Dubai Plans Regulatory Council to Push Islamic Finance Industry
Dubai, the second-biggest member of the United Arab Emirates, plans to create an Islamic finance council to regulate Shariah-compliant equity and fixed-income products to boost the industry’s role in the economy.
Dubai, which derives about 11 percent of economic output from financial services, wants to make Islamic finance a “core industry,” Sami Al Qamzi, director general of Dubai’s Department of Economic Development, said at a conference in the emirate today.
“The addition of Islamic industry is a priority to turn Dubai into the capital for the Islamic economy,” Al Qamzi said. The emirate will seek to encourage the development of a market for Islamic products including funds, sukuk and loans, he said.
Dubai became a regional hub for finance when it opened a financial center in 2004 to attract international banks, asset managers and insurers with promises of a zero-tax environment for 50 years. Global Islamic financial assets may double to as much as $3 trillion by 2015, Standard & Poor’s said in September, prompting governments, companies and banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council to take steps to boost their share in the business.
Shariah-compliant bond sales in the six-nation GCC tripled to $21 billion last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as yields dropped to all-time lows.