UAE: Law issued establishing ‘Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre’

By Wam

Sheikh MohammedHis Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, has issued Law No 13 of 2013 on the establishment of the “Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre”.

He also issued Decree No. 42 of 2013 to form the Centre’s Board of Directors, to be chaired by Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi.

According to the provisions of the decree, the Board of Directors will comprise: Sami Daen Al Qamzi as Vice Chairman, with the board membership of Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al Ghurair, Hussain Nasser Lootah, Dr. Hamad Al Shiebani, Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, Hussein Daen Qamzi, Helal Saeed Al Marri, and Isa Abdul Fattah Kazim, who is appointed as Secretary General of the Centre as stipulated in article Two of the decree, in addition to his membership post on the Centre’s Board.

The decree is effective from the date of issuance and shall be published in the official Gazette.

Law No. 42 of 2013 details the basic objectives of the Centre, which will have legal personality and financial and administrative independence as well as the legal capacity necessary to direct all actions and behaviours to achieve the goals of the Centre, including promotion of the Emirate of Dubai to become the global capital of Islamic economy, promotion of economic activities compatible with Islamic law in goods and financial services sectors, as well as the non-financial sector as a main pillar on which the economy of the Emirate is based.

Promoting Dubai regionally and globally as a main centre for Shariah-compliant goods and financial and non-financial services, building a database on Islamic economic activities and encouraging recourse to arbitration in related Islamic economic activities disputes are also among the key objectives of the Centre.

The law specifies the terms of reference of “Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre” which includes drawing up the Centre’s general policy and setting up strategic plans for the development of the sector in the Emirate, in addition to developing comprehensive and unified standards to judge the extent to which any commodity or financial service or otherwise complies with the provisions of Islamic law and promoting these standards locally and globally.

The specialisations of the Centre also include the creation of a system to endorse compatibility of products, commodities and financial and non-financial services with standards adopted by the Centre and issuing necessary certificates in this regard. The Centre will, among its other specialisations, conduct specialised studies and researches on Islamic Economy, determining the extent of Shariah-compliant economic activities’ contribution to the GDP of the Emirate, and how to develop them to achieve the objectives of the Centre.

Moreover, the Centre shall, within its terms of reference, launch Islamic economy awards and programmes and oversee them in accordance with the Board’s decision, establish or contribute to the establishment of companies and investment projects related to the objectives of the centre, as well as coordinating with various local and federal agencies in areas of relevance. Coordinating with centres and bodies, associations and local, regional and international organisations and concluding agreements and Memorandums of Understanding are among the other objectives that support of the goals of the Centre.

Law No. 42 of 2013 specifies the specialisations of the Board of Directors of the “Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre,” including the design and development of the Centre’s general policy and supervising its implementation, adoption of strategic and development plans related to the board’s work , adopting of programmes and initiatives needed to implement its policy and its strategic and development plans.

Moreover, the centre aims to  ratify administrative, financial and technical rules and regulations related to the organisation of work at the Centre and its organisational structure, as well as endorsing of the annual budget and final accounts, and submitting  them all to Dubai Crown Prince for approval, in addition to  the formation of permanent and temporary committees and specialised work teams and determining their functions and powers in a manner that contributes to the achievement of the objectives of the Centre.

With regard to the executive apparatus, the law stipulates that the executive apparatus consists of an executive director who shall be appointed by a decision issued by the Crown Prince of Dubai, in addition to a number of administrative, financial and technical staff. The law also details the terms of reference of the Executive Director, which include proposing policies and strategic development and operational plans, as well as initiatives and programmes that will achieve the goals of the Centre, all of which are to be submitted to the board in coordination with the Secretary-General.

Moreover, the Executive Director will be responsible for proposing administrative, financial and technical draft rules and regulations to organise work in the Centre, and submit them to the Board for approval. He also bears the responsibility of developing plans needed to implement the general policy of the Centre and work programmes approved by the board of directors and follow up their implementation.

The appointment of technical and administrative personnel necessary to conduct business at the Centre according to the Centre’s regulations and bylaws, as well as preparation of periodic reports on the implementation of approved policies and strategic plans and programmes and submitting them to the Board of Directors through the Secretary-General are among the other responsibilities to be carried out by the Executive Director.

Any texts in any other legislation which contradicts with the provisions of this law shall be deemed null and void.

The law is effective from the date of issuance and shall be published in the Official Gazette.