By A Staff Reporter -
MUSCAT — Leading players, industry thought leaders and key regulators in the regional Islamic finance and investment industry will take part in the 2nd Annual Middle East Islamic Finance and Investment Conference (MEIFIC 2012), which opens today in Dubai. Co-located with the 7th Annual World Takaful Conference (WTC 2012), MEIFIC 2012 is set to gather more than 250 regional and international delegates representing over 120 leading organisations.
Speaking to the media ahead of the event, David McLean, Chief Executive of the Middle East Islamic Finance and Investment Conference, said that “there are significant growth opportunities still to be tapped in the Middle East region for the Islamic finance industry.
The Ernst & Young World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2011/12, which was launched at the 18th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2012) in Bahrain last November, noted that in the GCC the market share of Islamic banking had crossed the all important 25 per cent threshold — which means that Islamic banks are now making successful competitive inroads into the conventional market space as well.
Given the positive economic outlook, the Middle East, which is witnessing an increasing appetite for Sharia-compliant financing and investment alternatives across a broad range of corporate, wholesale and consumer segments, is yet to fully realise the potential of its Islamic finance and investments industry.”
MEIFIC 2012 will be officially inaugurated by a special keynote opening session featuring Hussain al Qemzi; Chief Executive Officer, Noor Islamic Bank, Group Chief Executive Officer, Noor Investment Group; and Dr Saleh Malaikah; Chairman, Rusd International Holding Group, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Salama Group. The session will seek to chart a new growth map for the Islamic banking industry in the Middle East.
Speaking ahead of his session, Dr Saleh Malaikah noted that “the Middle East has played a pioneering role in the development of the Islamic finance industry. With the increasing interest in Sharia-compliant finance solutions in key countries across the world, the Middle East is well positioned to continue its role as a central driver of the development of the industry. Currently, there is tremendous international interest in Middle Eastern economies and abundant capital circulating in the region.