UAE ranks second on global Islamic economy index

Dubai International Financial Centre

The UAE has been ranked as one of the healthiest Islamic economic environments worldwide, secondly only to Malaysia.

The second edition of the Global Islamic Economy Indicator (GIEI), which measures the ongoing development of the Islamic economy in 73 countries worldwide, ranked the UAE second. In doing so, it highlighted the country’s outstanding economic growth across all key performance indicators.

The updated GIEI is featured in the third ‘State of the Global Islamic Economy’ report (SGIE 2015-2016), which was released ahead of this week’s Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES 2015) in Dubai.

“With the launch of this report Dubai reinforces its position as a reliable research reference in Islamic economy. We are pleased with the positive results revealed by the SGIE 2015 and the promising indicators on the sector’s growth, as well as on the progress of the UAE among the most active and healthiest Islamic economy ecosystems,” said His Excellency Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, chairman of the board of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC).

He noted the UAE’s growing contribution to the Islamic economy, which is expanding at nearly twice the rate of the global economy.

Muslim consumer spending exceeds $1.8 trillion annually, while Islamic banking assets total around $1.3 trillion and are expected to double in value in the next five years, Al Gergawi added.

“Our strategy for developing the Islamic economy is not limited to Islamic banking and finance, which constitutes an important part of this economy, but spans seven key sectors,” said Al Gergawi.

They include halal food, spending on which exceeded $1.1 trillion globally in 2014, with the UAE ranking third worldwide in terms of nations that benefit from this sector.

The SGIE 2015-2016 report also highlights halal fashion as an emerging trend, which in 2014 boasted a predominantly Muslim market size of $230 billion. Halal tourism, media, recreation, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics are other markets tipped for rapid growth.

These industries and their growing importance to the Islamic economy will be discussed at this week’s GIES 2015.