The UAE, the world's number two in the Global Islamic Economy Indicator, has been ranked first among 10 countries in three key sector indicators, further reinforcing its success in pioneering an Islamic economy ecosystem.
The UAE leads in sectors, including modest fashion, halal media and recreation, and halal pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, according to the 'State of the Global Islamic Economy' report released on Monday by the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC).
According to the report, Muslim spend on halal food and beverage is forecast to reach $1.93 trillion, while Islamic finance assets are expected to surge to $3.8 trillion by 2022.
The report was launched by Mustafa Adil, head of Islamic finance at Thomson Reuters, in the presence of Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, alongside prominent experts, senior officials, and stakeholders from across the Islamic economy sectors.
Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE Minister of Economy and chairman of DIEDC, said the latest Global Islamic Economy Indicator testifies to the success of the UAE in pioneering an appropriate Islamic economy ecosystem within a short period, when compared with other nations that have been active in fostering this niche economic system - especially in the halal industries space.
"Shariah-compliant sectors are central to the Islamic economic system and attract the most investment - thereby facilitating an Islamic economy-friendly environment," he said.
Al Mansouri said the indicator evaluated the health of the Islamic economy ecosystem across more than 73 countries, based on equally weighted key metric categories, including governance, awareness and social considerations. "The UAE's exceptional performance highlights the synergy between the government's wise vision and the practices of the private sector."
He said the Islamic economy is at the heart of the global economic movement, which aims at stimulating growth, achieving sustainability and equity in development.
In his speech during the Islamic Economy Award 2017, he said the ceremony is not only a celebration of individual and collective contributions that are driving the growth of Islamic economy sectors locally and internationally, but also a celebration of Dubai's initiatives and the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, that responded to the urgent global need to develop an ethical and integrated economic system.
"Today, the presence of Islamic economy is exemplified in the interest of governments, private sector institutions and investors from around the world in identifying and developing a greater understanding of the principles and standards of Islamic financial products. The Islamic economy has placed Dubai and the UAE at the centre of this international orientation, making the country a key incubator of its standards, cultures and innovations. And here lies the importance of the Islamic Economy Award that helps innovators present models for the future of this promising economic system," Al Mansouri added.
"The opportunity today is more favourable than ever to promote the Islamic economy. China's 'One Belt One Road' initiative, where Islamic finance products such as sukuk are playing an important role in financing projects associated with the initiative, is an outstanding example of what can be achieved. We are also witnessing the growth of SMEs and a new generation of companies that have benefited from the lessons learned in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and are looking for product quality, sustainable growth and safe investment," said the minister.
In 2016, Muslim spend on food, beverage and lifestyle sectors rose to $2 trillion, accounting for 11.9 per cent of global expenditure. By category, F&B leads Muslim spend at $1.24 trillion, followed by clothing and apparel at $254 billion, media and entertainment at $198 billion, travel at $169 billion, and spending on pharmaceuticals and cosmetics at $83 billion and $57.4 billion respectively.