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UAE Country Report: Dubai A Global Capital For Sukuk

Islamic finance is part of the sevenpillared plan to make Dubai a global capital of Islamic industry, economy and finance. There have been several recent developments and initiatives undertaken in order to achieve this objective, which was declared last year by Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Maktoum, the prime minister and vice-president of the UAE, and the constitutional monarch of Dubai.

The aim of the pillar of Islamic finance is to make Dubai the world capital of the Sukuk market, which may consequentially give Dubai the title of the world capital of Islamic finance. Currently Malaysia is the leading jurisdiction for the issuance of Sukuk. However, Dubai has undertaken a few initiatives in hopes to steer the Sukuk market in its favor. Previously, the lack of a uniform standardization on Islamic finance has invited criticism among experts regarding the vagueness and the volatility of the industry. Dubai has, thus, officially introduced a standard for this that is to be applied on a global scale.

The Dubai Department of Economic Development has appointed Noor Investment Group as the exclusive advisor on its proposed project for the establishment of an exim (export-import) bank. It is currently in the process of assessing the feasibility study of the project. If implemented, it will be the first fully Shariah compliant export-import institution introduced in the world. Although the Exim Bank of Malaysia does provide Islamic banking, it also has a conventional pathway of products and services available.

The purpose of developing such an institution in the UAE is to provide a vast array of products and services for the strengthening of the trade flows imported and exported. The aim is to double the trade flows in the next five years in time for Expo 2020. This will, consequentially, play a significant role in molding Dubai as a global center for Islamic finance.

Further, another initiative was announced by the government of Dubai regarding a new platform within NASDAQ Dubai for Islamic securities. This platform was set up by NASDAQ Dubai in collaboration with Emirates Islamic and Emirates Islamic Financial Brokerage.

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Published: July2014
Publication: Islamic Finance News
Title: Country report - UAE: Dubai as the global capital for Sukuk
Practice: Corporate and M&A,Banking & Finance
Authors: Rima Mrad
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