– The growing local and international trust in Dubai, and the wider UAE, promises greater progress in the domestic economy, especially in the Islamic economy domain, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre ,DIEDC, at the DIEDC’s meeting.
DIEDC convened its first board meeting for 2018, reviewing all the initiatives that had been implemented the previous year within the framework of DIEDC’s 2017-2021 strategy that seeks to realise the Dubai: Capital of Islamic Economy vision.
At the meeting chaired by Al Mansouri, board members also approved in principle several initiatives to be executed in the upcoming four-year period, which would significantly contribute to achieving the Centre’s strategic objectives.
In his Chairman’s address, Al Mansouri said: “The trust of manufacturers and consumers in regulatory policies and standards is pivotal to the future of the global economy. The growing local and international trust in Dubai, and the wider UAE, promises greater progress in the domestic economy, especially in the Islamic economy domain.”
He further noted that the ambitious plans of the UAE government to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals is not limited to accelerating the growth of local sectors, but spans a global vision to unify efforts across the world. He recommended that nations should collectively launch initiatives that improve the standards of living of their populations, and achieve the aspirations of the new generation to lead a more stable and equitable life.
During the meeting, he highlighted the momentum gained by the Dubai: Capital of Islamic Economy initiative since its launch in 2013, accelerated by DIEDC’s 2017-2021 strategy. He also commended the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, that anticipated the future of the global economy following the challenges brought on by the global financial crisis in 2008.
He said: “It is indeed to the credit of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makoum that he encouraged the integration of a just and transparent economic framework that has the capacity to strike a balance between wealth production and distribution. The directives of the Government of Dubai, and the larger UAE Government, support the noble objectives of comprehensive and long-term development that intersect with the principles and ethics of Islamic economy.”
Speaking on the Centre’s plan for 2018, Al Mansouri said: “In line with the directives of the wise leadership and its move towards achieving the UAE Vision 2021, DIEDC’s focus this year is to accelerate progress on the implementation of a series of initiatives within the framework of DIEDC’s refreshed strategy 2017-2021, leading up to the UAE Centennial 2071 to make the UAE the best country in the world by its centenary year.”
While presenting the details of the 2018 plan, he noted the significant role of the Centre in accomplishing the achievements to date, which contributed to the UAE’s ranking first among 10 countries for possessing the most advanced framework in several Islamic economy sectors.
He confirmed that the Centre will work closely with suitable entities and organisations to find new tools that fast-track the growth of Islamic economy sectors such as Islamic finance that is expected to be valued at US$3.8 trillion by 2022. He remarked that the flexibility of Islamic economy lies not only in adapting to the technology era in line with its principles and values, but also in its ability to invest in smart solutions that serve its objectives, including achieving socio-economic stability and an enhanced quality of life for all human kind.
Sharing the strategic objectives of 2018, Al Mansouri said: “We aim to specify the Islamic economy sectors’ contribution to the national GDP through a comprehensive database that lists the contribution of individual sectors. This database will allow us to closely analyze each sector and its impact on the remainder of the sectors for accurately putting in place decision-making processes that achieve a balance in investments.”
He added that the trade missions DIEDC had participated in during the past few years targeted new markets across the world, including Australia, New Zealand and Brazil, which hold diverse opportunities for investment and collaboration. The missions also helped raise awareness of the UAE’s efforts in developing the Islamic economy, and strengthening Dubai’s position as the global capital of Islamic economy. Al Mansouri announced that the year 2018 will witness more such partnerships, as well as visits to halal production hubs in Muslim and non-Muslim countries alike, in line with the UAE’s progress in standardisation with the efforts of the Centre and its local and international partners.
He highlighted the Centre’s efforts in reinforcing the UAE-China collaboration in the Islamic banking and finance sector through organising conferences and contracting partnerships that set the foundation for a new phase in globalising the Islamic economy, while mutually benefitting from each party’s ability to support this sector.
DIEDC will also aim to raise public awareness of Islamic economy and build a solid knowledge base through intensifying collaborations with institutions that support the development of Islamic economy to shape academic curriculums and training programmes in the most prominent sectors, such as Islamic finance and halal production.
In closing, Al Mansouri said: “Today, the only guarantee to advance and grow the Islamic economy ecosystem is through securing our local knowledge capital. In the UAE this is being done by our youth that are hungry for information and seeks suitable employment opportunities that can enable them to play a contributory role in the nation’s development process. The UAE has made great strides and surpassed more advanced countries by involving the youth in building the future. If we aim to sustain the growth of the Islamic economy ecosystem, we must invest in the skills of the youth to drive growth in its sectors.”