Published On: 14/01/2015

Dubai, UAE: H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, honoured the winners of the 2nd Islamic Economy Award.

Initiated by the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Thomson Reuters, the award closing ceremony was attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and heads of Government departments, dignitaries, Board members of DIEDC, Dubai Chamber, representatives of business councils, groups and trade centers, a large number of businessmen and members of the media.

The awards were presented to a cross-section of global and local business establishments for their innovative world-class business initiatives and ideas that are sharia-compliant and contribute to the social and economic welfare of the Muslim population.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid presented H.E. Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Governor, Malaysian Central Bank, with the Life-time Achievement Award.

The Money and Finance category award was received by the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) from Saudi Arabia; award in the Food and Health category went to Salma an entity of Awqaf & Minor Affairs from the UAE; and Media category to The 99, an initiative of Teshkeel Media Group from Kuwait.

Awards in other categories including Hospitality and Tourism were presented to Halal Minds from Indonesia; Waqf and Endowments category went to National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa; SME Development category to LaunchGood from USA; Islamic Economy Knowledge Infrastructure category to KFH Research from Kuwait; Islamic Arts category to Yusuf Islam, Singer, Songwriter & Author’ from the UK.

Hajj Saeed bin Ahmed Al Lootah, founder of the world’s first Islamic bank, received a special recognition from H.H. Sheikh Mohammed for his contribution to the Islamic Economy.

His Excellency Mohammed Abdulla Al Gergawi, Chairmain of DIEDC said: “We, in the UAE, are keen to support innovation and creativity in various sectors. Through the Islamic economy award, we aim to inspire the business community to provide innovative Islamic services and solutions. In addition, we offer a platform to showcase and recognize the distinguished efforts of companies engaging in the Islamic economy, in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in making Dubai the global capital of Islamic economy.”

Al Gergawi added: “The diversity of the award winners validates the competitiveness witnessed in the award categories and reflects the groundbreaking efforts made in different fields of the Islamic economy. We are confident the award will motivate companies to innovate and create ideas for the Islamic economy and adopt best practices to further boost this industry.”

During his welcome address, H.E. Hussein Qemzi, Member of the DIEDC Board and Chairman of Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, said: “The Islamic economy award in its second edition comes after one successful year that gave the UAE in general and Dubai in particular credibility in driving the growth of the Islamic economy in banking and finance, knowledge and researches, family – friendly tourism and halal industry.”

Al Qemzi added: “the award highlights the wise decision taken by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2013 to transform Dubai into the capital of Islamic economy. In one year only, the award attracted 248 submissions compared to 148 in 2013 and from 48 countries compared to 31 in 2013. This award would not have been an innovative tool to boost growth in Islamic economy without the efforts of the entities behind it and especially the jury panel which thrived to put in place a judging process based on credibility and transparency. The first criterion adopted in this process was innovation, given its importance in the today’s world and its role in ensuring growth and prosperity of the Islamic economy.”

H.E. Majid Al Shamsi, 1st Vice Chairman, Dubai Chamber, said: “The importance of the Islamic Economy Award has its roots in the integrated Islamic Economy system which cuts across many economic sectors including infrastructure, tourism, health, food, art and banking services. Interestingly, this comprehensive model is being adopted by many countries of the world in light of the global Islamic Economy’s potential GDP value of more than US$8 trillion which clearly shows a growing trend in global consumer habits towards Islamic services and products.”

He added: “Dubai has always been on the forefront of promoting and developing the Islamic Economy sector under the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and his vision of turning Dubai into a global Capital of Islamic Economy. The emirate is investing in the future and is on the right course to realise its vision in the Islamic Economy sector.”

Al Shamsi reiterated Dubai Chamber’s commitment to supporting the Government’s initiative adding that the organisation of the Islamic Economy Award consolidates Dubai’s position as a global Islamic Economy capital. The Chamber believes that honouring those with creative ideas is the right way to support innovation in the diverse Islamic Economy sector which is witnessing an unprecedented growth in recent times, he said.

The independent jury panel, which was headed by H.E. Hussein Qemzi, Member of the DIEDC Board and Chairman of Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, included Khalid Al-Aboodi, Andreas Schotter Ph.D., Prof Dr. Mohammed Azmi Omar, Tayeb Abdulrahman Al Rais, Dr. Fatih Mehmet Gul, Shelina Janmohamed, Dr. Tariqullah Khan, and Fareed Lutfi.

Nadim Najjar, general manager of Thomson Reuters for the MENA region, said: “We congratulate the winners and wish them all success in their initiatives and activities that drive the growth of the Islamic economy sector – both regionally and internationally. The development of the Islamic economy landscape relies largely on the ethical practices that define the framework of businesses. This makes it imperative to recognize successful initiatives and encourage companies and individuals to endorse best practices across the various Islamic economy sectors.”