Estimated value of industry is currently more than $250 billion Sukuk, or Islamic bond, is key to supply of funds to governments and several sectors and it will continue to grow. This was echoed on Monday at the inaugural two-day Sukuk Congress Middle East and North Africa . It was jointly orgnaised by Dubai Economic Council (DEC) in partnership with the International Center for Quality and Productivity (IQPC). It aims to create an active dialogue to discuss the most important issues related the Sukuk industry in the region at present. Today sukuk represents one of the most important financial instrument that have spread over a wide area of the globe, they are not used exclusively in Muslim countries, but its proliferation has spanned to many countries of the non-Islamic world due to its vital role in strengthening the financial sector and the flow of investment and productivity on the one hand and the creation of income and wealth on the other hand which by extension is reflected positively in economic growth rates. Sukuk have seen high demand over the past decade and it has become the favoured method to finance government projects and corporate expansion, where the estimated value of sukuk industry is currently more than $250 billion . The UAE has maintained its position as a leader in the region and has continued to revitalise the sukuk industry during the last year by originating the highest percentage of issuances, as well as being ranked third globally by value of listings. Where the value of listings exceeded $100 billion , compared with $53 billion in 2012, and this is expected to increase in the coming years as a result of the growing global demand for sukuk estimated at a quarter of a trillion dollars. "I believe that the sukuk market will continue the pace of growth in the current year and in the coming years, especially in light of the momentum taking the market since 2010 as the effects of the economic crisis dissipate in the countries of the region, and the growing awareness and popularity of dealing with this asset that is compliant with the Shariah," DEC Secretary General Hani Al Hamli said in his address. "In addition to these factors changes in the laws and regulatory framework have been brought about by many of the regions countries due to the growing dependency on sukuk to finance ambitious developments especially infrastructure projects," Al Hamli added. Symon Rubens , managing director for the Middle East , Africa and South Asia at IQPC , in his opening remarks talked about sukuk market globally and regionally. Rubens also talked about the challenges and opportunities for the sukuk. Mukesh Sodani , chief financial officer of flydubai, indicated that the budget airline might consider the issuance of sukuk next year as an option."We have not looked at bonds yet but we feel in 2015 we will explore that option and sukuk will certainly be interesting," Sodani said at the conference. "The key is diversification of our financing and that's why we are interested in sukuk," he explained. Dubai's low-cost carrier grew rapidly and touches more than 65 destinations.
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