Published On: 19/09/2018

• Summit sessions will examine how creating blockchain solutions can benefit Islamic banks

• Fourth edition of high-level summit to be held on October 30th-31st under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed

Dubai, UAE: Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are reshaping the global Islamic banking sector, and leading sharia-compliant banks are using disruptive technologies to create new financial products, according to industry experts who will gather in Dubai for the fourth edition of the Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES) on October 30th-31st 2018.

GIES 2018 will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) are organising the summit in cooperation with strategic partner Thomson Reuters.

The event will bring together influential policymakers and experts, who will share insights, address the key challenges facing the global Islamic economy and highlight the new opportunities that emerging and innovative technologies can offer.

GIES 2018 will feature panel discussions which delve into a wide variety of topics, including the Internet of Things, drone technology and Artificial Intelligence. The sessions will provide case studies of pioneering Islamic financial services firms, such as Onegram, a UAE-based start-up specialising in Shariah-compliant cryptocurrency, Malaysia’s Hada DBank, the world’s first blockchain-powered Islamic Bank, and Emirates Islamic Bank, which has integrated blockchain into cheque processing.

His Excellency Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber and Board Member of DIEDC, said: “With the adoption and interest in blockchain growing among Islamic banks around the world, it is the right time to shed light on recent developments in this space and examine the benefits and value that disruptive technologies can deliver to industry players and consumers alike.”

Dubai Chamber’s chairman described Dubai as a leading example of how public and private sector entities can collaborate to accelerate innovation in the Islamic banking sector, and added the summit will provide a platform to share knowledge and industry best practices.

His Excellency Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, said: “With the support of its strategic partners, DIEDC has made significant headway in positioning Dubai as the global capital of Islamic economy. Building on the success of previous editions, we are confident that GIES 2018 will amplify this momentum, fuel the conversation, and deepen our insights into key trends that are driving change within the Islamic economy.”

H.E. Al Awar added: “Technology is a major catalyst for innovation across industries, and Islamic economy is no exception. With smart solutions resulting in a surge of disruptions, especially across the Islamic banking and finance landscape, we are poised for a paradigm shift. For instance, technologies such as Blockchain that are still in a nascent stage of evolution, provide new opportunities to reduce systemic risks and ensure a decentralised, inclusive and transparent financial ecosystem that does away with legacy systems and removes layers of intermediation.”

To be held under the theme “A Shared Future,” GIES 2018 is expected to welcome more than 3,000 attendees. The third edition of the Global Islamic Economy Summit, held in 2016, attracted the participation of nearly 2,500 dignitaries, officials and business leaders from 74 countries.