UAE, UK keen to explore Islamic finance synergies

Staff Report/Khaleej Times – Dubai


Alderman Charles Bowman and Arif Amiri discussed Islamic finance and the fintech revolution on Wednesday.

Dubai has a vision to become the capital of the world’s Islamic economy
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) received a delegation on Wednesday from the United Kingdom, led by Alderman Charles Bowman, the new Lord Mayor of the City of London, as part of a wider visit to the region.

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, Charles Bowman and Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of the DIEDC, participated in a roundtable that discussed a range of topics, including Islamic trade finance, innovation in Islamic finance and the fintech revolution.

Charles Bowman said: “Over the years, we have established a strong long-term partnership with the DIFC, which has allowed us to facilitate a number of mutually beneficial opportunities. We look forward to further strengthening our existing relationship and exploring synergies in Islamic finance between the City of London and the Centre.”

Amiri said: “Dubai is a dynamic city with a vision to become the capital of the world’s Islamic economy. Developing the regional and global Islamic finance industry has always been one of the DIFC’s key priorities.”

Al Awar highlighted the UAE’s growing importance as a global hub for Islamic finance. “Since the launch of the initiative, we were convinced that putting in place a global economic system would spark the interest of those seeking sustainable growth and just development. Achieving this vision, no doubt, requires building synergies with countries that boast longstanding experience in the field of Islamic economy. We were positive even back then that the UK, more specifically the City of London, would play a vital role in globalising the principles and culture of Islamic economy through ensuring an enabling environment.”

The Dubai Financial Services Authority also hosted Charles Bowman at an event jointly organised with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

The London Lord Mayor also visited the office of Deloitte Middle East where he was briefed about the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) in the GCC and its relevance to British businesses in the Gulf region, as well as the impact of VAT on the financial services sector.