Dubai, UAE - 11 April 2016: This morning, the 11th annual World Takaful Conference (WTC) played host to powerful keynote addresses to a packed audience of over 300 industry leaders from the Middle East, East Asia, Europe and Africa. Convened by Middle East Global Advisors and in strategic partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority, WTC is held under the theme “Prudent Practices for Global Growth” and considered to be the world’s most powerful Takaful gathering.
The growth of the Takaful industry, exhibiting an impressive double digit growth whilst remaining underdeveloped as compared to the thriving Islamic finance industry, is paramount to strengthening the overall Islamic economy.
As such, it was very fitting that the opening keynote was delivered by Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), who spoke on the linkages between Takaful growth and the overall Islamic economy: “Takaful is a key pillar within the Islamic ecosystem. Although a quantum leap cannot be expected in the Takaful Industry within a year, there have been a lot of strategic developments which will pave way for the growth of Takaful within the Islamic finance landscape.”
Following suite was H.E. Ebrahim Obaid Al Zaabi, Director General of the UAE Insurance Authority, who spoke on the UAE regulatory space: “The Insurance Authority of UAE has played a pivotal role in setting out key rules to ensure stability of the insurance industry. Â Adhering to the regulatory requirements - ranging from adjusting the internal systems to appointing internal auditors and actuaries by 2018 - will be challenging for the Insurance and Takaful Industry but will lead to its growth and stability.”
Representing the conference’s Strategic Partner, Salmaan Jaffrey, Chief Business Development Officer at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), spoke on the critical role of the DIFC as a global platform for the ReTakaful industry to service the economies of the Middle East, Africa and South Asian regions. He mentioned, “Today, the Islamic insurance industry has gained wider acceptance and appreciation transcending the boundaries of Muslim-based economies. This growing momentum is expected to continue and expand its reach into emerging markets in the MEASA region. Our goal as a leading financial hub is to create a dynamic Islamic financial system that will support this growth and contribute to the overall development of our economy.
An ideal platform to showcase the vast potential of Takaful and Re-takaful, this year’s World Takaful Conference was a great success. I am confident that our collective efforts to deliberate new solutions and innovations for the long-term development of Islamic insurance will transform the industry into a vibrant and resilient space.”
Dave Matcham, Member of Executive Committee, Islamic Insurance Association of London (IIAL) spoke on London as the gateway to Takaful in the West: “New horizons for the Takaful market lie ahead in the international market space. The establishment of the Islamic Insurance Association of London (IIAL) speaks of a large untapped market for Islamic insurance in the west. Whilst, IIAL is taking steps so that Islamic insurance is recognized in the UK, the main agenda is to work on four points, namely: innovation, talent development, promotion and modernization.”
Following the keynote addresses was the launch of the groundbreaking “Finance Forward World Takaful Report 2016”. Produced by Middle East Global Advisors, and with contributions from Takaful Outsource, the report provides a comprehensive overview of the state of the global Takaful market.
Sahar Kazranian, Acting CEO of Middle East Global Advisors, shared that the Report is based on expert analysis and feedback from the industry’s leading practitioners: “Our aim is to shed light on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for the Takaful market. The Report provides a way forward to addressing various challenges ranging from price wars and pricing regulation, to closing the gap of human capital.”
She concluded: “We hope that this proves instrumental in helping the Takaful leader navigate the regulatory, economic, demographical and technological landscape in these uncertain and sometimes volatile economic times.”
The WTC audience comprised of high profile guests and dignitaries from Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, Dubai International Financial Centre, Islamic Insurance Association of London, Insurance Authority UAE, PwC, Moody’s, EY, Swiss Re, Munich Re, Noor Takaful, Watania, Emirates RE and many more organisations.
WTC is taking place on the 11th and 12th of April in the Dusit Thani Hotel, Dubai. To find out more about WTC, visit www.wtc16.com.