Published On: 30-10-2018

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, officially inaugurated the Global Islamic Economy Summit 2018 (GIES) – the world’s largest forum dedicated to all aspects of the Islamic economy – which got underway in Dubai earlier today.

Held under the theme “A Shared Future”, the fourth edition of GIES is being organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) in cooperation with Thomson Reuters as Strategic Partner.

Over 3,000 key decision makers, policymakers, business leaders and industry experts from around the world are attending the two-day summit. The event is featuring more than 16 sessions, panel discussion, speeches and presentations putting the spotlight on new trends and technologies that are reshaping the global Islamic economy, as well as key challenges and growth opportunities.

Speaking during opening ceremony on the first day of GIES 2018, H.E Rustam Minnikhanov, President of Tatarstan, highlighted the strong commitment of his country to cooperating with the Dubai government to advance the Islamic economy.

“We cooperate closely with the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, especially in the sphere of Halal lifestyle. This has become a main topic of the Kazan Summit, which this year celebrated its 10th anniversary. The Kazan Summit is an international economic forum that addresses the major issues of strengthening relations between Russia and the Islamic world – it is my great pleasure to welcome you to the Kazan Summit next year,” said H.E. Minnikhanov.

In his keynote speech, His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of DIEDC, commended the transformation of the Global Islamic Economy Summit over the years into a landmark event that plays a key role in the development of the Islamic economy, saying that the platform presents an unparalleled opportunity for attendees to forge new partnerships with the aim of advancing economic growth, financial security, and social stability.

“As a result of modern technology, such as blockchain, digital currencies, and artificial intelligence, the dynamics of the global Islamic economy have changed through the introduction of new challenges as well as opportunities. As the largest event of its kind on a global scale, the Global Islamic Economy Summit is the most fitting platform to address these issues and present outcomes that highlight the advantages of the new economic reality,” said H.E. Al Mansoori.

The UAE Economy Minister revealed that the contribution of the Islamic economy to Dubai’s GDP increased from 7.6 per cent in 2014 to 8.3 per cent in 2016, registering a growth rate of 14 per cent, adding that the UAE is committed to boosting productive sectors and develop strategies that encourage responsible investment, entrepreneurship and innovation.

H.E. Al Mansoori highlighted the momentum gained by the Dubai: Capital of Islamic Economy initiative since its launch in 2013, accelerated by DIEDC’s 2017-2021 strategy, and praised the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

“We look forward to the outcomes of the Global Islamic Economy Summit 2018. We are at an important stage of the economic transformations that have begun to change the mechanisms of industrial and commercial activities, and are significantly impacting global partnerships. The fourth edition of the event provides an ideal platform to present the views of Dubai, and the wider UAE on the future of Islamic economy, as well as to work with local, regional, and international entities to draw up a roadmap to prepare for this future,” added H.E. Al Mansoori.

Addressing delegates during the opening ceremony, His Excellency Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Board Member of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), highlighted the role of the summit as a global platform enabling various stakeholders to collaborate and support the development of the global Islamic economy.

H.E. Al Ghurair noted that Dubai has made considerable headway in achieving its vision of becoming the capital of the global Islamic economy thanks to the strong commitment and support of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, adding that this vision has materialised into a concrete reality, with the UAE now leading many international indexes and establishing a myriad of high-level international positions within the Islamic economy.

“We look forward to transforming the ideas we explore today into a plan of action, and to setting the necessary procedures and frameworks that can radically transform the Islamic Economy and to establish it as a leading global economic model. These objectives and many others set our event today apart; the Global Islamic Economy Summit is a bold step towards sustainable economic development for all,” H.E. Al Ghurair added.

Following the keynote addresses, the winners of the Islamic Economy Award were invited to the stage to receive their certificates and awards from His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

During the first plenary session at GIES 2018, H.E. Chiara Appendino, Mayor of Turin, Italy, shared her perspectives on how technological disruption is complicating the economic frameworks and policies that governments have traditionally depended on. An examination of whether the Islamic economy’s inherent characteristics make it more readily adaptable to such disruptions was the subject of the second plenary session, while the third assessed the unprecedented growth opportunities for Muslim countries that are being created by China’s ‘Belt and Road‘ initiative.

Other sessions held on the first day of GIES examined the state of Islamic philanthropy, the importance of teaching creative skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the growing Islamic fintech market and the growing economic sub-sectors of modest fashion, sustainable tourism and halal cosmetics, which have enabled entrepreneurial business owners in the Islamic economy to gain prominence and widen their reach beyond Muslim-majority markets.