Convened by Middle East Global Advisors in strategic partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority and supported by the Insurance Authority (IA), the World Takaful Conference (WTC) is presently being held under the theme of “Differentiation, Innovation & Profitable Growth” at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Dubai, UAE.
Industry Regulator HE Ebrahim Obaid Al-Zaabi, Director General, Insurance Authority (IA) delivered the inaugural address at the conference and stressed on the need for optimising Takaful’s contribution to the economic growth of the region.
“Data and indicators confirm the growing role of Takaful insurance in the insurance industry in the UAE. Takaful insurance contributions accounted for about 10 per cent of the gross written premiums in the market in 2017, compared to 9.4 per cent with a value of 3.7 billion dirhams in 2016. The Takaful sector contributes with almost six per cent of the total investments of the insurance sector in 2017, compared to 5.8 per cent with a value of AED3 billion in 2016,” said Al-Zaabi.
Al-Zaabi added that the Gulf region is one of the most important areas to influence the growth, trends and prospects of global Islamic insurance. The insurance premiums of the Islamic insurance companies in the region amounted to about 11 billion dirhams with a percentage of almost 50 per cent of the global premiums in 2016, according to statements from global institutions. The development of the legislative and legal basis of the organization of the insurance sector has certainly contributed to strengthening the region's leadership role in creating integration. It is also a key factor in pushing the global Takaful sector into growth and development.
“With Islamic finance assets expected to grow to $3.8 trillion by 2022, there is a massive opportunity for Islamic Finance. This sector remains a key focus area for DIFC in line with Dubai’s vision to be the world’s capital of the Islamic economy. The Centre is home to more than 108 insurance-related entities including six of the world’s top ten insurance firms. The discussions at the 13th World Takaful Conference (WTC) highlighted the need for more collaboration between the various corporations in the Takaful sector as well as the importance of innovation and differentiation for these companies to expand in the region. Innovation will be driven by insurtech and islamic fintech. With this in mind, we are pleased to help shape the future of the industry by ensuring they are key areas of focus for the FinTech Hive at DIFC programmes in 2018,” said Salmaan Jaffery, Chief Business Development Officer, Dubai International Financial Centre Authority.
An interesting highlight at the conference was the keynote address by Dave Matcham, Chief Executive Officer, The International Underwriting Association of London (IUA), who spoke on London being a market with the ideal framework and innovative approach to satisfy Islamic Insurance needs. “The London market has a long history of providing solutions for the MENA region. The London Market is responsible for $90 billion (re)insurance business, via over 350 firms and with business derived from over 200 countries. The Market is bigger than all its nearest rivals combined - Zurich, Bermuda and Singapore - and has over 60 per cent of the global aviation market share, 52 per cent of the energy markets, and over one third of the marine market,” said Matcham.
Since its inception in 2006, The World Takaful Conference has been a significant contributor to enhancing growth, excellence and innovation in the global Takaful industry, taking stock of the most pressing issues affecting the industry at large, with the 13th edition tackling the prevalent disruption in the insurance industry by spearheading key panel sessions fousing on embracing digitisation to increase insurance penetration and drive business growth, the legal and regulatory challenges associated with insurtech and technologies that are revolutionising the Takaful industry.