gateway to islamic finance interview - Institute of Islamic Banking ...
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NEWHORIZON July–September 2008

Dubai Women’s College students visit IIBI

A group of students studying an Advanced

Diploma in Insurance at Dubai Women’s

College, Ali Abdul Rahman Nasser Ayed Al

Otaibi, Naeima Ali, Salma Ahmed

Mohammed Ali Al Housani, Shaikha

Malalla Khamis Ali, Shireen Salem Khamis

Sulaiman Ali, Sumeya Ahmed Juma Hussain

Abdulla, with Mayada Mahmood Ibrahim

Bin Essa as their chaperone and Graham

Spriggs as their teacher, were received by

Mohammad Shafique, programme

development co-ordinator of the IIBI. The

purpose of their visit was to learn more

about the development of Islamic insurance

(takaful) in the UK market.

The goal of Dubai Women’s College (founded

in 1989) is to provide an exceptional learning

environment for young Emirati women that

enables them to ‘practice the future’ by

developing professional excellence and ethical

commitment for leadership roles in a rapidly

developing local economy, characterised by

Emiratisation and globalisation. Spriggs

commented that the study tour to the UK was

an opportunity for the students to see how

the country’s market operates, as well as

understand some of the HR (human

resources) and cultural issues and compare

these to the UAE.

The group was invited to attend a lecture

by Mohammad Khan, director of takaful

and retakaful services at Pricewaterhouse-

Coopers, on Islamic insurance, organised by

the IIBI. Following the lecture there was a

separate session with Khan, where the

students had the opportunity to seek further

clarification and information on the UK

market. At the IIBI’s request, Omar Shaikh,

member of the IIBI and Ernst & Young’s

team on private equity transaction advisory

services, gave an overview of the

developments of Islamic banking in the UK.

He also highlighted the difference in the

regulatory and taxation regime faced by

Islamic financial institutions operating in

the UK and in the Middle East, as he has

experience of working in London and

Bahrain. Shafique updated the students on

the role of the IIBI in providing continuing

professional education and training in both

Islamic banking and insurance. The

students also shared their knowledge of the

local market and developments and

mentioned that not all Muslims are taking

up Islamic banking and insurance products.

The students were required to write a

report on their experiences when they

returned to Dubai. They specifically

commented on the IIBI presentation, saying

that it had been very informative and had

opened an interesting debate on the

arrangement of Islamic insurance and its

potential for growth in both the UK and the

Gulf region. They found Khan to be very

knowledgeable and an excellent speaker

who explained the issues in a clear and

entertaining way.

The IIBI also arranged for the group to visit

Principle Insurance, the UK’s first

independent takaful company recently

authorised by the FSA (Financial Services

Authority), the UK regulator. They were

received by Alun Williams and briefed

about the products that the company will

be offering, and the market potential for

Islamic insurance in the UK. The students

found this briefing very relevant as Mr

Williams talked about some of the issues

faced in trying to build an Islamic company

and ensure that the market for the products

is identified and reached.

As a token of appreciation to the IIBI for

support in facilitating their visit, the group

presented an engraved glass plaque which was

accepted by Shafique on behalf of the IIBI.


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