Dubai International Financial Centre Records a 45% Rise in Islamic Assets, Marking Significant Year-on-Year Growth

Over 40 financial firms based in the Centre providing Sharia-compliant products and solutions

Dubai, UAE, 16 October 2019: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, and the number eight global financial centre, has marked a significant rise in Islamic assets being managed in the Centre, recording a 45% growth between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019.   

Islamic finance is growing at 1.5 times the rate of traditional finance, and the MEASA continues to be a steady driver of this industry, fueled by a number of jumbo sukuk issuances and almost US$ 1 trillion in financial assets across GCC countries.  Dubai remains one of the world’s largest centres for Sukuk listings by value at US$ 62 billion, with DIFC-based Nasdaq Dubai at US$ 60 billion.

The DIFC continues to be a catalyst for growth in this sector, with more than 40 firms offering sharia-compliant products and services, using the Centre as a springboard to reach a muslim population of over 600 million in the Middle East and Africa region alone. The DIFC’s robust legal and regulatory environment, alongside its highly developed and dynamic financial ecosystem, has attracted major Islamic institutions such as Maybank Islamic Berhad to establish their regional headquarters in Dubai.

Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority said: “The growth in the number of financial institutions with a sharia-compliant offering, alongside the rise of Islamic assets managed from the DIFC highlights the increasing demand for Islamic financial products in the region. Aligned with the vision of Dubai’s leadership to establish the city as the capital for Islamic Economy, we are committed to continuously enhancing our world-class business environment to support the growth of sharia transactions here in the Centre.”

The Centre has also become the preferred home for emerging Islamic FinTech firms, contributing to the UAE’s position as the fourth largest Islamic FinTech hub in the world.  The DIFC has showcased its commitment to developing the sector by establishing dedicated an Islamic FinTech stream in its award-winning FinTech Hive accelerator programme, alongside RegTech, InsurTech and FinTech. 

The 31 participants chosen for the third cohort of the programme include four promising Islamic FinTech specialists, such as Malaysia headquartered HelloGold, the world’s first Shariah compliant gold mobile application and IslamiChain an innovative start-up leveraging Blockchain Technology to enable philanthropy and compassionate giving.  Hakbah, an Islamic FinTech startup specialised in cooperative savings and Wethaq, a platform focused on structuring and distribution of securities in sukuk capital markets.  As part of the programme, the budding start-ups receive guidance and mentorship from leading Islamic institutions such as the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, Emirates Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, amongst others from FinTech Hive’s network of 22 partners. 

Together, these key components have created a market-leading environment for Islamic financial services to thrive, firmly positioning Dubai as the home for Islamic Finance in the region, transforming the future of finance.

For more information on Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) visit www.difc.ae

About Dubai International Financial Centre

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the world’s most advanced financial centres, and the leading financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), which comprises 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and a nominal GDP of USD 7.7 trillion.

With a 15-year track record of facilitating trade and investment flows across the MEASA region, the Centre connects these fast-growing markets with the economies of Asia, Europe and the Americas through Dubai.

DIFC is home to an internationally recognised, independent regulator and a proven judicial system with an English common law framework, as well as the region’s largest financial ecosystem of more than 24,000 professionals working across over 2,200 active registered companies – making up the largest and most diverse pool of industry talent in the region.

The Centre’s vision is to drive the future of finance. Today, it offers one of the region’s most comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments, including cost-effective licensing solutions, fit-for-purpose regulation, innovative accelerator programmes, and funding for growth-stage start-ups.

Comprising a variety of world-renowned retail and dining venues, a dynamic art and culture scene, residential apartments, hotels and public spaces, DIFC continues to be one of Dubai’s most sought-after business and lifestyle destinations.

For further information, please visit our website: difc.ae, or follow us on Twitter @DIFC.

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