By Hassan Bashir
DUBAI, UAE, (WAM) – The Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) Monday announced the theme for the fifth edition of the Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES 2021), organised this year in partnership with Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Dubai Chamber) and with the strategic support of Refinitiv, a London Stock Exchange Group company.
Themed ‘Driving Transformation’, the largest convention of Islamic economy stakeholders and experts is set to run from November 1-2, 2021, on the sidelines of Expo 2020 Dubai. GIES 2021 aims to provide insights into the opportunities and challenges for the global Islamic economy in the upcoming period and to spotlight latest trends, policy developments and learning experiences.
According to the latest State of the Global Islamic Economy Report (SGIE 2020/21) developed by DinarStandard, consumers spent US$2.02 trillion in 2019 across the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, fashion, travel, and media/recreation sectors, reflecting a 3.2 percent year-on-year growth from 2018. In addition, Islamic finance assets were valued at US$2.88 trillion during the same year.
The SGIE Report forecasted an 8 percent decline in global spending in 2020 for these Islamic economy sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, all of these sectors are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels of spending by end-2021.
Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the Islamic economy continues to see robust year-on-year growth, propelled by emerging factors such as the rise of ethical consumption, digital connectivity, participation of top global brands, and the surge in trade among the countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, chief executive officer of DIEDC, said: “Dubai is scheduled to welcome the world on October 1, 2021, for the highly-anticipated Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo ever to be hosted in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia region. The Expo will set the stage to usher in the fifth edition of GIES, and we are committed to leveraging its immense advantages to attract stakeholders to the Summit and further enhance the growth of the Islamic economy.”
Speaking on this year’s edition of the Summit, Abdulla Al Awar said: “Under the ‘Driving Transformation’ umbrella theme, GIES 2021 will emphasise three subthemes – innovation, connectivity, and impact. As the world’s largest and most inclusive gathering of Islamic economy stakeholders spanning thousands of participants from across markets and sectors, the Summit serves as the ideal platform to discuss the pillars that will drive the Islamic economy, moving forward. Considering the incredible shifts we’ve witnessed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the three subthemes will undoubtedly play an integral role in shaping the future of the Islamic economy industry.”
Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, executive director, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “More than ever, humanity needs to come together to remember what unites us, to celebrate our spirit and be inspired by the greatest examples of collaboration, innovation and cooperation from around the world – this is at the very heart of our Expo.
“Held during the six months of Expo, GIES 2021 honours this commitment – bringing together representatives, from a variety of sectors and markets across the world, to drive forward the global Islamic economy and help shape a better, post-pandemic future for us all.”
Hassan Al Hashemi, vice president, international relations, Dubai Chamber, further added that the Global Islamic Economy Summit 2021, with its innovative themes, will be an ideal platform to identify the changing patterns of Islamic economic sectors in the midst of current challenges, and will contribute to identifying numerous opportunities, while supporting Dubai’s vision and efforts to become the global capital of Islamic economy. He pointed out that the Islamic economy is flexible and able to adapt to the changes in the global economic system, thus helping the private sector to develop and grow.
Those interested can stay up to date with the latest announcements via the website of the event ( www.giesummit.com ) and the official social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.
In drumming up support for the upcoming edition of GIES, DIEDC organised a series of virtual sessions throughout 2020, including workshops, panel discussions, webinars, and more. The sessions drew the participation of leading regional and international experts, and served as digital forums to examine evolving trends in the Islamic economy industry.
The previous edition of GIES in 2018 attracted more than 3,000 participants. Key topics included rapid digitalisation and the effects of the global economic shifts on the Islamic economy landscape.