Tuesday 14, March 2017 by Georgina Enzer

Dubai International Financial Centre joins world’s most influential global Takaful forum

Leading global financial hub is official Strategic Partner of 12th annual World Takaful Conference

The 12th annual World Takaful Conference (WTC) will be convened by leading financial intelligence platform, Middle East Global Advisors, in strategic partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). To be held under the theme of Stability, Authenticity & Technological Transformation, WTC 2017 will build on its long-standing reputation for nurturing the development of the Takaful industry by facilitating thought-provoking discussions, actionable insights and connectivity.

The DIFC is the financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, providing a world-class platform connecting the region’s markets with the economies of Europe, Asia and the Americas. It also facilitates the growth in South-South trade and investment. The Centre offers all the elements found in the world’s most successful financial industry ecosystems, including an independent regulator, an independent judicial system with a common-law framework, a global financial exchange, inspiring architecture, powerful, enabling support services and a vibrant business community.

Speaking ahead of WTC, Ehsan Abbas, Chairman of Middle East Global Advisors, shared: “We are delighted to host the World Takaful Conference in strategic partnership with the DIFC Authority. At its inception 12 years ago, the DIFC was a founding partner and our long-standing partnership has been instrumental in enabling the Forum to develop its global proposition.”

Although Takaful markets have not grown in tandem with the Sukuk and Islamic banking markets, the global Takaful sector is set to reach $20 billion by 2017, from $12 billion in 2011 (ICD Thomson Reuters 2014). The industry is highly concentrated in the GCC and Southeast Asia with Saudi Arabia and Malaysia predominating the global market. Up until 2012, the industry grew at a CAGR of 10 to 12 per cent in various key Islamic finance jurisdictions, and has exhibited a slowdown ever since. The challenging economic outlook along with a lack of awareness and underdeveloped regulatory frameworks constitute the main cause of this lacklustre performance.

Speaking on DIFC’s partnership with the World Takaful Conference (WTC), Salmaan Jaffery, Chief Business Development Officer at DIFC Authority, said: “Islamic finance is a huge opportunity with $2 trillion in assets globally and a potential market serving 1.6 billion Muslims. The DIFC is a global hub into the MEASA region, which houses the majority of this population, and Islamic Finance therefore remains a major focus area as we support the leadership of Dubai’s vision in establishing the emirate as the capital of Islamic economy.”

Jaffery continued: “The Takaful industry faces significant competitive pressure in an already challenging macroeconomic environment. However, FinTech represents an incredible opportunity for the sector to gain competitive advantage by using advancements in areas such as artificial intelligence, big data, mobile technology, wearables, and telematics to develop new products, price competitively, manage risk, gain scale, improve distribution and drive profitability. Partnering with the World Takaful Conference allows the DIFC to encourage dialogue in these areas, thereby supporting the worldwide Islamic economy and helping it achieve long-term, sustainable growth.”

In 2016, WTC convened high profile guests and dignitaries from Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, Dubai International Financial Centre, Islamic Insurance Association of London, Insurance Authority UAE, PwC, Moody’s, EY, Swiss Re, Munich Re, Noor Takaful, Emirates RE and many more organisations.

WTC will take place on the 11th and 12th of April at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Dubai. To find out more about WTC, visit www.wtc17.com.

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