Published On: 08/10/2018

• Two-day summit will feature 16 interactive sessions delving into a wide range of timely topics, such as the implications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative for halal industries and the growth prospects for Islamic fintech

• Tatarstan President H.E. Rustam Minnikhanov, H.E. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of DIEDC to address participants at opening ceremony

Dubai, UAE: Policymakers, industry heavyweights, economists, prominent CEOs and business leaders from around the world will share their insights and predictions on key trends that are expected to reshape the future of the global Islamic economy when they gather in Dubai for Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES 2018).

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, the fourth edition of GIES will take place on October 30-31, 2018.

Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) are organising the high-level summit in cooperation with Thomson Reuters as a Strategic Partner.

GIES 2018: Day One

H.E. Rustam Minnikhanov, President of Tatarstan; H.E. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of DIEDC; and H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber and Board member of DIEDC, will address participants during the opening ceremony at the summit.

The first plenary session at GIES 2018 entitled, The Islamic economy in a distributed, digitalised and decentralised world: Blockchains, cryptocurrencies, marketplaces and digital identities, will assess whether the Islamic economy’s move towards digitisation will make it more easily adaptable to the technological disruptions we witness today. Participating as panellists are Anthony Butler, Chief Technology Officer, IBM, UAE; Dr Ibrahim Al Musallam, Specialist, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, KSA; and Dilip Rao, Global Head of Infrastructure Innovation, Ripple, USA.

The second plenary session of the day will examine the implications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative for various Muslim countries in terms of trade, investment, economic partnerships and new business opportunities. Joining the discussion are: Professor Wang Yiwei, Director, Institute of International Affairs, Centre for European Studies, Renmin University, China; Dr Adnan Chilwan, Group CEO, Dubai Islamic Bank; Neil Cuthbert, Senior Partner, Dentons, UAE; and H.E Kairat Kelimbetov, Governor, Astana International Financial Centre, Kazakhstan.

Chiara Appendino, Mayor of Turin, Italy, will then share her insights on technological innovation during a session entitled, Designing a shared future in the age of disruption and divergence, which will take a closer look at how technology is reshaping the economic frameworks and policies on which governments have traditionally depended.

Later that day, a panel discussion on Islamic fintech will be held where industry experts and business leaders will explore how innovative products such as digital banking, payment solutions, robo-advisory and digital currencies are becoming important Shariah-compliant options for Islamic banking. During the session, Rafe Haneef, CEO, CIMB Bank, Malaysia; Afaq Khan, Chairman, Al Rajhi Bank, UAE; Khalid Saad, CEO, Bahrain Fintech Bay; and Oliver Rajic, CEO, Alpha Fintech, Singapore, will share their outlook and thoughts on the Islamic fintech sector and the emergence of new solutions in this space.

An additional panel session focusing on global Islamic economy influencers will review nascent economic sub-sectors such as modest fashion, sustainable tourism and halal cosmetics which have enabled entrepreneurs in the Islamic economy to gain prominence, expand their customer base and widen their reach beyond Muslim-majority markets. Amer Bukvic, CEO, Bosna International Bank, Bosnia, and Omar Hamid, Co-founder, LaunchGood, USA, will lead the discussion.

GIES 2018: Day two

The second day of GIES 2018 will begin with an interactive session on The Future of Work in the Muslim World, examining the impact of fast-emerging Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and blockchain on employment and the workforce. Participating in this discussion are: Mohammed Raafi Hussein, Founder of Finocracy; Thaslima Begum, Founder, Teek Taka, UK; and Mokhtar Al Khansali, Fouder, Port of Moka, USA; and Dubai Belhoul, Author, Galgalolia, UAE.

A special session entitled, Can we 10X the Global Islamic Economy? will be held in the format of an ideas showcase. Creative thinkers will share their ideas for advancing the Islamic economy in line with the vision that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum outlined in the 10x initiative, which aims to put Dubai ahead of other global cities. Participants will assess the impact that His Highness’s announcement has had on the global Islamic economy and will look at how to further ‘10X it’ to create the next major advance.

His Excellency Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber and Board Member of DIEDC, said: “The fourth edition of the Global Islamic Economy Summit offers an unrivalled line up of industry leaders, global experts, key stakeholders and decision makers who will share their valuable insights, which will provide more clarity on the state of the global Islamic economy. GIES 2018 will facilitate an open, constructive and global dialogue on important matters and actions that need to be taken to ensure the Islamic economy’s future growth.”

H.E. Al Ghurair noted that Dubai, as an entrepôt connecting cultures and economies, is already well-recognised as a preferred hub for leading companies operating within halal industries. He added that the two-day summit provides businesses with an ideal platform to network, share knowledge, collaborate and explore new growth opportunities.

For his part, H.E. Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, said: “The growing uptake for Islamic economy around the world, and the increased contribution of its various sectors to the global economy, calls for a closer look at new areas of development. In order to meet this rising demand for sharia-compliant products and services, the public and private sectors need to ensure a certain level of readiness and competence.”

He added: “The State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2017/18 estimated Muslim spend across food, beverage, and lifestyle sectors at US$2 trillion in 2016, accounting for 11.9 per cent of global expenditure. With spending expected to reach US$3 trillion by 2022, the fourth Global Islamic Economy Summit is the world’s premier forum to discuss our readiness to manage this growth.”

To be staged 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.