Working in Dubai? Here’s why you should take Islamic finance courses

Domain knowledge and experience being built up in the region as more and more get specialized qualifications

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Dubai has set itself an ambitious goal of becoming the global center of Islamic Economy, overtaking established cities like London and Kuala Lumpur in this domain. To make this a reality, an important area that needs immediate attention would be to build up a trained cadre of professionals in Islamic finance and banking.

To fulfill such as role, prestigious players like the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) have stepped in with courses catering to basic skill sets to higher levels of Islamic financé and banking.

Matthew Cowan, CISI’s regional director, says that his institute’s course marks a “demonstrable form of competency.”
“Having a benchmark qualification from a chartered body demonstrates that competency,” he said.

Cowan is very positive about Dubai’s moves to become the topmost center of the global Islamic economy. “I certainly think the vision and ambition is achievable and I have seen moves in this direction of making it achievable.”

The CISI is providing Islamic finance qualifications in Dubai. “One of the pillars of Islamic economy is Islamic finance. People who are taking Islamic finance qualifications are on the increase, to the extent that we have introduced a new, broader course of Islamic finance qualification -- Fundamentals of Islamic Finance. And one of the key ingredients of making the Islamic economy work and be successful is the skill sets of the people in those industries,” he said.

CISI at present has two separate qualifications – one for Islamic Banking that has been running for some time. Later, a course in fundamentals of Islamic finance was introduced, which provides the basic touch points of the Islamic finance industry.

These courses are very short and involves self-study which one can do in one’s own time. Or you can take training as well, provided by third party training companies. “We recommend 70 hours of study time for the exam,” said Cowan.

The exam itself is very short – an hour-long, with 30 questions about very basic principles of Islamic banking and 70 per cent pass mark.

Cowan was excited about the in-depth diploma that his institute is launching next year. “Islamic Finance industry is seen as a significant and growing industry, not just in the Middle East but also in markets like Malaysia and some of the other markets that we can operate in. And certainly, we have seen in the UAE, the demand for those qualifications rising. Last year, out of the 1,000 examinations in Islamic Finance we conducted globally, 400 were in Dubai.”

The majority of exams in financial services in the region are counducted in the UAE – 3,600 out of around 5,000. These are vocational level courses, with no academic prerequisites and are designed to help people do their job better and have a better understanding of the industry they operate in.

“The UAE is becoming recognized as a center for Islamic Finance. Like all areas of finance, it requires specialist knowledge and experience. The more people with this knowledge the better it is for the industry and for Dubai,” according to Nour al-Hammoury, Market Strategist at ADS Securities.

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