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UAE set to lead global Islamic economies: Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and General Supervisor of the ‘Dubai: Capital of Islamic Economy Initiative’ said that the UAE has accumulated extensive expertise in the field of Islamic Economy and established a robust fintech infrastructure that places it in a strong position to become a global leader in developing the sector.

The Crown Prince attributed the success that Dubai has achieved in the sector to the progressive vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, which laid the foundations for the Islamic Economy sector to become an important pillar of the national economy.

Sheikh Hamdan’s remarks came on the occasion of the announcement of the results of the 2020-2021 State of the Global Islamic Economy Report today.

Speaking about the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sheikh Hamdan pointed out that the Islamic Economy sector has the potential to lead post-pandemic global economic recovery. He stressed the need to take advantage of fresh opportunities that can open new economic horizons and help both the region and the world overcome the repercussions of the pandemic.

He called for strengthening channels of cooperation with partners around the world, and harnessing the potential of the ‘Dubai: Capital of Islamic Economy Initiative’ to attract investment and capital into the Islamic Economy sector, which in turn will enhance both Dubai and the UAE’s roles as major players in expanding regional and global growth opportunities post-COVID-19.

The Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, DIEDC, on Monday announced the results of the annual State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2020/21 (SGIE Report 2020/21), produced by DinarStandard, a US-based research and advisory firm, in partnership with SalaamGateway, the largest news and media platform focused on the Islamic economy. First published in 2013, the Report serves as an annual update on the Islamic economy, encompassing the halal food and beverages, Islamic finance, and lifestyle sectors.

In its eighth edition this year, under the theme ‘thriving in uncertainty’, the Report estimates that Muslims spent US$2.02 trillion in 2019 on halal food, modest fashion, family-friendly travel, halal pharmaceuticals, halal cosmetics, and halal media and recreation. While the figures reflect a 3.2 per cent year-on-year growth, expenditure in 2020 is expected to shrink by approximately 8 per cent, due to the economic impact resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. However, spending across these Islamic economy sectors, excluding family-friendly travel, is forecast to rebound by end-2021, and is slated to reach US$2.4 trillion by 2024.

The UAE was ranked one of the top three countries in the Report’s much-anticipated Global Islamic Economy Indicator, which covered 81 countries this year. New entrants, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and Singapore joined the top 15 rankings while Saudi Arabia and Indonesia moved up in the rankings compared to last year’s SGIE Report.

Malaysia once again topped the overall Global Islamic Economy Indicator as well as the Islamic finance sector, the family-friendly travel sector, halal food and beverages sector, halal pharmaceuticals and cosmetics sectors indicators. The UAE ranked in first place in the remaining two sectors — Modest Fashion and Halal Media and Recreation.

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