DIFC Governor Opens World Insurance Forum 2008

His Excellency Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), today officially opened the 2008 World Insurance Forum (WIF) at the DIFC. The prestigious three day event, which is being held outside of Bermuda for the first time, draws together top executives from the world's leading insurers, reinsurers, brokers and capital markets, both as speakers and delegates.

Speaking at the official opening of the event, His Excellency Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman said: "The WIF's choice of the DIFC as its first host location acknowledges the rapid progress we have made in creating an ultra-modern, highly efficient and well-regulated financial centre to serve both our region and the world. As the region's global financial centre, we are determined to promote the development of the insurance industry in the UAE and across the Middle East and, by hosting the WIF; we are able to showcase the DIFC as the ideal hub for the international insurance industry."

The UAE is the largest insurance market in the Middle East, growing by 27% in nominal terms in 2006, with total premium volumes reaching $2.7bn. In addition, the region's market for the Islamic insurance, Takaful, has experienced unprecedented growth in recent times and looks set to continue this growth in line with global demand. The global Takaful market is expected to grow by some 15-20% per annum to reach USD 7.4 billion in annual contributions by 2015.

The World Insurance Forum brings an impressive line-up of regional and international speakers to the DIFC, including: His Excellency Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the DIFC; the Rt. Hon. Lord Patten of Barnes CH, Former Governor of Hong Kong; Her Excellency Sheika Lubna Al-Qasimi, Minister, U.A.E Ministry of Foreign Trade, Yassir Albaharna, CEO of the Arab Insurance Group; Fareed Lutfi, President of Dubai Insurance Group; Jeremy Cox, Deputy CEO of the Bermuda Monetary Authority; and Bradley L. Kading, President & Executive Director of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers.

Following the theme of the Forum, "Where West meets East...The New Frontier", the first day of the agenda will focus on global macro issues, featuring world leader opinions on today's evolving risks and challenges. The day will include a presentation by the Rt. Hon. Lord Patten of Barnes CH on his "Perspectives on the advantages of globalization, and understanding terrorism in today's world". It will also feature an address from Dr. James Martin, author and founder of the James Martin 21st Century School at the University of Oxford, on "Exploring man's impact on the global environment". The afternoon sessions will include discussions based on the morning's presentations.

The second day will look at industry micro issues, consisting of perspectives on selected industry matters. Day two will be opened by Her Excellency Sheika Lubna Al-Qasimi, Minister, U.A.E. Ministry of Foreign Trade and will feature topical discussions on the magnitude of economic, human, and natural perils.

Opened by Nasser Al Shaali, CEO of the Dubai International Financial Centre, day three will provide an insight into global and regional opportunities, offering views on business potential in markets across the East and West. Day three will also feature key discussions by a prestigious panel of international regulators on regulatory issues affecting the insurance industry. The day will close with an authentic Arabian Desert dinner allowing delegates an opportunity to experience the regional culture.

The final day will then conclude the event with a tour of the DIFC, allowing delegates a chance to find out more about the Dubai market.

The World Insurance Forum is being held at the DIFC from 17th to 20th March 2008. For more information, please visit the website -www.worldinsuranceforum.com.

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