Islamic banking assets to boost UAE’s halal sector

Updated 02 July 2017

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.


Tunisian pavilion at Souk Okaz depicts vibrant street life

Updated 17 August 2019

Tunisian pavilion at Souk Okaz depicts vibrant street life

Visitors to the Tunisian pavilion in the Arab Neighborhood at Souk Okaz can take a pleasant journey through its different sections, which creatively depict the daily pulse of life in the streets, landmarks and markets of Tunisia, welcoming people with a taste of its cuisine, its artworks and distinctive products. 

The Tunisian pavilion highlights the country’s architectural style, welcoming accents, fragrances and music. Visitors can look at and buy famous Tunisian carpets, derived from Berber heritage in various styles such as Margoum, Kilim, Zarbia and Bekhnouk. Visitors can also buy traditional footwear, made from a range of animal skins and embroidered with silk thread. 

The amber and perfume corner captures the eye and the nose, with delicate scents of musk, amber and aromatic oils, including radish oil, castor, ginger, black seed and flaxseed. Visitors can also see a range of carvings, including representations of the holy Kaaba, the Grand Mosque of Makkah, and Tunisian monuments and artworks. Visitors can also enjoy Tunisia’s popular cuisine, and experience its varied flavors, with dishes such as harissa, leblebi, fricassée and kafteji. 

The Arab Neighborhood is being hosted in Souk Okaz for the first time this year as part of Taif Season, which is running throughout August.

Taif Season, which started on Aug. 1, seeks to contribute to achieving the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 strategy, which aims to improve quality of life, raise living standards, and create career and investment opportunities.

Events throughout the month cover trade markets and tourist and historical monuments to enhance Taif’s historic and tourist status as a summer destination for Arabs and to promote the Kingdom as an international destination.