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Sun 23 Dec 2018 09:40 AM

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Dubai aims to grow Islamic economy to make up 10% of GDP by 2021

Key focus sectors including Islamic finance, halal products and lifestyle areas such as fashion and tourism

Dubai aims to grow Islamic economy to make up 10% of GDP by 2021
“A specific goal would be to [increase Islamic economy’s contribution to GDP] through efficient use of modern technology,” said DIEDC director general Essa Kazim.

Through the use of modern technology, the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) is aiming to raise the Islamic economy’s contribution to the city’s gross domestic product to 10 percent by 2021, compared to 8.3 percent in 2018, it said in a statement.

The move is in line with a five-year strategy launched by DIEDC in 2017 in a bid to grow three key sectors of the Islamic economy, which comprises Sharia-compliant products and services.

The strategy will focus on increasing knowledge, industry standards and use of digital technologies in the sectors of Islamic finance, halal products, and Islamic lifestyle such as fashion and tourism.

“A specific goal would be to [increase Islamic economy’s contribution to GDP] through efficient use of modern technology,” said DIEDC director general Essa Kazim.

He added that the centre aims to develop partnerships with local and global organisations in 2019 in order to build a regulatory framework and ecosystem for the growth of the Islamic economy.

It also aims to equip young talent with required skills to boost growth across the industry.

“The UAE is a catalyst for innovative initiatives and policies that present effective solutions to global economic challenges, while specifically enhancing the Islamic economy,” said Sultan Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy and chairman of DIEDC.

“As a comprehensive economic system, a knowledge-based economy also paves the path to the economy of the future,” he added.

In 2018, the halal industry made up 5.8 percent of total Dubai trade volumes, according to figures from the Dubai Statistics Centre, while the overall global Islamic economy grew 6 percent to $2.4 trillion by end of 2017, according to the Global Islamic Finance Report by UK-based Edbiz Consulting.

In the same year, Sharia-compliant financial assets were estimated to make up 1 per cent of all financial assets around the world, according to Thomson Reuters, while 2018 saw Dubai set the world record for the highest value of Islamic bonds, or sukuk, listings in the span of one year at $60bn, according to the Department of Economic Development’s Dubai Economic Report 2018.

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