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null H.E. Bin Touq opens global conference on Islamic finance & reviews UAE’s efforts in developing legislative system to drive the sector’s growth

21 Dec 2023

H.E. Bin Touq opens global conference on Islamic finance & reviews UAE’s efforts in developing legislative system to drive the sector’s growth



  • Islamic finance has demonstrated a robust growth of 8% in the year 2022, surpassing traditional banks by 3%, attributable to the persistent surge in public demand for Islamic products and the expansive reach of distribution networks.
  • The UAE has solidified its status as a pivotal hub for Islamic finance, with Islamic finance constituting 29% of the total banking sector financing at the close of the previous year.
  • The banking services sector assumes a pivotal role in the Emirates' financial landscape, accounting for 23% of the total banking assets in the country, equivalent to 845 billion dirhams in 2022.
  • A projection of $3.8 trillion in total financial assets for Islamic finance worldwide by 2023, along with a clientele base of 100 million, underscores the global prominence and appeal of Islamic banking.
  • The conference aims to yield impactful recommendations, including:
  • Strengthening codification efforts by collaborating with relevant authorities to draft explanatory and complementary memoranda to Federal Law No. 50 of 2022 concerning commercial transactions.
  • Propagating the expertise of the Emirati legislator in codifying the jurisprudence of Islamic financial transactions for wider application in Arab and Islamic legislations, fostering a harmonized approach.
  • Intensifying training and qualification initiatives facilitated by esteemed institutions such as the Institute of Training and Judicial Studies, the Ministry of Justice, and the Sharjah Center for Islamic Economics.
  • Formulating model contracts for pivotal Islamic financial transactions to regulate the rights and obligations of involved parties comprehensively, aligning with UAE legislation from legal, ethical, and technical standpoints.
  • Leveraging the IICRA's services, particularly in the resolution of disputes through institutional reconciliation and arbitration, in accordance with provisions of Islamic Shari’ah, ensuring legal sanctity and fairness.




His Excellency Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, UAE’s Minister of Economy, inaugurated the international conference on "Islamic Financial Transactions between Legislation and Practice" in accordance with Federal Law No. 50 of 2022 concerning commercial transactions. The conference was organized by the International Islamic Center for Reconciliation and Arbitration (IICRA) and is scheduled to span Thursday and Friday, 08-09 Jumada al-Akhir 1445 AH, corresponding to December 21-22, 2023, at Sofitel Dubai. The Ministry of Economy proudly sponsors this event.


In his inaugural address, His Excellency Bin Touq emphasized the UAE's steadfast commitment to fostering a competitive environment for institutions within the Islamic economy. This commitment is demonstrated by the launch of pioneering initiatives and strategies, coupled with the development of a sophisticated legislative and technological framework for the Islamic economy. These efforts have significantly bolstered the UAE's standing as a leading hub for Islamic economy, in line with the wise leadership’s vision.


His Excellency stated: "The 'Islamic Financial Transactions between Legislation and Practice” conference serves as a prominent and crucial platform to showcase the national endeavors led by the Emirati legislator in the meticulous codification of the jurisprudence of Islamic financial transactions. It also serves as a cornerstone in fortifying the Islamic economy, one of the key drivers accelerating the growth of the national economy, enhancing its competitiveness regionally and globally."


Furthermore, the Minister of Economy conducted a comprehensive review of the Federal Decree Law No. 50 of 2022 pertaining to commercial transactions. The legislation is designed to establish an innovative framework for Islamic financial transactions and Islamic banking within the country. A key highlight is the introduction of the Decree Law specifically tailored for commercial transactions involving Islamic financial institutions—an unprecedented codification aimed at regulating contractual relations, fortifying transactional stability, safeguarding parties involved, and standardizing Islamic commercial transactions through legislative texts rather than reliance on fatwas and rulings issued by specialized bodies.


The legislation also incorporates distinct provisions for certain types of contracts and obligations relevant to Islamic financial institutions, such as commitment contracts, installment sales, ‘Murabahah’ and financing through ‘Istisna’.


His Excellency Bin Touq highlighted indicators and achievements solidifying the UAE's global leadership in the Islamic economy. Notable among them is the 8% growth experienced by Islamic finance in the preceding year, surpassing traditional banks by 3%. This remarkable success can be attributed to the sustained surge in public demand for Islamic products and the extensive reach of distribution networks. The UAE's prominence as a major center for Islamic finance is reaffirmed by its representation of 29% of total banking sector financing at the close of 2022, as indicated by a report from the renowned global Fitch Ratings. Furthermore, the country maintained its third place ranking globally for the third consecutive year in the Global Islamic Economy Index 2022.


His Excellency highlighted the integral role played by the Islamic banking sector within the UAE’s financial landscape, constituting 23% of the total banking assets, amounting to 845 billion dirhams in 2022. Of this, Islamic windows accounted for 25%, equivalent to 214 billion dirhams, alongside contributions from the Takaful sector and sukuk issuances.


In conclusion, His Excellency reiterated the commitment to ongoing national efforts, affirming the dedication to developing economic policies and legislation that enhance the financial system of the Islamic economy. These endeavors aim to propel the country to new heights of leadership and progress, thereby contributing significantly to the sustained growth and resilience of the national economy.


Professor Jassim Ali Salim Alshamsi, Chairman of the IICRA’s Board of Trustees, extended sincere appreciation to His Excellency the Minister of Economy for the esteemed sponsorship and personal presence at this distinguished event. He emphasized that such involvement reflects the profound commitment of the wise leadership to advancing the Islamic economy, which is anticipated to encompass total financial assets worldwide amounting to $3.8 trillion by 2023, with Islamic banks serving a clientele of one hundred million.


Furthermore, Professor Alshamsi conveyed gratitude to all entities contributing to the organization of the conference. This included the Institute of Training and Judicial Studies, the Ministry of Justice represented by Director General Counselor Dr. Muhammed Mahmoud Al Kamali, the Sharjah Center for the Development of Islamic Economy led by Director Dr. Yasser Hassan Al Hosani, and the generous sponsorship of the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) Group. His Excellency Professor Dr. Mohammad Abdul Rahim Sultan Al Olama, Chairman of Internal Sharia Supervision Committee at Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) Group, represented the bank at the conference. He emphasized the significance of the event, highlighting that the bank's sponsorship aligns with its broader commitment to various development and community activities.


Dr. Rami Sulaiman Abudaqqa, General Secretary of IICRA, provided an introductory overview of the conference. He elucidated that the event is an integral component of the IICRA’s activities, focusing on the legitimate and technical legal aspects of the Islamic economy. Additionally, he emphasized the IICRA main ’s primary function, centered around the resolution of disputes through institutional reconciliation and arbitration in accordance with Shari’ah Provisions.

He further stated, "The ongoing codification efforts are met with great enthusiasm by professionals within the Islamic financial industry who find it crucial for effectively managing their transactions and legal positions. Since the inception of its activities, the Center has consistently advocated for reinforcing codification efforts, aligning with the recommendations emanating from the Sixth Forum of Legal Professionals in the Islamic Financial Industry. This forum, titled 'Codifying Islamic Financial Transactions and Standardizing Contracts,' was convened by the Center in Dubai in 2014."


The General Secretary underscored the significance of the recently enacted law, particularly its pivotal Chapter Six, asserting that the Emirati legislator has marked a significant milestone in Arab and Islamic legislation concerning the codification of Islamic financial transactions. He provided an overview of the conference's agenda, highlighting the participation of distinguished speakers with profound expertise in institutional activities within Islamic finance. The inaugural day of the conference will feature a comprehensive examination of the legal provisions encapsulated in Chapter Six of the law. This session will delve into the intricate details of Islamic financial transactions, encompassing Istisna’a, Aalam, Leasing, Contracting Promise, installment Sales, and Murabaha.


Looking ahead to the second day of the conference, the agenda includes specialized workshops facilitated by qualified trainers. These workshops will focus on Islamic financial transactions and arbitration, serving as an effective mechanism for the resolution of disputes within the realm of Islamic finance.


By reviewing the opinions and suggestions specialized conference participants, we identified some recommendations that the conference seeks to come up with, which are as follows:


  • Strengthening codification efforts by working with the competent authorities to draft explanatory and complementary memorandums to the law, in order to control all provisions related to such transactions incorporated in the law, and perhaps codifying other contemporary Islamic transactions.
  • Generalizing the experience of the Emirati legislator in codifying the jurisprudence of Islamic financial transactions to benefit from it at the level of Arab and Islamic legislation, and working to unify and approach these legislations, considering that their origin is one, which is the noble Islamic Shari’ah.
  • Intensifying training and qualification efforts undertaken by specialized bodies such as the Institute of Training and Judicial Studies, the Ministry of Justice, and the Sharjah Center for Islamic Economy, in order to qualify professional, legal and technical cadres familiar with the legal, Sharia’h and technical aspects of Islamic financial transactions.
  • Working on drafting model contracts for the most prominent Islamic financial transactions in order to control the rights and duties of the parties to those transactions from a legal, Shari’ah and technical perspective in light of UAE legislation.
  • Benefiting from the IICRA’s services, most notably settling disputes through institutional reconciliation and arbitration in a way that does not violate the Provisions of Islamic Shari’ah, by including IICRA Arbitration Clause in contracts and agreements that regulate Islamic financial transactions.


It should be noted that the IICRA is an independent international institution that is considered one of the most important infrastructure institutions for the Islamic financial industry and is one of its kind hosted in the United Arab Emirates, and provides its services to the Islamic financial industry in the entire world.

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