Total Islamic banking assets in the UAE have increased to about AED520 billion ($141.5 billion), about 7 percent of the global total, it has been revealed.
Saif Hadef Al Shamsi, assistant governor for Monetary Policy and Financial Stability at the UAE Central Bank, said that Islamic banking’ assets account for around 20 percent of AED2.6 trillion of the total assets of the state’s banks.
He added in comments published by state news agency WAM that there are seven Islamic banking and financial institutions operating in the country.
The assistant governor said Islamic banking deposits increased by 42 percent over the past three years, compared to an 18 percent growth rate in conventional banking institutions, and that lending by Islamic banks increased by 54 percent in the same period.
His comments comes as Dubai launched an updated strategy for 2017-2021 to establish the emirate as the capital of the Islamic economy in January.
The Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) said the refreshed strategy focuses on ensuring long-term impact, with its main objective to lead the growth of the Islamic economy sectors on a local, regional and international scale, and to set a benchmark for the Islamic ecosystem worldwide.
At the heart of the strategy are three key pillars – Islamic finance, Halal sector, and Islamic lifestyle that includes culture, art, fashion and family tourism, a statement said.
Knowledge, standards and digital Islamic economy serve as cornerstones in supporting the pillars while playing a pivotal role in shaping an enabling environment for sustainable investments and real development, it added.