CEO of DIFC Authority Presents Islamic Business and Finance Awards



Hosted by CPI Financial, the event honoured banks, law firms, IT providers, takaful operators and others working in the fast-growing Islamic business and finance industry

In its ongoing commitment to the growth and development of Islamic finance, the DIFC served as patron of the 2009 Islamic Business & Finance awards and gala dinner on Monday, and the CEO of the DIFC Authority presented the Lifetime Achievement, Banker of the Year and Outstanding Contribution to the Industry awards during the black-tie event.

A total of 26 honours were handed out to banks, law firms, IT companies, operators in the field of takaful and others during an evening hosted by CPI Financial, publisher of Islamic Business & Finance magazine. The event was a celebration of excellence in an industry that continues to exhibit exceptional double-digit growth despite the global economic recession and credit crisis.

“Recognising the best that the industry has to offer over the past year is an important way to continue to raise the bar across the industry at large,” said Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority. “And so these awards match a top priority of the DIFC: to support a thriving Islamic finance sector. We do this in a variety of ways, including by providing within DIFC an environment that contributes to the expansion of this industry through a supportive legal, regulatory, human capital and support service infrastructure.”

The awards, acknowledged to be one of the most distinguished events within the financial industry, were first introduced in 2005 in response to the extraordinary growth rate of the Islamic financial institutions.

In a speech made before the awards were conferred, Farhan Al Bastaki, Executive Director of Islamic Finance for the DIFC Authority, noted that the industry was at a crucial point in its development, after having shown strong growth and resilience in the face of a global recession and credit crisis.

“This provides a unique opportunity to clearly and powerfully articulate what Sharia-compliance means and what Islamic finance really offers the global industry and its customers, whether retail, corporate or institutional. Such awards encourage just the excellence in innovation and pioneering new products and services that our industry needs to continue to meet the requirements of this growing industry and its expanding customer base.”

The Islamic finance industry currently is estimated to be an US$840 billion industry, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) averaging 10-20%, such that the industry could reach nearly US$1 trillion next year, according to CPI Financial data.

Nigel Rodrigues, Managing Director of CPI Financial added: “I am delighted and privileged to have had DIFC as the Patron of the 4th Islamic Business & Finance Awards, the event was an outstanding success with the highest number of guests attending ever” commented Nigel Rodrigues, Chief Executive Officer of CPI Financial”.

A carefully selected panel of international judges, including past award winners, industry observers and analysts, participated in the winner selection process, and created a shortlist of Islamic institutions across the globe.

Registered readers of Islamic Business & Finance and registered users of the website cast their votes online. These were then thoroughly analysed and the final winners were then selected

The 2009 winners that Abdullah Mohammed Al Awar delivered the awards to are: Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Hashim, Lifetime Achievement Award – Malaysia; Dr. Abdulaziz Bin Naif Al Orayer- Bahrain, Outstanding Contribution to Islamic Finance and Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Omar – Kuwait; Islamic Banker of the Year.

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