Corporate Trust VP, Sr Relationship Manager Turkey, BNY Mellon
Most of the cross-border sukuks that have been issued in the region have a Dubai component. If not actually the issuer, then at least some of their advisers and service providers are based in Dubai. Yes, Dubai will grow in Islamic finance, but let’s not forget that it is already a large player. The knowledge rests here, and Dubai is already a global hub for Islamic, as well as for conventional finance. What we need is incentives for the development of the buy side, for both retail and institutional asset managers. I am certainly not an expert on sharia-related matters, but I don’t necessarily believe that some sort of internationally unified sharia supervisory board will be possible, do-able, or even required. Practice already shows how, across jurisdictions, market participants are talking to each other. We see Gulf names present in Malaysia, and we also see Asia-Pacific investors buying products issued by Gulf companies. Again, the focus should be on the investor base and eligibility criteria with regard to what type of investment investors can and want to make, also from a sharia perspective.
CEO, Emirates Investment Bank
Emirates Investment Bank is an independent private and investment-banking boutique. The typical banking model in our region historically relies on retail services for raising deposits and on lending to corporates. Most banks in the UAE hold a commercial banking license that includes retail coverage. We’re licensed as an investment bank with limited retail coverage. In effect, we are the only bank in the UAE that is dedicated to servicing a very specific segment of the banking customer base—the high-net-worth (HNW) client segment—by providing them with a highly personalized offering focused on assisting them preserve and grow their wealth. What has happened over the last few years is that there has been a greater recognition of the need to service this segment of the banking customer base. Some of the large commercial banks in our region have opened private banking windows. However, the difference between our bank and these banks is that we are dedicated to the niche HNW sector only. Based in Dubai, Emirates Investment Bank is licensed and regulated as an investment bank by the UAE Central Bank and operates within the full regulatory framework imposed by that institution. The bank is also listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), and is subject to Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA) listing rules.
Head of Middle East, Eastern Europe & Central Asia, Arnaud Leclercq
No one is immune to what is happening in Europe and the world. The GCC, the UAE, and Dubai in particular, have been recovering progressively. They haven’t fully recovered yet, but they are indeed recovering. The real estate market is coming back faster than expected, and the price of oil remains high, which helps the budget. The key position of the UAE and Dubai, close to the Indian Subcontinent and on the road to Africa, is definitely supporting the area. It is probably a more sustainable kind of situation. The growth that we will have now in the UAE is less speculative than we had in the 2000s, and more real, sustained growth based on solid economics and the fantastic infrastructure available here. This is a huge strength. It is also not just Dubai, but the whole Middle East that is important. Our office in Dubai allows us to cover the UAE and the GCC region. There is still a lot to be done, but we see improvements in long-term decision making, and not just related to the oil and gas or military sectors, but also in terms of social impact. And this encourages certain European businesses to relocate to Dubai. The infrastructure is here, as is stability, and the central bank is taking the right steps. Many companies have relocated here, and do so successfully.
UAE, UAE, DUBAI - Health & Education
President & Head MEA Cluster, Novartis
UAE, UAE, DUBAI - Telecoms & IT
Senior Director and General Manager for United Arab Emirates, DELL Technologies
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