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Monday, July 21, 2014

Sohar Islamic sponsors Quran memorising competition

(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) As part of its holy month of Ramadan initiatives, Bank Sohar's dedicated Islamic banking window “ Sohar Islamic had recently sponsored the Quran Memorising Competition that witnessed the participation of 100 youngsters.

Organised by Kaab bin Zayed School, the competition was concluded with a rewarding ceremony that took place on 18 July 2014 in Al Umaraa Hall in Al Hail, and was presided over by H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Soud al Siyabi, Secretary General of the office of Grand Mufti of Sultanate. Representing Bank Sohar at the event were Fahad Akbar al Zedjali, Sohar Islamic Ghubra branch manager.

Commenting on the sponsorship, Mohammad Haris, AGM and head of Islamic banking at Sohar Islamic said, ''This sponsorship by Sohar Islamic is yet another proactive effort that aims to encourage the youngsters to read and understand the messages of the Holy Quran and to spread its values of peace. We believe in our role as a positively integrated component of the Omani society and we aspire to see the tangible impact of our initiatives in the community.''

Among the 100 participants in the competition, cash prizes were handed to children who successfully memorised and recited certain verses from the Holy Quran. The first winner received a cash prize of RO 1,000, the second winner received a cash prize of RO500, and the third winner was awarded RO250 cash prize.

''I congratulate all the participants for their success, and I am pleased to see their enthusiasm and determination to understand and follow the teachings of Islam. I also congratulate Kaab bin Zayed School on the successful organisation of the competition that brought together the best of young Quran readers.

Such initiatives encourage the younger generation to broaden their horizons and expand their knowledge, not only through reading and memorising, but also through understanding the messages and implementing the values of the religion,'' added Mr. Mohammad Haris. Sohar Islamic was launched in 2013.

All the products and services offered that include retail and corporate adhere to the highest level of Shari'ah compliance, and are specifically designed to meet certain key criteria

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Malaysia Government Eyeing Strategies To Enhance Export Growth

PUTRAJAYA, July 17 (Bernama) -- The government is looking at several strategies to enhance the country's export growth, especially in facing stiff competition from other emerging economies, said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said.

He said these included promoting investment in new technology-driven products through technology acquisition; testing and certification of Malaysian products for exports; and, establishing and encouraging Malaysian companies to establish offices abroad.

"There should be new products for the niche market, thus strengthening Malaysian companies and market penetration," he told reporters after chairing the Focus Group Meeting for Budget 2015 here Thursday.

He said Malaysia needed to build on and strengthen its competitive advantage, including in the export of services such as tourism, professional services, Islamic finance, and in the areas of maintenance, repair and overhaul.

"We want to see more service providers, not only in construction and related services, but also in legal, information and communications technology, engineering, oil and gas widening their market," he said.

Husni said Malaysia should expand into new markets to offset slower demand from China while low value-added electrical and electronics (E&E) exports could be improved through better domestic linkages.

Despite a well-developed E&E cluster in the northern region, he said Malaysia had not been able to capitalise on this advantage to be part of new and emerging technologies, products and services.

"Domestic firms must step up efforts to undertake indigenous R&D and procure more quality inputs from local suppliers," he said.

Meanwhile, Husni said the government was looking at increasing wage contribution to the gross domestic product to 39 per cent by 2020 from 32 per cent at present.

"We are strengthening our financial position to achieve a balance budget by 2020 and a surplus one after that. We are also reducing debt, currently it's 54.7 per cent. It will not grow beyond 55 per cent," he said.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Travelling to Istanbul

Istanbul is Turkey's largest city, home to one of the world's busiest waterways, with links to the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. With an important position on the Silk Road and an advanced cultural history comparable to that of the Roman Empire, Istanbul is one the most historically rich cities in the world. 
However, what struck me first on arrival was not the history, but present atmosphere.  The streets of Istanbul are full of locals making a living by trying to convince you to buy products, consider menu's and enter stores.  This was only ever done with politeness, but as many unfamiliar with such trade (as I was) may find, it can be a gauntlet walking past shops until you've had some practice
I've been to a few countries, travelling as far as Iceland, but rarely to areas so focussed on the tourism industry.  Istanbul was declared a European 'City of Culture' in 2010, but visitors to the city come from everywhere, and all are catered for, which certainly makes Istanbul feel like a global city. 
The area has a multitude of famous landmarks, including the Topkapi Palace, residence of the Ottoman sultans for 400 years and home to priceless treasures and religious relics.  The Blue Mosque is also fascinating, built in the 1600's and still used as a site of worship.  Even below the city there are ancient cisterns, 9800 square metres in area, built in the 6th century during the Byzantine period.
Personally, I favour the bazaars; vibrant areas where the shops seem to spill on to the streets, although you may need some confidence to haggle proficiently.  If you succeed in this visitors can come away with spice, gold, handcrafted goods and exceptional watches which may or may not be genuine.
On the subject of religious requirements, it would always be polite to respect Islamic rules on clothing in the streets, but it is hardly necessary, adapted to guests as the city is.  However, it is necessary when visiting the mosques.  Men should wear trousers long enough to cover the knees and shirts which cover the shoulders.  Women will be asked to wear a headscarf which is often provided at mosques used to welcoming tourists.
However, the best advice is to go to the landmarks, try the famous Turkish coffee and sweet Baklava, get ready to haggle and maybe buy a tram card.  There is certainly no shortage of support for tourists

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Halal whale meat on menu as Japan tries to boost Muslim tourism

Prayer rooms, hijab scarves made of local silk and even halal-certified whale meat are now on offer as the tourism industry wakes up to demand from Muslim travelers.
For a largely homogeneous country with only around 100,000 practicing Muslims, that means understanding unfamiliar customs as the country tries to double the number of tourist arrivals by 2020.
“Muslim travelers still do not feel comfortable here,” said Datuk Ibrahim Haji Ahmad Badawi, head of Malaysian food company Brahim’s. “The government seems to have understood this.”
He was speaking at a recent seminar on halal tourism in Tokyo. Similar seminars were held in 20 regions across Japan last year, where hoteliers and restaurateurs were invited to learn how to cater to Muslims.
The Osaka Chamber of Commerce handed out 5,000 leaflets as a guide to what can and cannot be eaten. The idea that kitchens should be free of pork products and alcohol is a novel one in omnivorous Japan.
With the Islamic world currently observing the holy month of Ramadan, tourism to Japan is being heavily promoted in mainly-Muslim Southeast Asia, where Japan relaxed visa requirements in 2013 for travelers from Malaysia and Thailand.
Indonesians — the world’s largest Muslim population — are slated to receive similarly loosened requirements shortly.
Japan National Tourism Organization figures show the number of Indonesians visiting the archipelago in 2013 was 136,797, up 34.8 percent on the previous year. In the same period, 176,521 Malaysians visited, an increase of 35.6 percent.
Chinese tourist numbers have recovered from their plunge following the 2012 eruption of tensions between Beijing and Tokyo over islands in the East China Sea.
But broadening Japan’s appeal as a destination is key if the industry is to meet the 20 million visitors target set for 2020 when the Olympic Games come to Tokyo.
“Can you imagine the number of Muslim athletes who will then come to Tokyo? We’ll have to feed them,” Badawi said.
Brahim’s has already signed a deal with All Nippon Airways to supply in-flight halal meals, Badawi said.
A number of large hotels have also approached him for advice on catering to Muslim guests.
For Badawi, despite Japan’s slow start, the direction of travel is clear: Holidaying Muslims will be coming in bigger numbers, giving Tokyo an ever-larger slice of a $600 billion global pie.
Slowly, various regions across Japan are catching on. Major airports now have dedicated prayer rooms, and tourists looking for the perfect present can pick up hijab scarves made of Japanese silk as they pass through Kansai International Airport, a recent TV report showed.
Long-term visitors are also being catered for, with 19 universities offering halal menus in their cafeterias in a bid to boost the number of Muslim students.
Customers looking for authentic — but halal — Japanese dishes already have choices in Tokyo. They include a “yakiniku” barbecue restaurant run by Roger Bernard Diaz, who hails Sri Lanka, where one person out of 10 is Muslim.
Diaz himself is Christian, but he changed the restaurant’s menu to offer halal meats and says it has resulted in reservations from customers from southeast Asia, and even the Gulf region of the Middle East.
But sourcing produce can be difficult.
“It’s hard to find all the ingredients,” he said, while pulling a halal chicken from Brazil out of a dedicated freezer.
Muslims who want to sample whale meat are also catered for after Japan’s whaling factory ship was certified halal-compliant last year.
The Japan Halal Association, which was founded in 2010, is one of only two bodies that can grant the status.
Its chairwoman, Hind Hitomi Remon, said business is brisk.
“We are an associate member of the World Halal Council,” she said. “Since 2012, we have issued certificates to 40 companies, and that number is set to rise a lot this year,” a fact she says is directly attributable to Tokyo being awarded the Olympic Games for 2020.
And even if the tourists don’t want to eat in Japan, producers are ready to ship produce overseas, with exports such as halal-certified soy sauce and rice from northern Akita Prefecture.
But until visitor numbers grow, businesses catering to Muslims will need to continue keeping an eye on what their other customers want.
Yakiniku restaurant owner Diaz says around half of his customers are Muslim and yet he still has to cater to his other patrons.
“It’s hard to do business here without selling alcohol,” he said.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Gambia Joins Crusade to Promote Islamic Tourism

The Gambia has joined the world's powerful Islamic states in promoting Islamic Tourism as a new ethical dimension of tourism that has a strong impact on the economic growth of the member states of the Organisation of Islamic Corporation (OIC).
At the recent OIC's first Forum on Islamic Tourism held in Jakarta, Indonesia, member countries through their representatives explored the potentials of Islamic Tourism in propelling the rapid of growth of the wider global tourism sector.
The Forum, which was held as a follow-up to the resolution of the Eighth Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers held in Banjul, The Gambia, on 6th December 2013, was attended by over 30 representatives of OIC member countries and private sector personnel. It was presided over by the vice president of the Republic of Indonesia.
The Gambia's Tourism and Culture minister, Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, led a delegation to this maiden Forum. Upon her return, she told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview that the country stands to gain a lot from the anticipated benefits of Islamic tourism. The minister indicated that Islamic Tourism is growing and expressed confidence that it will impact positively on the economic development of OIC member countries, particularly in generating job opportunities and encouraging the growth of the activities of small and medium enterprises.
 "Global Muslim spending on tourism (outbound) is estimated to be US$137 billion in 2012(excluding Hajj and Umrah). Total spending during the same period is estimated to be $1,095 billion in 2012, making the Muslim tourism market to be 12.5% of global expenditure. Muslim tourism expenditure is expected to grow to $1.81 billion by 2018. Comparatively, the collective global Muslim tourism market is larger than the largest tourist source country of United States - whose outbound tourist spend is $122 billion in 2012 followed by Germany, at $94.7 billion, China at $89 billion and UK at $64.39 billion. Regionally, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the largest in terms of expenditure, representing 31% of total Muslim travel expenditure," she explained.
The minister opined that the growing profitability of Islamic Tourism will encourage the private sector in OIC countries to increase their investments in Islamic Tourism products. She projected that Islamic Tourism could become one of the greatest opportunities that would give the Ummah a stronger voice in world economics, improve the image of Islam, generate more employment opportunities and contribute to the development of infrastructure

Islamic group's health advice over Ramadan fasting

One of the UK's leading Islamic groups says it is concerned that Muslims who fast during the month of Ramadan despite being ill are putting their health at risk.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has issued a leaflet with advice on how to fast safely in the current hot weather.
The date of Ramadan this year means UK Muslims will have to abstain from food and water for up to 19 hours a day.

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We as doctors have to make the best of that situation to make sure it's as safe as it can be for them to fast, even if personally we don't agree with it”
Shamim IqbalRochadale GP
Muslims who are unwell, pregnant or travelling are all exempt from fasting.
Imam Ibrahim Mogra from the MCB said: "I would be very concerned about an individual who despite the dangers to their health would insist on fasting.
"It would be wrong and un-Islamic, fasting is a gift from God and not a punishment."
Those unable to fast often instead donate money to charities or provide food to the poor.
'I enjoy the struggle'
Ahbid Choudry, 34, was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when he was 13, a condition which left him unable to walk and with a weakened immune system.
abhid choudryAhbid Choudry has been advised not to fast during Ramadan because he has muscular dystrophy - but still does
Despite his illness, he decided to fast with the rest of his friends.
"Doctors have told me not to but they're the same doctors who told me I wouldn't be here at 22, so their opinion doesn't mean anything to me.
"Fasting's supposed to be a struggle and I enjoy the struggle," he said.
Ahbid's family has expressed concern about his wellbeing, deliberately choosing not to wake him for the customary pre-dawn meal known as Suhoor in the hope he will stop fasting. However, the sales adviser remains adamant he will continue to observe Ramadan.
"I believe it gives me wisdom, I believe it gives me strength and I believe that if I was able to do it for more than just one month, I would."

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Fasting's supposed to be a struggle and I enjoy the struggle”
Abhid Choudry
Safe fasting
The UK has a population of 2.7 million Muslims, of whom an estimated 325,000 have diabetes.
They are at higher risk of hypoglycaemia and dehydration during long fasts.
With more than two weeks of the Islamic holy month still remaining, doctors are urging those who are ill and want to fast to seek medical guidance first.
Shamim Iqbal, a GP from Rochdale, said it was important people who are unwell or on medication realise that doctors are there to support them.
She said: "It very much depends on the individual's illness. There are adjustments that can be made and so if you see your GP they can work around it.
"Patches and slow-release medication can be used, where you only need to take it every 12 hours or even every 24 hours."
She added that it was important that those who decide to fast despite being ill shouldn't be afraid of being judged by health professionals.
"They've come to a decision based on their beliefs. We as doctors have to make the best of that situation to make sure it's as safe as it can be for them to fast, even if personally we don't agree with it."

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

ZamZam Pullman Madinah to rise

JEDDAH - Accor HotelServices Middle East and Munshaat for Projects & Contracting Co on Tuesday signed a management agreement for a new upscale Pullman hotel in Madinah.

 The five-star ZamZam Pullman Madinah will consist of two towers, with a total of 834 rooms and suites in the holy city, a statement said.

Construction of the ZamZam Pullman is at advanced stage and is scheduled to be opened by September, in time for the Hajj season, the Islamic pilgrimage to Makkah.

"We are proud to sign another Pullman hotel with Munshaat, following the successful ZamZam Pullman in Makkah, which was rebranded in 2012," said Christophe Landais, chief operating officer for Accor HotelServices Middle East.

"The Kingdom is and has been an important market for Accor for nearly 30 years, offering strong growth opportunities given the huge increase in religious tourism, especially in the cities of Makkah and Madinah, which welcomes millions of pilgrims each year," he added.

The ZamZam Pullman Madinah is located 150 meters away from the Holy Mosque.

Monday, June 30, 2014

First-ever conference on halal tourism

Spain to host ever international conference on halal tourismEurope is hosting the first-ever international conference on halal tourism to look at how the industry can capitalise on one of the fastest growing sectors in the world.
The Halal Tourism Conference, being held on September 22 and 23, 2014, will bring together the global travel industry to discuss ways of tapping into this niche market.

The event, being hosted in Andalucia, Spain, aims to equip delegates with market intelligence, industry forecasts and trends to understand how to market to the lucrative Muslim consumer and benefit commercially.

According to the latest figures, the halal tourism sector was worth $140 billion in 2013 representing around 13 per cent of global travel expenditures. This figure is expected to reach $192b by 2020.

Organiser Tasneem Mahmood, from CMM, said the conference hopes to have attendance and representation from every region of the world and presents great opportunities for countries like UAE.

"Every country and business needs to look at Halal tourism because it is growing so rapidly and the Muslim consumer is increasing spend on leisure holidays. For a country like UAE, with a deep Islamic heritage and so much to offer, it presents a real opportunity to attract visitors," she said.

"Our research has shown there are so many countries and travel operators who can benefit from halal tourism but are currently missing out. Within Europe alone, there so many Muslim travellers for UAE to target," she added.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Malaysia introduces Islamic Tourism course

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia - Tourism Malaysia welcomed 24 senior government officers from 18 countries earlier this week for a course on Islamic Tourism.
Themed Understanding and Embracing the Opportunities for Sustainable Development the course was officially opened by the deputy director general of Tourism Malaysia Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin who also gave a presentation on the development of tourism in Malaysia.
Dato’ Haji Azizan said: “We understand the needs and requirements of Muslim travellers and they will undoubtedly find comfort and a peace of mind when they travel to Malaysia.”
The participants also had the opportunity to network with Tourism Malaysia officers and exchange ideas on the latest trend in tourism marketing and strategies.
Apart from visiting Tourism Malaysia’s head office at Putrajaya, the participants also visited Johor Bahru and Melaka, as well as the Islamic Arts Museum Kuala Lumpur and International Islamic University Malaysia.
Their program included lectures and presentations on Islamic Tourism by hoteliers, medical service providers, educational institutions and travel agencies.
The two-week training course was organised by the Islamic Tourism Centre for the 10th time under the Malaysian Technical Corporation Programme (MTCP).
The participants hailed from both the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries and non-Islamic countries comprising Indonesia, Gambia, Palestine, Sudan, Yemen, Tunisia, Iran, Oman, Egypt, Morocco, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Cambodia, Laos, Malawi, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.
The course helps participants to develop appropriate tour packages and marketing strategies that will fit the Islamic tourism source markets.

Friday, June 20, 2014

ADIB & Thomson Reuters announce global awards for ethical finance and Islamic banking innovation

UAE, 20 June 2014: Following the success of the inaugural Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge and Awards (EFICA) in 2013, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) and Thomson Reuters have announced that the awards for the 2014 awards are now open for submission.

The awards fall into three categories, namely the Islamic Finance Industry Development Award, the Ethical Finance Initiative Award, and the Lifetime achievement award. They are designed to inspire real change in the financial services industry by recognizing and rewarding innovation that can be put into practice.
Entries are being accepted from any institution, research centre, or individual interested in shaping the finance industry within an ethical framework with prizes of up to $100,000 offered. The awards follow a rigorous and transparent selection process that features an advisory board, which includes scholars and financial experts.
Tirad Al Mahmoud, CEO of ADIB, said "There is a hunger for more ethical and straight-forward banking in diverse markets. Innovation will be a driving force to bring us closer to meeting this demand and develop sustainable financial solutions that make a positive difference in the world. The EFICA awards aim to inspire this kind of innovation and honour people who are thinking creatively and working hard to improve current practices, and therefore to encourage progress across the industry."

Dr. Sayed Farook, Global Head of Islamic Capital Markets at Thomson Reuters added: "With more than USD 200 trillion of assets, the financial system has a disproportionate impact on the real economy. As such, influencing the ethical direction of the financial services industry can have a significant multiplier effect on the challenges facing the world."

" Thomson Reuters is proud to be organising this key initiative with our partner ADIB. We believe that as a good corporate citizen, we have a duty to demonstrate and exemplify ethics not only in our own actions, but also promote such initiatives to our banking and financial services customers, clients and stakeholders," added Dr. Sayed.

The awards drew significant interest last year from hundreds of individuals and institutions in 55 countries. A crowd funding organisation in Egypt and a UK-based Islamic financial advisory were selected as winners by a judging panel and the votes of 1000 delegates who attended the Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES) that took place in Dubai last November.
"We were pleased by the responses and the interest these awards aroused last year. We realized that the answers for a more ethical and sustainable banking environment are definitely out there if we look hard enough, and we urgently need to start putting them into practice," added Tirad Al Mahmoud.
The first category of the awards, the Islamic Finance Industry Development Award, offers a prize of $100,000 and aims to stimulate a tangible change in the development of the Islamic financial services industry that remains true to its ethical foundations. Three specific challenge areas are pre-defined by an advisory board and candidates will need to identify and propose actionable solutions to overcome these challenges.
The challenges are as follows:
1. Develop an Islamic credit card
2. Develop Finance solutions for start ups
3. Develop a case that shows why Islamic Finance is superior and more beneficial to customer and shareholders.
"The challenges reflect the requirements of the Islamic banking industry. It is time for the industry to focus on substance, rather than on form, and innovate to make products and services simple and straight forward. This will give us a universal appeal and drive future growth," said Tirad Al Mahmoud.
The second award, the Ethical Finance Initiative Award, offers a prize of $50,000 and aims to recognize previously implemented initiatives that demonstrate how the ethical application of financial services can deliver a sustainable positive impact on the society or the environment.
The final award is a Lifetime Achievement Award that will be conferred on an individual who has made a significant contribution and impact in the ethical practice of financial services.
Submissions for these three awards will be open from July 5 till August 5, 2014.
To learn more about the awards, guidelines for entry, executive board members and to download application forms, please visit

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Islamic tourism: Malaysia shares experience with international counterparts

PUTRAJAYA - Tourism Malaysia welcomed 24 senior government officers from 18 countries who are in Malaysia from 8 to 20 June, attending a course on Islamic Tourism entitled Understanding and Embracing the Opportunities for Sustainable Development.
 The participants were welcomed by the Deputy Director General of Tourism Malaysia Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin who also gave a presentation on the development of tourism in Malaysia.
Dato’ Haji Azizan in his speech said that Malaysia was an ideal destination for Islamic tourism as the country had all the amenities and facilities for Muslim travelers from all around the world.
We understand the needs and requirements of Muslim travelers and they will undoubtedly feel comfortable when they travel to Malaysia,” he added.
The participants also had the opportunity to network with Tourism Malaysia officers and exchange ideas on the latest trend in tourism marketing and strategies.
Apart from visiting Tourism Malaysia, the participants also visited Johor Bahru and Melaka, as well as the Islamic Arts Museum Kuala Lumpur and International Islamic University Malaysia. Their programme included lectures and presentations on Islamic Tourism by hoteliers, medical service providers, educational institutions and travel agencies. 
Short Course on Islamic Tourism entitled Understanding and Embracing the Opportunities for Sustainable Development 
This two-week training course is organised by the Islamic Tourism Centre for the tenth time under the Malaysian Technical Corporation Programme (MTCP).
The participants hailed from both the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries and non-Islamic countries comprising Indonesia, Gambia, Palestine, Sudan, Yemen, Tunisia, Iran, Oman, Egypt, Morocco, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Cambodia, Laos, Malawi, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.
The objectives of the course are:
i. To enable participants to understand the current global trends in travel and tourism and the emergence of Islamic travel and tourism;
ii. To help identify and understand the expectations of Muslim travelers;
iii. To explore the issues associated with the development, management and marketing of Islamic tourism.
iv. To help develop appropriate tour packages and marketing strategies for successful Muslim tourists arrivals to a destination; and
v. To share Malaysia’s best practice experiences for sustainable Islamic travel and tourism.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Malaysia Plans To Be A Pioneer of Islamic Wealth Management

Dataran Kewangan Darul Takaful, housing Islamic Banking & Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM) and Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA).
CEphoto, Uwe Aranas
Dataran Kewangan Darul Takaful, housing Islamic Banking & Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM) and Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA).

Malaysia hopes to be the first country in the world to introduce Islamic wealth management and champion new products under the Islamic financial system, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan.
According to him, Islamic wealth management is an attractive sub-sector and promises good returns in the financial services industry.
“We understand the concept of wealth management from the Shariah perspective that includes physical and spiritual wealth.
“This principle is contrary to conventional wealth management which focuses only on the physical or material wealth,” he told reporters after opening a conference on Islamic wealth management.
Datuk Ahmad said, having established themselves as a global leader in Islamic finance, Malaysia is currently the world’s third largest market for Shariah assets, namely takaful and sukuk, the products and services of Islamic banking.
Ahmad said, to boost Malaysia’s aspiration to be the center of intellectual excellence in Islamic finance, the government stepped up efforts in that direction.
“A few human resource development institutions, including the International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA), the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM) and the Asian Institute of Finance (AIF) have been established to achieve these intentions.
“I expect the Islamic wealth management will evolve to the next stage in the Islamic finance industry with the availability of infrastructure in terms of human resource development for the Islamic financial institutions and expertise that is existing today,” he said.
The two day conference was organised by the Malaysian Financial Planning Council and the Labuan International Business and Finance. It acts as a platform for networking and exchange of ideas and views on the internal operations of the Islamic financial industry.
More than 300 delegates consisting of policy-makers, research institutes, government agencies and academia participated in the conference.
This article was originally published on mStar and translated by Ezila Kamari with their kind permission.

Read more: Malaysia aims to be a pioneer in Islamic wealth management