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30 August 2011

UAE university to offer MBA in Sharia-compliant banking

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By Gillian Duncan

Islamic banking is one of the world's fastest-growing financial sectors, and one UAE university is preparing to capitalise on its popularity.

The Canadian University of Dubai will launch its MBA in Islamic banking at Najah Education and Careers exhibition in Abu Dhabi in October.

The course will teach traditional MBA topics such as business strategy and managerial finance, in addition to those specific to Islam such as accounting in Islamic financial institutions.

"The MBA in Islamic banking has been introduced in response to the increasing popularity of this type of banking in the region," said Dr Muhammed Kabir, the university's vice president, academic affairs.

"(The course) aims to equip postgraduates with the necessary skills to manage banking activity that is consistent with the principles of Islamic law."

The sector experienced a surge in interest after the last global financial downturn.

A report released by the IMF last year found that Islamic banks tended to be more versatile during the crisis because Sharia principles precluded them from financing or investing in the kind of instruments that affected conventional banks. Islamic banks also have smaller portfolios and lower leverage.

"In the post-financial crisis world, people are looking for more resilient and ethical alternatives to conventional interest-based financing," said Atif Khan, the managing director of the Ethica Institute in Dubai, which offers an online Islamic finance training certificate.

Hamdan Bin Mohammed University also offers a Master of Islamic Banking and Finance.

(Courtesy: The National, UAE)

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