The UAE is ranked third in an analysis of Islamic Fintech start-ups, according to a survey by Bloomberg Intelligence, issued today. Malaysia and the United Kingdom are ranked first and second.
The analysis, published to coincide with the UAE’s Innovation Month and carried out for Bloomberg by Edmond Christou, finds that tailored regulation and clarity on rules could aid the small and medium-sized Fintech outlook. Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer (P2P) financing could be a game-changer in Islamic finance, it suggests, giving wider reach and potential to close the gap for small and medium enterprises, SMEs, which generated about 60 per cent of UAE GDP in 2014, with Dubai’s regulator introducing the first tailored regulation for crowdfunding in the GCC.
The analysis suggests that new opportunities to invest in gold, integrated by Islamic Fintech blockchain technology, may revive its appeal and lift demand. Consumer demand for the metal in UAE and Saudi Arabia fell by 5 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, to 104 metric tons, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.
Development of Shariah-complaint, gold-backed products following the introduction of the Shariah Gold Standard, may encourage investors to place their money in gold, seeing it as a safe-haven metal, the analysis said that it noted that the Islamic Financial Services Board has predicted that Shariah-complaint assets will expand by 261 percent compared to the 2015 figure, to represent US$ 6.5 trillion by 2020.