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The 3rd Annual Middle East Islamic Finance and Investment Conference to open on the 17th of April in Dubai

MEIFIC 2013 to Discuss Key Strategies to Boost Growth and Value of Islamic Finance by Further Strengthening Linkages to the Real Economy

Dubai: United Arab Emirates: 16th April 2013: Leading players, industry thought leaders and key regulators in the regional Islamic finance and investment industry will take part in the 3rd Annual Middle East Islamic Finance and Investment Conference (MEIFIC 2013), which will be held on the 17th of April 2013 in Dusit Thani, Dubai. Co-located with the 8th Annual World Takaful Conference (WTC 2013), MEIFIC 2013 is set to gather more than 250 regional and international delegates representing over 120 leading organizations in Dubai for discussions that will seek to bolster growth momentum in the regional Islamic finance industry by promoting the convergence and integration of Islamic finance into the key components of a holistic Islamic economic system. With a significant increase in the market share of Islamic banks in the GCC and given the increasing appetite for Shari’ah-compliant financing and investment alternatives across a broad range of corporate, wholesale and consumer segments, the Islamic finance and investments industry is yet to fully realize its full potential in the region.

- Tayeb Abdulrahman Al Rais, Secretary General of the Awqaf & Minors Affairs Foundation

– Tayeb Abdulrahman Al Rais, Secretary General of the Awqaf & Minors Affairs Foundation

MEIFIC 2013 will be officially inaugurated with a special opening address by Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) who will discuss key strategies for building and integrating the Islamic economy.

The inaugural address will be immediately followed by a special keynote address by Tayeb Abdulrahman Al Rais, Secretary General of the Awqaf & Minors Affairs Foundation. The session chaired by Dr. Alberto Brugnoni, Chairman of the Board at ASSAIF, will analyse the role of AWQAF in supporting the Islamic economy. Confirming his participation at the event, Tayeb Abdulrahman Al Rais noted that “in the last few years, the Islamic finance industry surpassed the average growth rate achieved by conventional banking and the overall financial industry. This suggests that Islamic finance holds the potential to play a key role in fuelling the growth of a holistic Islamic economic model. Recognising the benefits of an Islamic economy, our wise leader His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, recently announced his vision to transform Dubai into the hub for Islamic economy.”

Moinuddin Malim, Chief Executive Officer of Mashreq Al Islami

Moinuddin Malim, Chief Executive Officer of Mashreq Al Islami

He also said that “our strategic initiative at the Awqaf and Minors’ Affairs Foundation seeks to enhance the protection and development of endowment assets to ultimately realise Dubai’s vision.”

“I am delighted to be a part of MEIFIC 2013, which comes at an appropriate time to help industry players exchange best practices and forge partnerships to drive the achievement of our leadership’s vision”, he added.

A key highlight of MEIFIC 2013 will be the high profile keynote power debate that will assess new growth opportunities for Islamic finance and will discuss new strategies for stepping up the pace of growth and innovation in Islamic finance. The power debate session, chaired by Dr. Sayd Farook, Global Head Islamic Capital Markets at Thomson Reuters and featuring Moinuddin Malim, Chief Executive Officer of Mashreq Al Islami; Amr Al Menhali, EVP, Head of Islamic Banking at ADCB Islamic Banking; Rajashekara V. Maiya, AVP & Lead Product Manager at Finacle, Infosys; and Anouar Adham, Head of Asset Management at QIB – UK, will analyze how Islamic finance institutions can scale-up to better meet the needs of the real economy.

Speaking ahead of his session, Moinuddin Malim, Chief Executive Officer of Mashreq Al Islami noted that “the global market for Islamic finance is rapidly expanding and the industry is expected to continue its current annual growth rate of 15-20%. The recent increased international attention on Islamic finance, post the financial crisis, presents a unique opportunity for the industry to further strengthen its appeal by attracting investors who are now turning to more ethical products that are based on risk participation and closely monitored by Shari’ah Supervisory Boards. The demand for Islamic finance has been growing rapidly compared to conventional finance in the Middle East and Dubai, in particular, has played a key role in the development of the Islamic finance industry. The recent announcement by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and the Ruler of Dubai, of his vision and plans to make Dubai a centre of the global Islamic economy and finance industry, which promotes the convergence and integration of key components of a holistic Islamic economic system, will certainly set a new growth wave for the Islamic banking and finance industry not only locally, but globally. Mashreq Al Islami has been partnering with the annual Middle East Islamic Finance and Investment Conference since its inception and we are once again delighted to be a part of this important gathering and contribute to discussions that seek to boost the growth of Islamic finance in the region.”

More than 250 senior decision-makers representing over 120 leading regional and international institutions will attend the 3rd Annual Middle East Islamic Finance and Investment Conference at the Dusit Thani in Dubai on the 17th of April 2013.

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