The board of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, or DIEDC, held a meeting to review the initiatives of government departments towards achieving Dubai’s status as the capital of Islamic economy, as envisioned by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The meeting was in line with the directives of Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.
Mohammed Abdullah Al Gargawi, Chairman of the Executive Office of Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Board of the DIEDC and UAE Minister for Cabinet Affairs, chaired the review meeting.
Addressing the board members, he said: “In accordance with the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the cooperation we are witnessing among different sectors and the unique partnerships between public and private sector entities engaged in this landmark initiative are crucial to strengthening Dubai’s status as a global capital of the Islamic economy.”
He added: “We have great expectations of a bright future for the Islamic economy. We need to commit to focusing our energies towards specific targets. The UAE is steadily moving towards becoming a unique world model for different sectors of the Islamic economy.”
Abdullah Mohammed Al Awar, chief executive officer of the DIEDC, opened the board meeting with a detailed presentation on the centre’s activities for the first half of 2014. The initiatives implemented by Dubai Municipality, the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED), Tecom Investments and Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority towards supporting “Dubai: Capital of Islamic Economy” were also assessed.
Issa Kazim, secretary-general of the DIEDC, said: “The initiatives that have been set in place successfully enhance Dubai’s credibility as a global financial centre, and attract fresh investment opportunities that will lead to shaping a prosperous Islamic economy.”
He added: “The DIEDC’s strong strategic pillars that span different key economic sectors have given Dubai a headstart in its efforts to evolve into a global capital of the Islamic economy. Dubai has proven to be a perfect platform for business and financial institutions, thanks to the governing regulations and the global legislative infrastructure. The Islamic economy will no doubt contribute significantly to Dubai’s financial performance and accelerate GDP growth in the years to come.”
The board approved the DED’s proposal to establish a global centre for the governance of Islamic institutions and organisations. The DED also recommended forging global partnerships to position the emirate as a manufacturing and re-distribution hub for halal products.
Malek Al Malek, chief executive officer of Tecom Business Parks, proposed a “business incubator” for entrepreneurs and SMEs working in the digital Islamic economy domain. The DIEDC board, for its part, recommended constituting a Shariah committee to offer consultancy and accreditation of digital content. Tecom Investments also presented a plan to identify and develop a specific cluster for the establishment of halal industries within Dubai Industrial City.
Dr Mohammed Al Zarouni, vice-chairman and chief executive officer of the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, also presented a plan to establish a business incubator to support entrepreneurs and SMEs working in the digital Islamic economy space.
Economic Zones World, represented by Jafza and TechnoPark, proposed the development of halal products through creating an enabling environment for companies operating out of Jafza and TechnoPark. The issue of gaining accreditation for the food standards that are adopted in the country was also examined.
Additionally, the DIEDC board reviewed the latest developments in establishing a global accreditation centre for certifying slaughterhouses, research labs, and other institutions engaged in the halal industry.
The board concluded its meeting with a call for the activation of activities built around knowledge, education and research.