Wednesday 12, April 2017 by Isla MacFarlane

World Takaful Conference kicks off in Dubai

Over 350 Takaful leaders converged with the aim of fostering industry-wide collaboration at the 12th Annual World Takaful Conference

An audience of over 350 key industry leaders gathered at the 12th edition of the World Takaful Conference (WTC). This year, WTC is being held under the theme of “Stability, Authenticity & Technological Transformation.”

Renowned industry regulator H.E. Ebrahim Obaid Al Zaabi, Director General, Insurance Authority (IA) UAE, delivered the opening address at the conference and stressed on the need for more collaboration amongst regulators and standard setters to address the prevalent fragmentation of the Takaful industry.

Shedding light on the importance of improving market competitiveness and performance through regulatory enhancements, H.E. Al Zaabi, said, “Takaful sector is one of the most prominent evidences of the products and services that comply with Islamic Shari’ah. There are a lot of white spots that enlighten the development of this sector during the last stage; most prominent of which are the continued growth of this sector and the increasing demand for various types of Takaful products. However, despite the specific laws that have been issued in many countries, we are still in a bad need of preparing Islamic financial systems that cope with the economic changes and overcome the challenges.”

H.E. Al Zaabi added, “The UAE is considered a leader in the global Takaful industry and the world’s leader in the Islamic financial transaction codification initiatives. Compared with 2008, the total investments have also increased by 579% to reach AED 4.323 billion in 2016. The World Takaful Conference is contributing to the Takaful sector consolidation in the region and the world.”

Salmaan Jaffery, Chief Business Development Officer, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority, said, “There is an appetite to do more in Islamic Fintech. Islamic Takaful Insurance is growing and is underpenetrated and being taken up by the younger generation who embrace new technology. Innovation in products without innovation in business models, AI, dig data, algorithms - is sub-optimal. By partnering with the World Takaful Conference, DIFC is demonstrating its commitment to encouraging dialogue in these areas, supporting the worldwide Islamic economy and helping it achieve long-term, sustainable growth.”

Following the keynote addresses was the launch of the Global Takaful Report 2017 by Milliman – one of the world’s largest actuarial and consulting firms. The report aims to equip Takaful leaders in the regulatory, economic, demographical and technological landscape by enabling them to take stock of the key industry trends, analyse forecasts and projections, and explore factors that are critical to their organization’s long-term growth.

Safder Jaffer, Managing Director & Consulting Actuary - Middle East & Africa, Milliman, said, “The growth in the Takaful industry is double-digit and is here to stay. However, to continue to meet profitability, the industry would need to meet customer needs and embrace modern technology and global best risk management practices.”

The day ensued with a power-packed CEO Debate deliberating on the disruption of the Takaful industry and was followed by a host of panel sessions gravitating around the key themes affecting the Takaful industry at large. Leading industry experts analysed the challenges at hand and focused on coming up with effective suggestions with the ultimate aim of developing a convergence roadmap for regulators, operators and Sharia’ scholars.

WTC is taking place on the 11th and 12th of April at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Dubai.

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