Islamic banking assets to boost UAE’s halal sector

Updated 02 July 2017
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Islamic banking assets to boost UAE’s halal sector

The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) 522-billion-dirham Islamic banking assets will help fuel the growth of the country’s halal sector, according to research conducted by Orange Fairs and Events, organisers of the Halal Expo Dubai 2017.
Seven Islamic banks out of the 23 registered commercial banks in the UAE represent nearly a fifth of the country’s banking assets. Islamic banks’ assets grew more than three times of the conventional banks’ assets during the first quarter of 2017, according to the UAE Central Bank’s latest quarterly report.
“In the first quarter of 2017, Islamic banks’ assets had a higher growth (3.2 percent) than the conventional ones (1 percent), while on an annual basis Islamic banks grew by 8 percent and continued to dominate the conventional banks growth that showed an increase of 5.9 percent,” the report, issued by the UAE Central Bank, said.
“The share of conventional banks’ assets at the end of 2017 Q1 is 80.3 percent of the total, while the share of the Islamic banks assets is 19.7 percent. Islamic banks’ financing growth has been dominating the conventional banks’ loans increase in the first quarter of 2017 in almost all subcategories, with exception of financing to government and GREs.”
Gross credit of the Islamic banks in the UAE recorded a 8.4 per cent growth to 343 billion dirhams — or nearly double the rate of 4.4 percent growth rate of gross credit of the conventional banks in the first quarter of 2017.
Similarly, domestic credit growth of the Islamic banks also rose 7.4 percent to 325 dirhams billion in the first quarter of 2017. The growth rate is nearly double than the 4.1 percent growth in domestic credit growth of the conventional banks.
Higher assets and gross credit growth rates empower the Islamic banks to fund the halal industries and help fuel the growth of halal or Islamic economic activities. By nature, Islamic banks engage in ethical finance and asset-based lending — that eliminates speculation-based high-risk financial activities and insulate the sector from economic crises — witnessed during the 2008-09 global financial crisis — when the asset-based ethical finance emerged stronger and helped Islamic banks to overcome the stress tests by a wider margin compared to the conventional lenders — many of whom collapsed and had to be bailed out by governments.


Real estate landscape to be explored

Updated 59 min 19 sec ago
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Real estate landscape to be explored

Informa Middle East, organizer of the Cityscape portfolio of events, will roll out a trio of back-to-back events across Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE between March 24 and April 18.

With the specific market dynamics of each destination being explored through dedicated country events, the 2019 Cityscape series springs into action with Cityscape Egypt at the Egypt International Exhibition Center (EIEC) in Cairo. A two-day conference kick-starts the Egypt schedule on March 24 and 25, before the exhibition takes centerstage from March 27 to 30. 

Cityscape then moves to the Center for Forums and Events in Jeddah, which includes an exhibition from April 5 to 7, before a one-day workshop on April 7. Finally, a return to Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) includes a three-day exhibition from April 16 to 18 with an influential agenda on the lineup at the conference set for April 16.

“It’s a packed three-week schedule with a very distinct market approach and program for each destination,” said Chris Speller, Cityscape group director. “This year more than ever, Cityscape will drill down into the specifics and varied issues affecting each market. While opportunities continue to abound across the region, each market requires very different approaches from consumers, government entities and private developers to realize them. 

“With each market at varying stages of maturity and subject to very different developmental concerns, the conference and exhibition stops in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi enable industry professionals and public investors to engage with people at the sharp end of the business, understand and seize opportunities, and network for future growth,” added Speller.

In Egypt, the conference will focus on “Energizing the Market and Reinstating Confidence” with government authorities, experts, and market influencers scheduled to spell out the country’s strategic vision to achieve real estate market maturity. 

Expecting a turnout of more than 40 exhibitors and over 8,000 visitors, Cityscape Jeddah this year looks to align with the goals of the Kingdom’s real estate market in light of its Saudi Vision 2030 economic diversification plan.

“Vision 2030 reforms are expected to attract major investment into a Saudi real estate sector predicted to double its contribution to the national economy right through this decade,” said Speller. 

“Over the past few years, we have witnessed Saudi Arabia make significant strides in attracting foreign and local investment, implementing various urban regeneration initiatives, and investing in infrastructure.”

This recent progress, when aligned with the various projects being green-lit, will no doubt transform the country into a global investment powerhouse. We believe Cityscape Jeddah will help drive investment in the Saudi sector by enhancing its standing as a crucial meeting point for regional and international leaders who can contribute to making Vision 2030 a reality.”

With a focus on “Achieving Diversification and Energizing the Market,” the Jeddah workshops will feature prominent investment panel discussions which dive into how the country’s tourism and hospitality sector agenda can impact Vision 2030. The Cityscape outings in Cairo and Jeddah will both feature dedicated editions of the Cityscape Awards, which recognize and celebrate excellence in real estate development and architecture. 

The UAE capital’s official real estate event platform, Cityscape Abu Dhabi is held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The one-day conference agenda will explore the future of regulatory and technological innovation with a strong focus on the government sector’s growth strategy for the UAE capital.