IBA’s ‘Islamic Finance in the Middle East’ conference to address Islamic banking regulatory challenges

IBA’s ‘Islamic Finance in the Middle East’ conference to address Islamic banking regulatory challenges

Al Tamimi & Company Advocates and Legal Consultants, one of the leading law firms in the Arabian Gulf region, today announced that it will co-chair the upcoming International Bar Association’s (IBA) ‘Islamic Finance in the Middle East’ conference.

The IBA, which is the world’s leading organization of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies, has recently opened its new Middle East office in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in order to keep abreast of local and regional developments.

Banking professionals and legal experts who will gather on the 13th of January will discuss pertinent issues including: Islamic banking techniques and their conformity with the Sharia Laws, derivatives and Sharia complications; securisation and Sharia compliance; Islamic financing techniques underpinning sukuk structures and GCC laws versus Sharia Law.

Mr. Husam Hourani, Partner and Head of the Banking & Finance department at Al Tamimi & Company will deliver the opening remarks and serve as moderator during the conference.

‘Islamic finance has grown considerably during the past decade. In a world where conventional interest-based finance is the dominant framework, Islamic banking faces many challenges that must be addressed,’ said Husam Hourani, Partner and Head of Banking & Finance at Al Tamimi & Company. ‘Currently, the Islamic finance market is estimated at Dhs1.84 trillion ($500bn) worldwide with an annual growth of 10 to 15%.’

In the last decade, Islamic finance saw as an increasing number of individuals and companies choosing to finance their projects in accordance with Sharia principles. Experts in the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) attribute this growth to the energized economic boom there which is acting as a catalyst for the burgeoning of the Islamic financing sector. According to a recent Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) report, ‘The value of Islamic project finance deals is projected to grow to Dhs110,ooom ($30,000m) in 2012.’

More than 20 papers will be presented in the conference cover different topics include: the challenges facing the Islamic finance industry, the growth potential for Islamic finance in the GCC, the regulatory and compliance issues affecting the development of Islamic financial markets, derivatives and Sharia complications securitization, Sharia compliance, the developments in the sukuk market in the region, and the GCC Laws versus Sharia Law.

The conference will also be co-chaired by Allen & Overy, a leading London-based international law firm.

The IBA, which was established in 1947, has a membership of 30,000 individual lawyers and more than 195 bar associations and law societies around the world. The international law organization has considerable expertise in providing assistance to the global legal community, influencing the development of international law reform and shaping the future of the legal profession throughout the world.

The IBA will hold its ‘Annual Conference’ in Dubai in 2011, which will be the first IBA Annual Conference in the history of the IBA to be held in the Middle East.

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