are intrigued by the Islamic fashion industry, and rightly so; there is much more to it than meets the eye.

"It has tremendous potential to lead and can set a wonderful example for the mainstream fashion industry, offering powerful solutions that will revolutionise fashion - while maintaining its dignity, elegance, and class."

Art and culture are also important components of the Islamic economy, and while Islamic art has always been a mainstay of museums around the world, it has increasingly gained importance as a collectable investment.

Initiatives across the GCC region, and especially in Qatar and the UAE, have turned a spotlight onto Islamic art that retains a focus on traditional religious works, while also introducing audiences to more contemporary offerings.

As part of the drive within the GCC to create a more vibrant cultural profile, innovative spaces such the Mathaf in Qatar and the Guggenheim and Louvre in Abu Dhabi, as well as contemporary galleries in Dubai, are all encouraging investment in Islamic art and helping it go mainstream.

Islamic art and fashion will both feature in the Global Islamic Economy Summit with dedicated sessions on the second day.

Featuring more than 60 international speakers across 15 sessions, the summit will offer comprehensive insights on the seven core pillars within the Islamic economy - Islamic Finance, Halal Industry, Family Tourism, Islamic Knowledge, Islamic Arts and Design, Islamic Digital Economy, and Islamic Standards.

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