Category Archives: Awards

Absa Islamic Banking: Taking care of Muslim Travellers

Absa Islamic Banking: Taking care of Muslim Travellers

Absa Islamic Banking has identified a need to offer Muslims the option of Shariah compliant financial products when they travel, so that they have the peace of mind of operating within the dictates of Shariah Law.

Absa Islamic Banking won the 2006 Deal of the Year Award for South Africa from the international publication, Islamic Finance News, for one of its innovative products.

Recently there has been huge interest both in South African and globally in the development of Islamic Banking as an alternative solution for Muslim customers who wish to bank in a Shariah compliant manner.

To satisfy this need, Absa International Banking, in collaboration with ABSA Islamic Banking, has launched Shariah compliant International Banking retail travel products. These products include Travellers Cheques, Foreign Banknotes and the sale of Cash Passport Cards.

The Absa Islamic International Travel Product is delivered in a branded pack that identifies it as being from Absa Islamic Banking, to provide the reassurance Muslims require that their financial travel needs are being catered for in a manner in keeping with Shari’ah law.

FWU Group receives award for Best Takaful Operator 2007

FWU Group receives award for Best Takaful Operator 2007

FWU Group has been awarded Best Takaful Operator at The Islamic Business and Finance Awards 2007 Ceremony held recently by CPI Financial.

Munich-based company received the Award for its excellence in providing its technology solutions, product expertise and global experience in administering the distribution of Takaful products through various local, regional, and international business partnerships.

The prestigious event, which took place at The Godolphin Ballroom at The Emirates Towers in Dubai, was attended by a host of highly influential guests representing the most prominent Islamic banking, finance, and investment institutions from around the world. Dr. Manfred J. Dirrheimer, CEO and Founder of FWU Group, accepted the Award for the Group.

Mr. Abdul Hadi Shayif, Chairman of the International Advisory Board for FWU Group, was also present during the ceremony, as well as a number of senior guests representing some of the Group’s partner companies from across the industry.

‘We are very proud of the Award for Best Takaful Operator. It is truly gratifying and represents another milestone achievement for the Group,’ said Dr. Dirrheimer, who flew in from Munich to attend the evening. He added, ‘We would like to thank our partners, both Takaful companies and distributors, who have contributed immensely to our success with their dedication and cooperation in the rapidly growing Islamic finance industry.’

The Group has registered phenomenal growth in the region, securing a multitude of agreements with leading financial and Takaful insurance establishments in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Malaysia and Pakistan. Through these agreements, FWU’s banking partners would be able to offer Unit-Linked Family Takaful and Savings plans and related products to their customers.

‘Our teams have made admirable efforts to ensure that FWU Group provides its partner companies and establishments with the most professional and experienced service and knowledge to offer their customers a truly profitable investment within the guidelines of Islamic Shari’ah,’ said Mr. Nicholas Owen, Partner & Member of the FWU International Executive Board, who is based in the Group’s Regional Headquarters office in Dubai Internet City.

FWU Group has also received 3 other prestigious awards in 2007, including the EUROMONEY 2007 Islamic Finance Awards in the category ‘Best Life Takaful Provider’, the World Finance 2007 Award in the category ‘Takaful Life and General’, and the Globexa Communications 2007 ‘Financial Bridges Award for Best Islamic Finance Organization.’ The Islamic Business and Finance Award is yet another recognition of the Group’s exceptional performance in the industry.

The Islamic Business & Finance Awards 2007 are administered by CPI Financial, which publishes a number of authoritative magazines on the global finance industry, such as Banker Middle East, Private Equity & Hedge Funds and Islamic Business & Finance. The IB&F Awards recognize exceptional performers in various sectors of the Islamic Business and Finance industry around the world. Winners are voted for by the readers of Islamic Business & Finance Magazine from a list of nominations by a panel of rating and consulting firms, based on their performance over the last twelve months.

Globally, Takaful – insurance that is compliant with key Islamic Shari’ah tenants and based on the concept of collective insurance – is currently estimated to be a US$2.3 billion market, with the Middle East region accounting for 46 percent of total sales, according to the Bahrain Insurance Association.

Global Islamic Finance industry comes together for Awards

Global Islamic Finance industry comes together for Awards

The suspense within the Islamic finance industry eased last week when winners of the international Islamic Business & Finance Awards were announced at a ceremony in Dubai. Following an overwhelming response in online votes and careful analysis of entries, the Awards ceremony brought together 250 industry professionals from the Gulf region and beyond, to celebrate corporate and individual excellence in the industry.

While international organisations and individuals managed to scoop three of the seventeen prizes, it was the Gulf-based institutions that dominated the overall awards.

The top prize of ‘Best Islamic Bank’ went to Dubai Islamic Bank. In addition, individual prizes were awarded to exceptional finance professionals whose efforts have paved the way for successful Islamic finance. The title of ‘Islamic Banker of the Year’ was awarded to Badlisyah Abdul Ghani from Malaysia, while Adnan Abdulqader Al Mussallam from Kuwait was honoured with a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ and Bahrain’s Majid Al Sayed Bader Al-Refai with recognition for ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Industry’.The annual awards, running for the second year, are currently the recognised Industry Awards event across the globe, and are hosted in a different country of the GCC and other Islamic finance capitals every year.

“With all eyes now on the Islamic finance industry due its constant solid performance and its promise of stability and success, it has become vital to have performance benchmarks for this industry,” says Paul McNamara, Managing Editor and Associate Publisher of CPI Financial, which publishes Islamic Business & Finance magazine and organizes the industry Awards.
“Encouraging competition and awarding recognition can only help to spur greater interest and development. This year’s response to the Awards is an excellent example of what has become an increasingly vibrant, mainstream and global industry with a lot of clout and even greater potential.”

The Islamic Business & Finance Awards were launched in response to the phenomenal growth of the Islamic finance industry, currently estimated at $500 billion. Readers of Islamic Business & Finance magazine from across the world cast their votes for winners from a shortlist created by a judging panel of rating and consulting organisations. More information on the Awards is available on

The complete list of winners is as follows:
– Best Islamic Bank – Dubai Islamic Bank
– Best Islamic Retail Bank – CIMB Islamic
– Best Islamic Investment Bank – Gulf Finance House
– Best Islamic Investment House – Investment Dar
– Best Islamic Mortgage Provider – Amlak Finance
– Best New Product – Kuwait Finance House (Bahrain)
– Best Takaful Operator – FWU Group
– Best Islamic Finance Advisory Firm – Yasaar Limited
– Best Islamic Finance Law Firm – Norton Rose
– Best Islamic Corporate Finance – Doha Islamic
– Best Islamic Finance Wealth Management Firm – Dubai Islamic Bank
– Best Advertising/ Marketing Campaign – QIB
– Best New Islamic Bank – Masraf Al Rayan
– Best Re-Branding of an Islamic Bank – QIB
– Islamic Banker of the Year – Badlisyah Abdul Ghani
– Lifetime Achievement Award – Adnan Abdulqader Al Mussallam
– Outstanding Contribution to the Industry – Majid Al Sayed Bader Al-Refai

Dubai Islamic Bank wins Best Islamic Bank and Best Islamic Wealth Management Firm awards

Dubai Islamic Bank wins Best Islamic Bank and Best Islamic Wealth Management Firm awards

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has received the Best Islamic Bank Award and the Best Islamic Finance Wealth Management Firm award at the Islamic Business and Finance Awards 2007 organised by CPI Financial Publications.

Khalid Al Kamda, Managing Director, Dubai Islamic Bank Group, accepted the Best Islamic Bank Award and during a gala ceremony that was held on Wednesday, December 12, 2007, in Dubai. Adel Rahman, Senior Vice President, Head of Wealth Management, DIB, received the Best Islamic Finance Wealth Management Firm Award. The ceremony was attended by CEOs and top officials representing several banks and financial institutions.

Al Kamda said: ‘We are proud to receive the Best Islamic Bank Award. This award is recognition of DIB’s strategic vision, our execution expertise, management depth and our belief in Islamic banking principles.’

He added: ‘The Best Islamic Finance Wealth Management Firm Award is also a manifestation of the hard work and innovation that DIB is known for. The bank has successfully developed and structured innovative products that meet the requirements of customers in the area of wealth management.’

‘Winning both awards is a triumph for the bank’s staff and management, and confirms the strength not only of the bank’s offering to customers but also of its direction and strategy. Finally, the award personifies DIB’s ambitions and international recognition, especially when one considers the many other accolades the bank has received,’ he concluded.

Masraf Al Rayan named ‘Best New Islamic Bank’

Masraf Al Rayan named ‘Best New Islamic Bank’

Masraf Al Rayan, the GCC’s only fully-fledged Islamic investment and commercial bank with an entirely Sharia’a compliant portfolio of products, has become the first Qatari bank to earn the accolade of ‘Best New Islamic Bank’ from the region’s most prestigious financial publication, Islamic Business and Finance.

Mr. Nasser Al-Abdulla, General Manager Retail Banking, received the award on behalf of Masraf Al Rayan at a ceremony at the Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai, where he expressed his thanks to the readers of Islamic Business & Finance Magazine, who voted for Masraf Al Rayan.

‘The Islamic Banking and Finance Awards are the benchmark for the Islamic banking industry. Masraf Al Rayan is proud to join an impressive list of the world’s most prominent Islamic banks, fund and investment management houses,’ commented Al-Abdulla.

Masraf Al Rayan has consistently drawn praise for its innovative products and high standard of customer service since its formation. This first major award comes at a particularly significant time for the bank, which has recently celebrated its first anniversary.

‘To be named ‘Best New Islamic Bank’ by such a prestigious publication is a tribute to the banks quest for excellence and dedication to consistently delivering superior customer satisfaction, which is at the centre of everything we do,’ commented Mr. Hussain Fakhri, Executive Manager of Marketing and Communication, Masraf Al Rayan.

‘Masraf Al Rayan is committed to protecting and growing the assets of our customers and shareholders. Today’s ground-breaking Sharia’a compliant products and expansion of our branch network will mean an impressive return for shareholders over the next few years,’ said Al-Abdulla.

Presenting the award, Islamic Business & Finance Editor Paul McNamara commented: ‘The Islamic Business & Finance Awards 2007 recognize and reward excellence throughout the global Islamic finance community. In the ‘Best New Islamic Bank’ category, Masraf Al Rayan was the clear winner, having accomplished in 12 months what most banks take years to do.’