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Mon 29 Oct 2018 02:07 PM

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Revealed: the UAE's growing role in the global Islamic economy

State of the Global Islamic Economy Report estimates that Muslims spent $2.1trn across the food, beverage and lifestyle sectors in 2017

Revealed: the UAE's growing role in the global Islamic economy
The State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2018/19 estimates that Muslims spent $2.1 trillion across the food, beverage and lifestyle sectors in 2017, and forecasts spending to reach $3 trillion by 2023. (GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

The UAE's importance in the global Islamic economy is growing as Muslim spending is set to reach $3 trillion by 2023, according to a new study.

The report showed that although Malaysia topped the Global Islamic Economy Indicator for finance, the UAE ranked first across Halal food, Halal travel, modest fashion, Halal media and recreation, and Halal pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

The report was commissioned by Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and produced by Thomson Reuters in collaboration with DinarStandard and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and chairman of DIEDC, said: “This year, the UAE has boosted its Global Islamic Economy Indicator score and attained the top spots in two additional sectors.

"The rise in the country’s standing testifies to the commitment of DIEDC’s partners to implementing the Centre’s initiatives, their significant contributions to the development of the Islamic economy in Dubai, as well as the success of the UAE's sustainable development drive as part of its post-oil economy vision.”

DIEDC CEO Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar added: “This year, we have witnessed a surge in demand for products that not only conform to sharia-compliant financing and stringent environmental sustainability, health and safety standards but are also manufactured using halal-certified ingredients.”

The State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2018/19 estimates that Muslims spent $2.1 trillion across the food, beverage and lifestyle sectors in 2017, and forecasts spending to reach $3 trillion by 2023.

By category, food and beverage leads Muslim spend at $1.3 trillion, followed by fashion at $270 billion, media and recreation at $209 billion, travel at $177 billion, pharmaceuticals at $87 billion and cosmetics at $61 billion.

It added that more companies are active in Halal food than in any other sector of the Islamic economy, with regulatory oversight of production steadily improving.

The report said modest fashion has firmly moved into the mainstream, from models in hijabs walking down the catwalks for luxury brands to European fashion magazines sporting Muslim models on their covers. A notable shift has seen high street retailers launch their own modest fashion lines, from Macy’s in the US to Marks & Spencer in the UK and H&M worldwide.

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