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Dubai vies to be world Islamic finance centre

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Points of Essence:

  • Dubai based Islamic financial institutions under Dubai Group are all in aggressive expansion mode to position Dubai as a premier international Islamic center.

By   Karen-Remo Listana 

Soud Ba'alawy

Dubai Group, a conglomerate of seven private financial institutions, is banking on Islamic finance for its expansion plans, Emirates Business has learned.

“It is important for us to be the Islamic centre,” said Soud Ba’alawy, Dubai Group’s Executive Chairman. “Islamic banking is growing. There are more opportunities and it means it has room for more banks. We see Dubai together with Dubai International Financial Centre will become the Islamic centre and we have the chance to become so.”

Ba’alawy, who is also the chairman of DIFC, said the group’s Shariah-compliant subsidiaries – Dubai Banking Group (DBG) and Noor Investment Group (NIG) – are in an aggressive expansion mode in Islamic banking arena to catapult Dubai on the premier league.

Dubai Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of DBG, will be increasing its network of 20 branches by 25 by year-end. The firm will also embark on organic expansion of existing assets as well as direct acquisitions in the GCC, Asia and Africa, said Salaam Al Shaksy, Chief Executive Officer of DBG.

In the Mena region, he said the firm is looking at expanding its Dubai Bank network as well as starting operations in other key markets such as Saudi Arabia.

“Just as DP World, Emaar, Emirates and Jumeirah are icons of Dubai in their sectors, Noor wants to be its globally recognised Islamic financial icon,” said Dr Ahmed Al Janahi, Deputy Group CEO of NIG.


Written by Suapi Shaffaii

September 23, 2008 at 6:43 am

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