DIEDC signs agreement with Thomson Reuters to Develop Global Islamic Economy Portal

DUBAI: Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) has signed an agreement with Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading provider of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, to develop a global Islamic economy portal.

The portal will serve as a pioneering initiative for the Islamic digital economy and a global reference for the emerging Islamic economy sector. Targeting institutional as well as retail users, the portal will include sections on finance, food, tourism, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fashion, media/recreation, healthcare, and education.

Essa Kazim, Secretary General of DIEDC, said: “”We are delighted to sign this agreement with Thomson Reuters who have been our partners in enhancing Dubai’s position as the global hub for knowledge and information on the Islamic economy in line with the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

“We are confident the portal will become the global reference and driver for the Islamic economy by facilitating access to information, data and statistical analysis on the global Islamic economy to consumers, businesses, investors and other professional users. The portal will additionally enable us to keep track of ongoing growth and other trends in the key sectors operating across major markets,” he added.

The portal will have two user propositions targeting professionals and retail users. The portal dedicated for retail consumers will focus on being the ‘one-stop’ resource for Muslim users to engage and make informed economic decisions, providing them with the ability to search, review and rate businesses. The portal dedicated for professionals will provide aggregated sector information, products, profiles of companies and institutions, news, fatwas, regulations, standard setters and certification bodies and technical consultants.

DIEDC’s initiative to launch the portal was driven by the findings of the ‘State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2014’, which identifies the absence of a holistic information resource in Islamic economy as a key setback to the growth of the sector. The need for such a resource becomes even more vital given the number of Internet users from Muslim countries set to reach one billion by 2020, with 170 million in the Middle East and 531 million across South East Asia. Furthermore, interest in Islamic economy has increased exponentially over the last decade as evidenced by the 450% growth in searches for ‘halal’ goods and services across engines such as Google since 2004.

Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, said: “The launch of the global Islamic economy portal will augment our efforts to develop the digital Islamic economy, one of the key pillars of our strategy. We are confident that this initiative will consolidate Dubai’s online presence and further enhance its position as the global capital of the Islamic economy.

“The comprehensive information provided by the portal across sectors will ensure that it becomes a leading lifestyle resource for the modern Muslim consumer and business. In addition, the aggregated data and statistics will offer a solid foundation for relevant entities to develop and evolve strategies to meet the dynamic needs of the growing number of Muslim and non-Muslim consumers across markets who consider the Islamic economy a viable alternative for investments and consumption.” Nadim Najjar, Managing Director, Thomson Reuters (Middle East and North Africa), said:”The new portal will open vast opportunities for investors and companies outside the Muslim world to participate and support the growth of Islamic economy industries. We believe that Dubai could build on this new economic Islamic landscape as it did in trade and aviation.” He added: “Strategically located at the cross-roads of new investments and trade routes, Dubai boasts the financial and logistical infrastructure to be the capital of the Islamic Economy.

We are proud to be part of this strategic milestone and together, with our partners, we look forward to contributing to the development of a nourishing global Islamic economy.” Sayd Farook, Global Head of Islamic Finance, Thomson Reuters, said: “The Islamic economy portal launched in conjunction with the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Center is a groundbreaking initiative. The new portal promises to open up the US$6.7 trillion potential of the Muslim lifestyle markets to the professional business community while empowering every Muslim to productively engage in developing their economies.”