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Equity Markets – Best Investment Option for Muslims

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 13 January 2021 | Posted in , , , , ,

By Imtiaz Merchant

Muslims should take advantage of the boom witnessed in the Indian Equity markets and they should not get left behind in the economic growth that is being witnessed throughout the country and likely continue for years to come. India is one of the fastest growing nations in the world with the GDP growing over 7 % for 2017-18 and expected to grow above 8 to 10 in 2021 onwards.

To be part of the main stream of the economy and get equal investment opportunity, Equity stock markets (The Islamic way) provides the most cost-effective investment solution for the Muslims. Equity markets have proved that they are not only the most cost effective, transparent, liquid and conducive to small and big size investors as a means of investment, nonetheless history has also proved that it outperforms and gives better returns than all other asset classes where return on investments as the parameter considered. In the long term a developing economy, equity (stock) market always goes up and up. though volatility is not ruled, so considering the inherent benefits Muslims must invest in the Equity Market.


On the onset Investment in equity markets is Islamically permissible since it is based on Musharaka (Partnership) principle where the profit is earned with the risk of loss, where in profit and losses are shared (PLS). With Ulema’s (Islamic scholar) guidance and approval it is now possible to invest in regulated Equity markets, of course with some stipulated conditions, and in fact Investment in equity markets the Islamic way is probably the best and only option available for the Muslims in a regulated environment. The government body SEBI being liberal about shariah based investment makes more sense to invest in equity markets after having been approved by the Islamic Scholar.

Now we investigate the inherent advantage investments in equities the Shariah way have over other forms of structured investments.

Fixed Interest (Riba) Based Investments (Banks)

Fixed interest (Riba) based investments like the Saving Bank deposit, Bank FDR; Postal savings, Debentures, Bonds etc. are strictly prohibited in Islam. Allah says in the Holy Quran,‘O those who believe, do not eat Riba (usury or interest) multiplied many times. And fear Allah, so that you may be successful.’ (Holy Quran Al-Imran verse 130). Islam since inception has discouraged interest based fixed saving and withholding wealth, but it has encouraged Business& Investments. ‘Profit should be earned only with the risk of losses’, in equity investment the profit and loss are shared in proportion to the investments made. Thus, investment in equity market is in accordance to the Quran and Hadeeth injunctions.

Investment in Real Estate

Investment in Real Estate / Properties, although permissible in Islam but it has many disadvantages over equities. First, Equity Market is well regulated by SEBI and Real Estate market is not regulated by any institutions, unit size is concern, it is not possible for every individual to buy property since the investment involved is huge, whereas one can invest in equity for an amount as low as Rs. One thousand and there is no upper limit. Secondly, property is subject to a lot of legal paper work and one has to go through a very cumbersome procedure to acquire properties. However, it is very easy to buy and sell shares by becoming the member of SEBI registered broker. Thus buying and selling shares is as easy as snapping your fingers. There is often a threat of encroachment of the property which involves costly litigation. Equity shares have a big advantage here since the stocks purchased get directly deposited in the investor's D-mat account where it is in the safe custody and one can sell them whenever he desires to sell. Further If returns on investments is considered as a parameter than historically it’s proved that returns earned in equity investments is superior to all the asset classes including the real estate over a long term. The Real Estate has given an annualized return of 8 to 9 percent whereas equity has given a yield of 12 to 15 percent. Finally One can make partial withdrawals from equities and get the sale proceeds in maximum three days (T+2),whereas it is not possible to get part withdrawals in the real estate, one has to sell the entire property and the payment proceeds sometimes takes months. Hence Equity market has immense liquidity to take immediate Exit whenever he or she decides and that is far too easier and faster than Real Estate.

Investments in Conventional Mutual Funds

Investments in Conventional Mutual Funds is not permissible from the view point that these mutual funds are not mandate to follow Shariah norms thus they even invest in stocks of prohibited businesses like Liquor, Banks, Hotels, Entertainment, Cinema, Casino etc. that is strictly prohibited in Islam, hence profit earned from these mutual funds is impure and tainted. They invest in Debt & derivatives instrument too which is not allowed under the Shariah laws. And moreover, since about 45 percent of the Market Capitalization is Shariah Non- Compliant, presumably almost 40 to 45 percent returns earned is not Halal, hence this option too is not shariah compatible for Investments. However, Muslims can invest in Authentic Shariah- Compliant Mutual fund / Shariah compliant PMS, approved and monitored by reputed Shariah Scholars and fund manage by people who have faith in shariah.

Big Advantage

One more point that goes in the favor of equity Investment is the Capital gains tax. The long-term capital gains tax is just 5 % that too if the gains are above 1 Lac i.e. if the investment is held for more than one year. And the short-term investments for less than a year, investors is obliged pay only 15 % percent tax on its gains on booked profit after subtracting losses. Muslims must take advantage of this benefit and invest in equities that would help them create wealth in the long term in the Shariah way. The only concerning part in the equities investment is the market risk and volatility. The performance of the company, industry and economy is never static and varies from time to time and since the market is a result of mass psychology it goes up or down on fear and hope based on the underlying fundamentals. Andin order to overcome this and to optimize Halal return on investments, one needs to take guidance from Shariah based Equity Research advisors and Fund managers who can guide and advise the prospective investors based on their Risk Profile and Risk Appetite. If this part is taken care of diligently, then equity investment certainly is the best Investment option for Muslims.

Role of Shariah Scholar

Islam makes ‘Lawful Earning’ (Halal) mandatory, and in Islam, the spiritual and secular aspects are one and the same. This implies that Islam emphasizes the need to make a living by means that are permissible under it. After many years of debate and discussions and looking into the need for Muslims to Invest in equity markets as an alternate to Bank and Insurance, Islamic scholars have permitted Muslims to invest in equity markets with certain strict stipulated conditions. With the advent of computer technology and with so much of information available, now it is possible to screen the companies on Shariah norms and do the purging as well.


Imtiaz Merchant
Shariah scholars have imposed investment restriction and conditions and only upon fulfilling these conditions Muslims can invest in equity markets the Halal way.

The conditions laid down are as follows:

  • Restriction based on the type of Securities: Investment should only be done in Shariah compliant stocks as defined. A security trading in derivatives and day trading in stocks is strictly not permitted. Short selling is prohibited. Securities should only be sold after having its complete possession.
  • Restriction on Business Activity: No investment shall be made in stocks of the companies whose business activity is Prohibited (Haram)
  • Conventional interest-based banks and other financial institutions like banks, NBFC, Insurance companies, stock brokers, Securities traders etc.
  • Alcoholic beverages like wine and other liquor related products and services.
  • Pork and non-Halal food products
  • Entertainment includes film production companies, cinema, Cable TV, music etc.
  • Restriction based on financial ratios: Apart from the above restriction, Islamic scholars from different part of the world have set certain financial criteria based on the need and essentiality. In India Islamic Investment &Finance Board (IIFB) and independent Shariah Board comprising of eminent scholars have approved the following financial criteria:
  • Interest bearing debt of the companies should not exceed 33 percent of its twelve months’ average market capitalization.
  • Cash plus interest bearing securities of the companies should not exceed 33 percent of its twelve months’ average market capitalization.
  • Trade receivable and other debtors of the companies to its twelve months’ average market capitalization should not exceed 33 percent.
  • Interest Income plus prohibited activity (impure) income of the companies to the company’s total income should not exceed 5 percent. (subject to cleansing)
  • Shariah Screening Process: Shariah screenings conducted for all the listed equities as prescribed and mandated by Shariah scholars. This process is done every quarter. Those stocks that successfully pass the Shariah screening norms are thus called Shariah complaint universe. This process is done under the supervision and audit of Shariah committee of Aalims and muftis.
  • Purification of Impure Income (purging): The income thus derived from trading and investments in shares do have some portion of impure or prohibited income. This income can be in form of interest received by the companies or some prohibited activity carried on by the company that earns impure or tainted income which needs to be cleansed or purged. This is a compulsory process. The impure income consequently cleansed should be given as charity (Without expecting Sawaab).
Conclusion

In conclusion we can confidently and vividly say that Equity investment the Islamic way is the Best option or alternate available to Muslims to park their saving. The investment in the company is well regulated by SEBI and approved by Shariah scholar, it is liquid enough to withdraw as and when, transparent, safe in D-mat A/c, lower Taxes, least cumbersome as compare to other asset classes and above all superior returns in the long term, the equity investment in the listed companies are almost coefficient of the economic growth.

No lending or borrowing, just investing. And truly an ethical and socially responsible way of Wealth Creation.

Note: The above text is the property of Pragmatic Wealth Management Pvt. Ltd. The above content cannot be used or reproduced without the consent and permission from Pragmatic Wealth Management Pvt. Ltd. in written.

[Imtiaz Merchant is Managing Director of Pragmatic Wealth Management Pvt. Ltd. He is Editor of Islami Tijara Magazine and Owner of Brand Adaaf Advisory Services. He can be reached at merchant@pragmaticwealth.net]

iPORTAL Live, MDEC jointly launch Global Knowledge Platform for US$2 trillion Islamic Economy

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 07 January 2021 | Posted in , , , , , ,

IMO News Service

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and iPORTAL Live Sdn Bhd have launched a new Islamic Economy Knowledge Portal aimed at further enhancing the ease-of-access to information and knowledge of the Islamic Economy to users, as well as facilitate connection and encourage collaboration by industry users dispersed globally.

As the leading hub of Southeast Asia’s Islamic Digital economy, Malaysia has the resources and depth of knowledge that makes it the perfect location for iPORTAL to launch its platform.

Through its partnership with MDEC, iPORTAL Live will bring in global expertise and knowledge transfer in the area of Islamic Digital Economy into Malaysia. This will elevate Malaysia’s position as a global Islamic Digital Economy hub, and further strengthen the country as the Heart of Digital ASEAN.

The launch of the new knowledge portal comes amidst significant growth in the Islamic Digital Economy according to the latest State of Global Islamic Economy Report. It is estimated that Muslims spent US$2.02 trillion (RM8.18 trillion) in 2019 including the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, fashion, travel and media/recreation sectors, all of which are impacted by Islamic faith-inspired ethical consumption needs.


This spending reflects a 3.2% year-on-year growth from 2018. In addition, Islamic finance assets were estimated to have reached US$2.88 trillion (RM11.7 trillion) in 2019.

The issue is that while there is significant growth in the Islamic economy, the information and data for consumers, products, insights and research is dispersed globally. The challenge then is placing all this information in one place for easy access and reference.

iPORTAL Live aims to address this issue with the launch of its Islamic Digital Economy knowledge portal at www.iPORTAL.live. The portal is a global platform that will showcase the 10 sectors of the Islamic Economy all in one easy to access place. It will start the users’ journey with knowledge, under Academy, which will then continue to Entrepreneurship, Insights, Waqf Economy, Research, Marketplace and a Job Board.

The new portal will also provide digital pathways for inclusion and connectivity for all sectors. For example, through the portal, Islamic Financial services can connect to players of modest fashion or Muslim media for funding opportunities; the halal industry can connect with the Takaful industry for matters of insurance; or social impact startups can showcase their innovative suggestions for the Islamic economy verticals.

“Malaysia has been a pioneering leader in Islamic finance and remains the biggest Islamic finance market in Southeast Asia. Backed by our strong regulatory framework and an expanding Islamic finance ecosystem that includes Sukuk, Takaful and Syariah-compliant funds, Malaysia is on track to reach the central bank’s target of 40% share of total financing by the end of 2020. We believe the launch of iPORTAL's global Islamic Economy platform, will enable many more global stakeholders to learn and adopt from Malaysia's decades of experience and contribute towards the global growth of the Islamic digital industry,” says Saifuddin Abdullah, Malaysia’s Minister of Communications and Multimedia.

“Malaysia has been at the forefront of championing Islamic banking and finance for the last three decades. The Malaysian government, through MDEC, has started serious work to embed the Islamic digital economy in the grand design of the Malaysian blueprint of the digital economy. Through the launch of iPORTAL Live, the information will be readily available and accessible for the interested masses, contributing to the creation of an inclusive Fintech hub while firmly establishing Malaysia as the heart of digital ASEAN,” added Dr Rais Hussin Mohammed Ariff, MDEC’s chairman.

Dr Rushdi Siddiqui cofounder/CEO iPORTAL Live said, “The launch of iPORTAL Live could not have happened without the hard work of Malaysia, UAE, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bahrain, Pakistan, UK and others in raising the profile of the 10 sector US$3 trillion Islamic Economy. iPORTAL Live has 74 introductory courses, 50% are free. Meanwhile, on the verticals of the Islamic economy, it has more than 400 social impact startups, including women owned, from 12 countries that get updated monthly, it has Islamic banking regulations from 14 countries in one place with opportunity for public comment, it has Waqf research and projects from 8 countries, it has job board with 250 openings, it has 26 members on its advisory board and 27 partnerships, etc.”

Thus, iPORTAL Live is a B2C2B platform that is part Google (search on Islamic economy), part Amazon (content by third parties) and part Wikipedia (contribution to the Islamic economy). It’s about reducing friction and user journey for connecting to the global Islamic economy community with content, commerce and opportunity to collaborate.

“The Islamic Economy is open for business for all in the new normal, and iPORTAL Live is the digital meeting place for values aligned education, consumption, investment, funding and business,” adds Rushdi.

World Premiere for Europe: First Diversity Chamber of Commerce established in Romania

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

IMO News Service

Bucharest, Romania: The world's first Diversity Chamber of Commerce has been established in Romania in order to promote the principles of diversity and inclusion in the country's business community. The Chamber will serve as a forum where multinationals can interact with Romanian businesses run by individuals from minority groups that have traditionally been marginalized economically -- and in particular, women, the LGBTQ+ community, Roma, people with disabilities and others.

The project is the only one of its kind in the world, organized on the model of a typical chamber of commerce. Through a whole range of activities, from mentoring and coaching, to training, networking and certification, the Chamber will support the Romanian economy by helping make it easier for minority businesses to connect, compete and grow. The Romanian Diversity Chamber of Commerce was founded by Dentons, ING Bank, Mega Image and Raiffeisen Bank and the NGO "Orasul Meu, Culorile Mele" and was inspired by the Diversity Charter. Other members include Accenture, Accept, GKN Fokker Engineering, Roma Entrepreneurship Development Initiative (REDI) and Visa, with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as an honorary member. The Romanian Diversity Chamber of Commerce is audited by PwC. Both the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Bucharest and the Netherlands-Romanian Chamber of Commerce supported the formation of Chamber.

“For most international businesses, membership in the Diversity Chamber of Commerce is a natural extension of their focus on corporate social responsibility and an acknowledgement that diversity and inclusion are not only morally right but also good for business. According to international studies, diverse companies are 35% more likely to see better returns than their industry medians. We encourage companies with similar ideals to join us in this revolutionary initiative,” explained Perry Zizzi, Managing Partner of Dentons in Romania and President of the Chamber.

Serge Offers, Chief Financial Officer of ING Bank, and Adrian Nicolescu, Vice President for Brand Market, Communication and Sustainability at Mega Image, were elected as Vice President and Treasurer of the Chamber, respectively.

Leading the way

While most of Western Europe is already championing diversity and inclusion, Romania is one of Eastern Europe’s most active advocates on this matter. More than 70% of respondents to the study "Diversity and Inclusion in Romanian Organizations" conducted by the Romanian Diversity Charter in partnership with MKOR Consulting believe that diversity and inclusion management has a direct impact in increasing motivation and satisfaction at work. Moreover, an inclusive environment that focuses on everyone’s needs is reflected in the improvement of quality of life and mental and physical health of employes (51% of respondents).

60% of large companies have diversity and inclusion strategies and 33% allocate annual budgets for them. On the other hand, 47% of SMEs and 44% of micro-enterprises have an ad hoc approach and only 6% of SMEs allocate diversity and inclusion budgets. Most public institutions participating in the study have an ad hoc approach to diversity and inclusion practices (86%).

86% of organizations addressing diversity and inclusion focus on gender diversity. The companies that focus the most on gender equality issues are large companies and SMEs. 63% of organizations address the inclusion of people with disabilities and 54% include ethnic or religious groups. These are generally public institutions.

International Day for People with Disabilities

Several companies, embassies and organizations in Romania including the Swedish Embassy in Romania, AFI Europe Romania, Light into Europe Association, Dell, Dentons, GlobalWorth, ING Bank, Kaufland, Prime Kapital, Raiffeisen Bank, Motivation Foundation, Sky Tower and Special Olympics Romania joined the Romanian Diversity Chamber of Commerce initiative and celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3rd) by illuminating buildings in purple, thus sending a message of solidarity with the disabled community. According to official statistics, there are approximately 800,000 people with disabilities in Romania.

The Romanian Diversity Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization that promotes the principles of diversity and inclusion in the Romanian business community and supports the development of the Romanian economy through implementation of greater diversity and inclusion. More information on www.rdcc.ro.

Strategi Advisors Startup Studio initiated to meet current market needs

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , ,

Innovating and Scaling in the Age of Uncertainty drives the need for a dynamic Startup Studio

IMO News Service

Dubai, UAE: To bring together innovative and forward-thinking visionaries to build an entrepreneurship ecosystem in the UAE that engages not only entrepreneurs but also decision makers and encourages startups to aim higher in terms of visibility and impact on the global stage, Strategi Advisors initiates their startup arm, the Strategi Startup Studio.

With an abundance in Risk Capital in the UAE and startup scalability being the new heaven for investments diversification, Investors at all levels like HNI, family offices, shares and crowd-funding see great potential in technology especially post COVID-19 but need guidance in paring up with an innovator with similar passion and vision.


Mana Sultan Al Suwaidi, Founder of Strategi Startup Studio said, “The need for an evolving Startup Studio was evident way before COVID-19 but the recent crises strongly drive a larger force towards technology infrastructure and efficiency in all areas of business. We believe that successful businesses emerge when great ideas and entrepreneurs come together in a creative and nurturing environment to bring new concepts to life.”

Strategi Startup Studio conceives, launches and scales local and international startups bringing innovative ventures to the city. Supported by Strategi Advisors that already has dedicated experts on board to cultivate a world class tech driven ecosystem, stakeholders can benefit from the team’s local know how, get clarity and be inspired to transform their businesses with the best global talent and capital.

Mana adds, “We hope to build ventures with success stories for unicorns created in the UAE making local, regional and international impact. Experts from Strategi Advisors will represent, support, and protect the growth of the startup business community with world-class expertise in every discipline required to build a market-leading company. Our objective is to collaborate with the most experienced and trusted partners to give direction to high growth startup entrepreneurs by listening, reflecting and guiding them.”

Offering requirements of a conducive Tech Ecosystem with capital, talent, Infrastructure, market potential and supportive regulations, Strategi Startup Studio aims to make Dubai a thriving global startup hub by working in synergy with the local government, incubators and accelerators.

According to Mana, UAE is ready to create its own hub for building businesses and the young generation is ready for this. Coming from a pedigree of Emiratis keen on cultivating the vision and framework of leadership, entrepreneurship and "glocalization”, Mana and his peers aspire to demonstrate an advanced level of ecosystem development, characterized by cross-border venture building capabilities.

In the last four months, Strategi Startup Studio has been in investment discussions with a sovereign fund in Abu Dhabi and other regional venture capital investors to invest USD50 millions for exchange of equity in startups in the next five years.

To investors, UAE’s strategic positioning as a vibrant hub for trade, finance, media, tourism, hospitality, talent and technology offers great potential for investment opportunities across multiple sectors as 60% of humanity exists within a 5-hour flying radius of UAE (China, India, Europe, Russia and North Africa).

While neighbouring countries are competing as conventional economies, UAE is evolving into a knowledge economy offering the perfect platform to connect startups, investors and enablers with relevant resources, accessibility and opportunities and Strategi Startup Studio is the first step towards building an ecosystem that rivals entrepreneurial hubs like the Silicon Valley.

Today more than ever companies need a forward-thinking strategy with new set of tools and frameworks to navigate through uncertainty and stay relevant. Strategi Startup Studio aims to do just that and guide businesses to think and act differently as well as gain leverage as ecosystems gain relevance to impact economies in a meaningful way.

Shams and OMNES Media unveil an Influencers Platform with huge opportunities

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 05 January 2021 | Posted in , , , , ,

OMNES Influencers aims to connect businesses with influencers who could promote their products and deliver results within given budget and time

IMO News Service

Dubai, UAE: Shams Media Services, a subsidiary of Sharjah Media City (Shams), and OMNES Media, an integrated media and communications solutions company, have launched OMNES Influencers platform in its Beta Edition to help users explore and benefit from an ever-expanding online market, which is witnessing a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 32%.

“The global influencer platform market, which is expected to grow from $6 billion in 2020 to $24.1 billion by 2025, offers tremendous opportunities to influencers and customers alike. OMNES Influencers is designed to introduce a new generation of influencers to the social media world,” said H.E. Dr. Khalid Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City (Shams).

“Such a platform will definitely contribute to reshaping the communication industry and positively impact multiple business sectors,” he said, stressing that various factors, such as the customers’ shift towards video-based content across the social media space and an increase in the adoption of ad-blocking software are likely to enhance the adoption of influencer marketing.


In three months, over 2,100 influencers have registered on OMNESInfluencers.com, which also offers necessary licenses and training programs to make the influencers’ professional journey more pleasant and smooth. OMNES Influencers boasts influencers from over 115 nationalities with the UAE ranking first followed by India and Morocco.

OMNES Influencers platform also hosts an open digital marketplace, enabling business sectors to interact directly with influencers locally and internationally. The platform recommends influencers to businesses based on their campaign requirements, using artificial intelligence and an advanced search engine.

“At OMNES Influencers, we help businesses connect with the right type of influencers who could promote their brands and deliver results within given budget and timeframe,” said Fahed Aldeeb, CEO of OMNES Media.

“Interestingly, in the past few years, advertisers have begun steering away from paying big bucks for major celebrity endorsements, opting instead to utilize so-called micro-influencers,” he pointed out.

“It’s a trend that is growing at a rapid pace. A recent report showed that over half of the marketers surveyed plan to increase their influencer budgets, and a vast majority of these budgets going towards micro-influencers,” Aldeeb highlighted.

“Even those with fewer than 5,000 followers are seen as smart investments,” he said, inviting influencers to register at OMNESInfluencers.com to enhance their presence, popularity and chance to earn a decent regular income.

About OMNES Influencers

OMNES Influencers is the next big marketing platform that enables brands to capitalise on social connections and promote individual-centric conversations and endorsements.

OMNES Influencers, a joint venture between OMNES Media and Shams Media Services LLC (A Sharjah Media City subsidiary), is an independent Influencer management organisation that harnesses the power of individual influencers, enabling them to connect, network and partner with society, brands and the world at large.

Designed to become the hub of Influencer marketing, OMNES Influencers is built around three pillars of Influencer Marketing: Creating Influencers, Developing Influencers and Promoting Influencers.

Lulu Group's Silicon Central in Dubai set to transform shopping into an experience

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , , ,

IMO News Service

Dubai, UAE: The shopping mall and management division of Abu Dhabi-based Lulu Group International, Line Investments & Property LLC (LIP) boasts an impressive portfolio of malls through the Gulf and India. Moreover, with a strategic vision for future growth and development across the GCC, LIP reiterates its position as a renowned industry leader in offering the right kind of support to make any brand a sure-fire winner as it introduces its retail project in Silicon Oasis.

LIP’s latest development is Silicon Central in Dubai, a three-level retail and leisure destination that will provide an enhanced shopping experience to its neighbouring communities.


With a total of 220 stores in 81,500m2, Silicon Central will include a 9,000m2 hypermarket and a 7,800m2 department store, alongside a 35,500m2 array of retail shops and services that will offer a broad mix of brands tailored to ensure shoppers' complete satisfaction.

Adding to the unique shopping experience, a diverse range of dining options will comprise of 24 casual restaurants and cafes as well as 21 food court units, making it the perfect place to catch up with friends and families in an enjoyable atmosphere or to enjoy a quick snack on the run.



A wide range of entertainment options are also on offer, including a 12-screen cinema, a 6,800m2 Family Entertainment Centre, incorporating a 2,000m2 New Generation Entertainment Centre for both kids and grownups to stay active, plus a 2,500m2 gym to keep the community in shape. It’s all about convenience and accessibility, with nothing forgotten, including 3,500 car parking spaces.

With such a broad range of options, Silicon Central is set to be the destination of choice for families and entertainment seekers throughout its immediate catchment area, which takes in a population of 500,000 people, and further afield.

LIP’s success and commitment to excellence have not gone unnoticed either, with the organisation picking up five awards at the Retail Congress MENA Awards 2019.

Salim MA, Director, Lulu Group International 

Held in the Ritz Carlton, DIFC, the Awards Ceremony honoured the most outstanding achievers in the shopping mall industry in the MENA region. LIP took part in the event together with entries from Mall of Um Al Quwain, Al Wahda Mall, Mushrif Mall, and Khalidiyah Mall, winning one gold and four silver awards in the following categories:

Design & Development
Mall of Um Al Quwain (Gold)

Net Operating Income (NOI) Enhancement
Al Wahda for Celebrity Visit (Silver)

Traditional Marketing: Cause-Related Marketing
Al Wahda Mall for Operation Smile (Silver)

Traditional Marketing: Digital/Social Media
Khalidiyah Mall for Enhanced Website (Silver)

Traditional Marketing: Sales Promotion
Mushrif Mall for Talentology 2019 (Silver)

The winners of the Retail Congress MENA Awards 2019 were selected by a jury of regional and international industry experts in retail.

Mr. Salim MA, Director Lulu Group International said, “Our vision is to enhance the retail experience for our customers and partners and receiving awards for all the malls that took part is a testimony that the Line Investments & Property team is committed to excellence in the new age initiatives and community events they bring to the malls.”

With unparalleled expertise stretching across every conceivable specialist field of endeavour, including location-sourcing, design, development, management and marketing, LIP is fully committed to being the preferred investment and property management company in the retail and real estate sector of the regions it operates in. It currently offers 360-degree retail solutions in 23 malls in six countries, with several further properties planned for the future in new cities and markets.

Sharjah Technology Park Launches Angel Investors Network

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , ,

IMO News Service

The Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) has launched the Sharjah Angel Investors Network (SAIN) to support and Innovation ecosystem and knowledge economy in the region. This initiative will contribute to making the UAE economy an open global laboratory for testing new concepts of advanced future technology and a global platform for innovation and entrepreneurship.

SAIN will convert high-net worth individuals into angel investors who will provide capital for business start-ups. SRTI Park will provide the angel investors with a training programme to introduce the elements of angel investment and how to diversify risks, negotiate the terms of deals and deal with entrepreneurs, and in the next stage, investors will learn how to pursue deals and how to support emerging companies.

Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park, said: “We are super excited with the launching of Sharjah Angels Investors Network. Our network of Sharjah angels will boost access to investors and funds for companies and partners based at SRTI Park. In past two weeks, we have cemented our relationship with various strategic regional and local funds to facilitate start ups and innovative SMEs access to funds.”


The angel investors will provide support to entrepreneurs in the field of emerging technology. The network will assist company owners in receiving investments and negotiating the terms of each deal by joining the business accelerator, preparing their financial statements and preparing to present their ideas to angel investors.

The announcement of SAIN came during a special forum organised by SRTI and attended by a number of major investors and business leaders in various innovative and technical sectors in the country.

Al Mahmoudi said SAIN will link modern technology and innovation companies with the financial, business and investor community in Sharjah. It will also enhance the emirate’s competitiveness and support the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, in making the emirate a capital for innovation and hub for modern technologies.

Toshiba Gulf FZE partners with Redington for regional distribution

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 03 January 2021 | Posted in , ,

IMO News Service

Toshiba Gulf FZE appoints regional distributor, Redington Gulf to handle their memory and storage solutions product portfolio for Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, formalising the partnership at GITEX 2020 in a signing ceremony.

Santosh Varghese, Vice President, Toshiba Gulf FZE said, "To remain at the forefront and position ourselves as market leaders for storage and memory solutions, we are excited to partner with Redington and are confident that in a short time, our brands will have the market footprint it deserves. We look forward to Redington Gulf's value added services for our products."

“Our partnership with Toshiba/KIOXIA enables us to offer a wider choice of storage products to our partners in the region and become their preferred distributor for sourcing storage products. As part of this agreement, Redington will ensure availability of products locally in the countries we are contracted through our robust in-country distribution capabilities and an engaged partner network.” said Jeetendra Berry, President-IT Volume Middle East, Redington Gulf.


“KIOXIA”(Previously Toshiba Memory) branded products are being showcased at GITEX 2020 and includes microSD/SD memory cards, USB memory and SSDs, specifically designed for end-users to store their digital way of life wherever and whenever they want for use with smartphones, tablets and PCs, digital cameras and more.

Also highlighted at GITEX was Canvio® portable storage lineup with new applications and designs, adding new Canvio FlexTM and Canvio GamingTM models along with new colors and textures. The next generation of Canvio® designs delivers seamless portability, high storage capacity, suited for a broad range of users, including multi-platform users, gamers, business professionals, outdoor photographers, and students.

Toshiba Gulf FZE offered various activations at Gitex 2020 including seminars that helps to prepare for future Jobs and enhance photography as a hobby in the digital transformation era.

About Toshiba Gulf FZE

Toshiba Gulf is the Regional Corporate Representative office of Toshiba for Middle East and Africa. TGFZ aims to increase Toshiba’s Group’s business, expand the base for further market development and address the social demands and needs in the region. TGFZ is also responsible for the Sales, Marketing and Support of Storage Devices (Client and Enterprise HDD, Memory Cards), Multifunctional Printers, Barcode printers, Audio products, Industrial and Infrastructure equipment (Motor Drives)

OPINION: India Farm Laws, Minorities and the hidden agenda

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , , , , ,

By Er. Shaik Abdul Sattar

With the introduction and passing of the Farm bills in the month of September 2020, India for sure is going back in an age of ignorance and exploitation. Where farmers were extorted by the landlords and local money lenders with compounding interest on their hand loans borrowed due to famines, rains and wretchedness. The plight of the farmers has been well documented in movies like Do Beegha Zameen and Mother India.

The APMC markets (Mandis) were introduced to tackle this exploitation and take off the middleman, to bring the produce from farm to the market and being sold directly to the customer. With a benchmark prices set on those commodities being sold, ensuring that the farmer sells his produce at the set price without any variation an
d thus gaining the profits, and ensuring that the prices are not too heavy for the customers.

The Bills will prohibit the state governments to collect market fee and cess, which invariably would make these markets redundant. As the famers will not go to the markets to sell the goods and neither does the state governments would get any income from these markets. Now the monopoly would be with the corporates and the third parties to buy the produce from the farmers at horrendously low prices than the (Minimum support price) MSP and sell it at inflated prices in the market.


The Punjab state government knows these bills are not in favour of the minorities of this country, and it is to target another section of the minorities who have a strong grip in the agricultural aspect of this country. The Kashmiris were attacked earlier by abrogation of the article 370 and taking off its special status which would allow people from across India to buy land in Kashmir and which is what the ruling party is propagating to people in Hyderabad, when they were rallying in the municipal elections, marketing Hindus to buy and invest their money on lands in Kashmir.

Why are the farmers only from Punjab and Haryana are protesting the farm bills and why not it’s the case with the farmers from the other states of India? The simple answer to this is; Punjab is the one of the largest producers of essential food crops and commodities and it was the first state to oppose the farm bill when it was passed in the parliament. It was also one of the few states which outrightly said in the parliament that, they are not going to impose the NRC/CAB bills when they were introduced.

Now the radar has shifted to another minority section of this country the Sikhs from the Muslims, who have traditionally been the farming community. One thing is for assured that; this government knows the formula for winning the elections. which is through money and power, and it is setting up its crony corporate players in the Indian markets, who can make sure that they rule with their wealthy empire, absolute power and authority in a majoritarian democracy.

The farmers from other states should understand this con setup, by the government and come in support of the farmers of Punjab and need to stand as one. When the voices of the farmers can echo from all corners of India, then the state governments will come into action and can pressurize the party at the centre to take back these dubious bills.

[The views expressed by the writer Er. Shaik Abdul Sattar are his own, and doesn’t construe the policy of IndianMuslimObserver.com. He can be reached at sas_beck@hotmail.co.uk]

Islamic Economics gives directions on how to prevent pandemics and regulate their socioeconomic impact: Dr. Javed Jamil

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , , , , , ,

“Islam provides the answers by promoting only healthy economics and discarding the dangerous economics, in terms of effect on health and social justice, and also giving directions how to contain epidemics. It also ensures that the wealth does not remain in the hands of a few, but is more equitably distributed; and the governments are in a healthy economic position to meet the demands in times of crises. Islamic experts and Muslim countries and organizations need to highlight the extraordinary results if Islam’s socioeconomic and heath-friendly propositions are applied in the world.”

By Our Special Correspondent

Renowned thinker and writer, Dr. Javed Jamil, currently Chair in Islamic Studies and Research, Yenepoya (deemed to be) University, Mangalore, has emphasized that the commercialisation of the substances and practices prohibited in Islam is the major cause behind the rise of various pandemics, and Islamic Economics provides the way out of their socioeconomic impact. He has expressed these opinions in his research paper published in the January 2021 edition of KAU Journal of Islamic Economics published by King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, the top ranking University of Saudi Arabia. He was invited to be a part of an international panel to discuss the role of Islamic Economics in avoiding and countering the impact of the Covid-19 like situations in the world. Started in 1983, the Journal of King Abdulaziz University – Islamic Economics has the honour to be the first professional journal in the field of Islamic economics. It is listed by some of the most prestigious indexing services providers on the subject of economics like Scopus, SSRN, EconLit, and RePEc.

In the paper titled, “Economic Fundamentalism Facilitator of Pandemics and their Economic Consequences: The Way Out in Islam”, Dr. Jamil, known for his work in “Apllied Islamics” has shown that most of the major killers in the last 100-120 years, including Swine Flu, Spanish Flu, HIV/AIDS, HPV/Carcinoma Cervix, Hepatitis-B, Rabies, etc and now Covid-19, the association with Islamic positions is proven beyond doubt by the facts and figures available in the realm of medical sciences. Pork, sexual malpractices including promiscuity, prostitution and homosexuality, presence of dogs in the domestic areas and eating of prohibited wild animals like bats and pangolins, have all been the major reasons behind the rise of these pandemics, which have killed more than 200 million people in the last century. The role of alcohol in the rise of HIV/AIDS and other Sex Transmitted diseases is also well-documented. Dr. Jamil has shown that circumcision plays an extremely important role in prevention of HIV/AIDS and HPV, which is associated with hundreds of thousands of deaths of women due to Cancer Cervix, which is relatively rare in the wives/partners of circumcised men. He has argued that, if despite huge mortality and morbidity associated with these practices, they are allowed and popularised, it is because of the fact that all of them are big markets.

Dr. Jamil has argued that if Prophetic Hadith on the epidemics had been followed and none had been allowed to enter and leave Wuhan, when Corona epidemic broke there, the world would have largely been saved. He has also opined that the disease spread fast due to drinking habits of the people, night life and the role of certain powers in holding Economics above Health. He has argued that, in contrast to Islam, which gives priority to the survival and healthiness of life, the modern international systems are dominated by the economic interests at the cost of health and family and social peace. Lambasting the current economic philosophy of “economic fundamentalism” he says that Market forces are busy in commercializing dangerous practices in the name of freedom of choice, which is leading to many health issues. They first commercialise the problems and then they commercialise solutions, he argues. The Islamic economic philosophy is based on the supremacy of peace, which is a comprehensive state covering individuals, family and society; human peace, health, security, and welfare are the guiding factors, and no matter how strong the economic reasons are, any activity that threatens health and comprehensive peace cannot be permitted.

The concluding remarks of the paper are worth reproducing:

“In conclusion, the following points need to be highlighted:

First, the Covid-19 outbreak had its origins in the market of wild animals, many of which prove to have a biological structure suitable for transmission of viruses to humans, which then have the propensity to lead to human-to-human transmission.

Second, it started spreading from the place of origin to the rest of the world, because nothing was done at the right time to stop trafficking of the people from and to the place of its origin.

Third, it hit the economy particularly hard because the world economy had a huge share for the entertainment industry, which crashed due to social distancing and lockdown measures.

Fourth, it hit the people hard, because in most of the countries, except for the few elite, the masses are poor as well as the governments. Huge economic inequality in countries like India led to huge disasters.

In short, if in today’s world, the major portions of the economy had been in the sectors, which pose no threat to health or social justice, the situation would not have been as bad as it has turned out to be. If this continues, the future will bring bigger disasters.”

He adds: “Islam provides the answers by promoting only healthy economics and discarding the dangerous economics, in terms of effect on health and social justice, and also giving directions how to contain epidemics. It also ensures that the wealth does not remain in the hands of a few, but is more equitably distributed; and the governments are in a healthy economic position to meet the demands in times of crises. Islamic experts and Muslim countries and organizations need to highlight the extraordinary results if Islam’s socioeconomic and heath-friendly propositions are applied in the world.”

Dr. Jamil has also called upon the Islamic world, especially rich Muslim countries including the OPEC countries, “to play a role in the availability of vaccination to the poor in their countries as well as in other countries.” He also stressed that “Islamic countries need to invest more and more in scientific research.”

Dr. Javed Jamil has also argued that the current reach of Islamic Economics has become limited to Financing and Banking. It has become “an abysmal failure in influencing in any way the direction of the globalization, which revolves around the commercialization of not only human strengths, but also of human weaknesses.” So, while Islamic finance is to be promoted, other important measures related to economics should not be lost sight of, and there needs to be more work on the generation of wealth within the Islamic trio of Rights, Duties and Prohibitions, establishment of taxation system based on Zakah, Ushr and Khums and campaign against the Economics of Prohibited Substances and practices. He has also proposed a new definition of Islamic Economics:

“Islamic economics refers to the establishment of a world order where people, individuals or groups, are free to earn their livelihood through rightful use of the provisions of God and their abilities, natural or acquired, without the violations of the true goal of Comprehensive Peace that Qur’an envisages, that is within the boundaries of the three-dimensional system of Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Fundamental Prohibitions, and the establishment of a system that ensures comfortable living for each and every human being, including those who are in a disadvantageous position, temporarily or permanently, due to some reason.”

Dr. Jamil has also presented a detailed Islamic Holistic regime of hygiene as part of Dynamic Paradigm of Health based on Islam. The whole paper can be read here.

Singapore offers 1st Asia Pacific Halal / Muslim Friendly Cruise Ship Experience

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 02 January 2021 | Posted in , , , , , , , ,

IMO News Service

The halal industry is growing rapidly whereby it was approximately USD2.3 trillion, which has now almost tripled, to USD 6.4 trillion as of 2020. UNWHD has identified its exact and accurate partnership with Genting Cruise at this juncture by identifying the niche market and the right partners to engage with.

There have already been cruises in the Asia Pacific region serving halal food but World Dream is the first to embrace a more holistic Muslim-friendly approach beyond just having a halal-certified kitchen. The “halal/Muslim-friendly cruises” concept has been talked about since a few years now. It has been getting more and more interest from Muslims preCOVID. This growing interest from Muslims encouraged some cruises to have halal-certified kitchens.

Halal is not only for Muslims but for the whole mankind and UNWHD and Genting Cruise have made these arrangements so that everyone can have a home away from home feel.


Singapore is a pioneer country in many aspects and has always been a front runner for taking new & unique initiatives and setting as an example for other countries.

Creating an edge to accept & obtain Halal/Muslim Friendly Compliance in Cruise Ship is a goal for many leading industry players, United World Halal Development (UNWHD) a Singapore-based Halal Certification Body was the pioneer to certify Halal Friendly Cruise Ship in the Asia Pacific.

World Dream, one of the services from Genting Cruise Lines, a brand of Dream Cruises, which is Benchmarked by the OIC/SMIIC Standards & Guidelines for Halal Food And Beverages Prepared, Stored And Served as well as Halal Tourism Guidelines set out by the Standards and Metrology Institute for the Islamic Countries (SMIIC).

The cruise is also officially rated by Halal Travel Authority Crescent Rating. The Singapore-based Muslim-Friendly Travel Authority told Salaam Gateway this is the first time it is rating a cruise service based on the services they (World Dream Cruise) offer (halal-certified food, prayer facilities etc.), they are rated Crescent Rating 5,” Being the highest.

UNWHD and Genting Cruise who had similar vision of serving to all immaterial of any caste creed or religion decided to give an amazing cruise experience which complies with Halal Friendly environment.

UNWHD follows a stringent audit process which complies with Halal & Shariah Compliance Standards before issuing the certificate. Genting Cruise has gone through such scrutinized process to attain the Halal Friendly Cruise Ship certificate. Genting Cruise ship has a halal-certified central kitchen with halal-certified ingredients for halal cuisine, prayer room with access to Quran, prayer mats, and compass to locate the Qibla. It will also cater to Ramadan guests with Suhoor and Iftar menus.

This stunning initiative is expected to bring more tourists as being the centric in the Asia pacific and Singapore to become the global tourism attraction in the field of Halal / Muslim Friendly Tourism.

United World Halal Development (UNWHD), Singapore strives to continue its solid commitment towards people’s safety and welfare. UNWHD is built on internationally applicable standards of practice, knowledge, and ethics encircling all businesses to offer quality products and services. UNWHD vision is to extend the halal way of life to all businesses and explore new areas of economic growth of halal standards, certification, and practices.

Simplify Life at Home with RoboVac G10 Hybrid

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 09 August 2020 | Posted in , , ,

IMO News Service

Cleaning is made effortless as Anker Innovations introduces the new eufy Robovac G10 Hybrid that takes on dust-busting around your home with multiple cleaning modes, moping and auto-clean scheduling.

Faraz Mehdi, Regional Sales Head at Anker Innovations MEA said, “The new intelligent super slim Robovac G10 Hybrid is a quiet, self-charging robotic vacuum cleaner that cleans hard floors and carpets a lot easier and delivers the most powerful clean with the latest sweep and mop technology. It offers twice the efficiency of standard robotic cleaners.”

The intelligent RoboVac G10 Hybrid operates quietly and comes with Smart Dynamic Navigation, cleaning report cards, Wi-Fi, voice control and 2-in-1 sweep and mop for a sparkling clean. The self-charging RoboVac may be ultra-slim, but it’s packed with a 3-point cleaning system consisting of a suction inlet, rolling-brush and side-brush.

This lean cleaning Machine boasts 2000Pa of superior suction power clearing dirt, dust, and crumbs. The Super-Slim 2.85” body effortlessly glides under furniture and into hard to reach areas.

Users can give instructions by voice or using your phone via the EufyHome app, Siri, Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant. Post sales, eufy also provides 12 Months Warranty, friendly and easy-to-reach support. It is available in all leading electronic stores and amazon.ae.

Eufy as a brand has a wide range of appliances like Robotic Vacuum Cleaners, Cordless Handstick Vacuum Cleaner, Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaners, Smart Scale etc.

About eufy

eufy is a smart home brand by Anker Innovations, founded in 2016 with the objective of bringing the latest smart home technology to households across the country at attainable prices. Establishing itself as a leader in robovacs, hand held vacuum cleaners, baby monitors, and reliable smart home security products, eufy meets the growing demand in innovative smart home products and reliable security solutions that offers privacy and makes life easier and safer. Find more about eufy at www.eufylife.com.

About Anker Innovations

Anker Innovations is a global leader in charging technology and a developer of unique and innovative consumer products in audio, home automation, home entertainment and more. This innovation is being led by its five key brands: Anker, Eufy, Nebula, ROAV and Soundcore. More information about Anker Innovations, its brands and products can be found at anker.com. Representing these brands, Anker Innovations in Dubai, U.A.E, is behind the sales of the range of premium products and gadgets in the UAE, KuwaitOmanBahrainQatarIraq and other GCC countries and African countries.

UAE opens up for business amid COVID-19 precautions

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 02 July 2020 | Posted in , , ,

The end of movement restrictions and the national disinfection programme in the UAE is the culmination of months of relentless efforts by the government, crisis management authorities and frontline health care workers in close cooperation with public institutions, businesses and the general public to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Thanks to their sustained and well-coordinated efforts, the UAE has successfully reopened almost all major facets of its economy ahead of most other countries with similar number of cases.

People can now watch a movie at the cinemas, go to a park or a long-drive in their family car, catch up on some retail shopping at malls with children in tow, enjoy their favourite meal at a restaurant and visit tourist hot spots around the country.

Businesses can once again welcome back customers to their premises; schools can prepare for students to return possibly in September, and the country can get ready to welcome the first post-Covid tourists in a couple of weeks.

While citizens and residents across the UAE will surely cherish the return of free movement, it does not mean we go back to the careless practices of pre-pandemic days. In Abu Dhabi, for instance, an entry ban in force due to its sterilisation drive will continue.

Adhere to precautions

Around the UAE, everyone must adhere to stringent Covid-19 precautions — including social distancing and wearing masks, and violators will face the full force of penalties.

The underlying message for everyone is very simple: even though movement restrictions have been lifted, the Covid-19 outbreak is still here and new cases continue to be reported every day. It’s vital to resume economic activities in the country, but we must always remember that the virulent virus is still lurking around us.

Therefore, whatever you do in the coming days and weeks, be responsible. For yourself, your family, friends, colleagues at work and the society that you inhabit.

It’s equally important that we don’t delude ourselves about the future: the road back to normality will be long and challenging, and people and businesses will each respond to it in their own ways as necessary, with one common thread: we must all proceed with caution, empathy and understanding.

The strategies deployed by the UAE in fighting the pandemic have shown us how to handle those challenges, and the new normal that we return to today is the successful result of adopting those measures.

With the UAE announcing the world’s first phase III clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine in cooperation with Chinese pharma giant CNBG, the future is also full of hope.

The UAE’s global and national role in fighting the pandemic offers vital lessons in leadership during a crisis. With the reopening of the country, the responsibility is now on all of us to continue to fulfil that role and work together for a safe and secure future, while remembering that it’s only the movement restrictions that have gone — not the virus.

(Courtesy: Gulf News)

Curtailed haj compounds Saudi economic woes

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 30 June 2020 | Posted in , , , , , , ,

By Anuj Chopra

Vacant religious sites. Abandoned pilgrim tents. Lifeless hotels. A stunning emptiness -- and fears of economic ruin -- haunt the usually bustling city of Mecca after Saudi authorities curtailed the haj pilgrimage over coronavirus.

Islam's holiest city usually hosts millions of pilgrims for the annual rite, but the kingdom has barred overseas visitors from this year's event, scheduled for late July.

The haj and the lesser umrah pilgrimage together rake in some $12 billion, keeping the economy humming in Mecca, home to two million people and marble-bedecked skyscrapers towering over Islam's most sacred sites.

A construction boom in recent years has added shopping malls, apartments and luxury hotels, some offering spectacular views of the sacred Kaaba, a cube-shaped structure in the Grand Mosque towards which Muslims around the world pray. 

But most premises have lain empty since the pandemic reached the kingdom.

The virus, which hit Mecca hard, has also battered pilgrimage-reliant businesses that support hundreds of thousands of jobs, from travel agents to street barbers and souvenir shops.

Many have reported sweeping layoffs, pay cuts or delayed salaries.

"Zero sales, zero income," said Ahmed Attia, a 39-year-old Egyptian who works for a travel agency in the city.

"We're not used to seeing Mecca empty. It feels like a dead city. It's devastating for Mecca."

A tsunami of cancellations has also battered overseas haj operators who organize travel logistics for pilgrims, many of whom invest their life savings in the five-day ritual.

Saudi authorities had already in March suspended the umrah pilgrimage, which can be performed at any time.

Then, in a hugely sensitive but long-awaited decision, they said they would only allow around 1,000 pilgrims already present in the kingdom to perform the haj.

That is a tiny fraction of the 2.5 million pilgrims who attended last year.

"It will be a symbolic event, a photo-op that allows the kingdom to say 'we didn't cancel the hajj as many expected'," said a South Asian official in contact with haj authorities.

Saudi Arabia has stressed that the watered-down haj will be open to people of various nationalities.

But the selection process for the few spots is expected to be hotly contested, as some Mecca residents expect to be given priority over outsiders.

"I have gone to haj before and hopefully this year, with God's will, I will be among the first pilgrims," said Marwan Abdulrahman, a Saudi living in Mecca.

Many feared the pilgrimage, which packs colossal crowds into small religious sites, could have been a massive source of contagion.

The novel coronavirus has hit the kingdom with the highest number of cases in the Gulf -- more than 178,000 confirmed infections including 1,511 deaths.

But scaling the pilgrimage back will deepen the kingdom's economic slump, analysts say.

The move follows a sharp downturn in oil prices and coronavirus-led losses, which triggered austerity measures including the tripling of a value added tax and cuts to civil servants' allowances.

The haj decision "does compound Saudi Arabia's economic difficulties", Richard Robinson, a Middle East analyst at Oxford Analytica, told AFP.

On Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund warned the kingdom's GDP will shrink by 6.8 percent this year -- its worst performance since the 1980s oil glut.

The Saudi Binladen construction group, a bellwether known for vast mega-projects, has missed salary payments for thousands of workers in recent months, according to a source close to the company and employees complaining on social media.

The Arabic hashtag "Delays in Binladen salaries" has gained traction as the slowdown impacts the firm behind a series of critical projects, including a $15 billion skyscraper hotel complex that towers over Mecca's Grand Mosque.

The company is seeking to charter a number of private jets to send many of its laid-off South Asian labourers home, according to the source.

The company did not respond to a request for comment.

The downturn has also disrupted Riyadh's ambitious plans to build a tourism industry from scratch, a cornerstone of the Vision 2030 reform programme to reduce the kingdom's reliance on oil.

"The government has singled out tourism as a key area for growth under its diversification strategy, and the loss of haj revenues could set the sector back through lost investment or bankruptcies," said Robinson.

The kingdom began offering tourist visas for the first time last September in moves to open up one of the last frontiers of global tourism.

"While Saudis are looking to diversify tourism revenues beyond religious tourism, their efforts still build from the haj," said Kristin Diwan of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.

"Not having it at this time of disruption in oil markets is a blow."

(Courtesy: AFP)

Anker Innovations introduces Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, eufy HomeVac H11

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 26 June 2020 | Posted in , , ,

Lightweight and Compact, eufy HomeVac H11, an ultra-lightweight cordless handheld vacuum cleaner by Anker Innovations makes cleaning effortless and quick.

IMO News Service

Dubai, UAE: Featuring a Dust Devouring Suction with 5500Pa power, any accidental mess can be cleaned in a jiffy and that too with absolute ease. This lightweight handheld 2-in-1 crevice tool helps to clean the deepest corners of your house furniture, cars, baby chairs, recliners etc. 
Faraz Mehdi, Regional Sales Head at Anker Innovations MEA said, “The easy to store efficient HomeVac H11 offers tasteful yet practical solutions for all your everyday cleaning needs. Each lightweight and cordless vacuum is designed for efficiency and complete mobility.”

The washable high-efficiency filter ensures simple and minimal maintenance and improved performance. Weighing just 1.2lbs, the ergonomic, non-slip design allows for comfort and precise handling. This amazing device can also freshen up the air in the immediate vicinity by eradicating odors by activating Ozone feature. This is a very useful features for your cars, sports equipment or well used shoes.

For convenient charging, users can simply use a USB phone charger or car charger and enjoy up to 13 minutes of max suction cleaning time from a full charge. The sleek, non-slip design allows for comfortable and precise handling, making cleaning effortless.
It may be noted that Anker Innovations is a global leader in charging technology and a developer of unique and innovative consumer products in audio, home automation, home entertainment and more. Anker Innovations represents brands such as Anker, eufy, Nebula, ROAV and Soundcore. Anker Innovations is based in Dubai, U.A.E,, and selling a range of premium products and gadgets in the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq and other GCC countries and African countries.

PEOPLE: Mohamed Jinna wins accolades for being one of the top 50 influential personalities in the Islamic Economy

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 02 March 2020 | Posted in , , , , , ,

IMO News Service

Mohamed Jinna, based in Singapore, has been identified as one among the top 50 influential personalities in the Islamic Economy.

Mohamed Jinna is the dynamic chairman of the United World Halal Development that has dedicatedly created global awareness about the Halal way of life. 
He is the peace ambassador for Bosnia and the recipient of the Islamica 500 award, conferred to 500 most influential Muslim leaders across the world, He holds the accolades as the Honorary member of European Asian Financial policy forum and Advisory Board Member ANZ Business Chamber for India, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore.

In United world Halal development, Jinna joins forces with Halal Industry giants, environmental scientists, theological scholars and governments to host the ‘World Halal Day’ on 1st of November, every year.
World Halal Day is Instrumental in bringing several government bodies to invest in various countries for various projects and initiatives in the field of Islamic (Ethical) banking, Food, Travel, Tourism & Medical Tourism through which manufacturers, Traders, Investors & entrepreneurs meet at one common platform to create businesses and networking between business people,  entrepreneurs and government bodies. This will upsurge the economic condition and infrastructure of the nation which he believes will in turn eradicate poverty as a whole.

World Halal Day will be crucial by bringing in Islamic (Ethical) Banking in a very easy format with digital technology that will be of utmost reach for every person even the down trodden to help them financially, growth sustainability will be the key.

This event facilitates investment in industries like Food & Beverage, Cosmetics, Pharmaceuticals, Islamic (Ethical) banking system, Travel & Tourism and Medical Tourism alike, for the overall economic growth of the Hosting Country. The core objective of the event is to Create Awareness & Trade Promotion. The Trade Promotion is done by creating platforms to showcase Products & Services with B2B networking opportunities, with International Buyers, Suppliers, Sellers and Traders & Distributors.

The World Halal Day focuses on increasing the export market thereby creating an upswing in the economic development, creating more job opportunities eradicating poverty and unemployment.
Continuing in his selfless path, he has announced plans to hold the 2020 World Halal Day in Durban, South Africa. Just like the previous years, United World Halal Development (UNWHD) recognizes the World Halal Day on 1st November, celebrated in different parts of the globe every year. UNWHD has successfully organized the “WORLD HALAL DAY” celebrations since 2014, in Singapore, India, Croatia, United Kingdom, South Korea, and Russia.

Much contrary to the general conception that halal is only limited to a religion or its food, especially meat or meat-based products, Halal is actually the ethical lifestyle of the mankind in entirety. Mohamed Jinna aims to bring holistic societal development that bridges disparity between the rich and the poor, the endowed and the deprived.

The efforts of Mohamed Jinna is paving way for Halal to be rightly understood as synonymous with a peaceful, ethical and harmonious lifestyle. It is a coherent parameter designed for health, safety and human welfare.

About ISLAMICA 500

Published annually, the ISLAMICA 500 is THE reference providing hard-to-find biographical details for 500 of the world’s most prominent and influential personalities in the Islamic world and economy. It has become the industry benchmark. The ISLAMICA 500 is supported by the WIEF (World Islamic Economic Forum).

The ISLAMICA 500 is a fully independent source of information, multidisciplinary and market-driven, cooperating with media giant as Forbes, Dinar Standard, Oxford Business Group, CNBC Arabia and more.

The research and strategic partners include Forbes Middle East, Dinar Standard, Oxford Business Group and ISFIN.

Germany: HALAL HANNOVER conference to be held March 6-8

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , , ,

For the first time ever, the world’s largest summit on the Islamic economy is coming to German-speaking Europe. Global Islamic Economy Summit to hold Round Table at HALAL HANNOVER.

IMO News Service

Hannover, Germany: Halal Hannover conference will be held from 6th to 8th March 2020. The 3-day conference is set to attract the 56 member states of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The conference was first announced by Deutsche Messe in the summer of 2019, HALAL HANNOVER, a new business and knowledge-sharing platform for the German-speaking halal community, has already made a name for itself well beyond Germany.

The event’s conference programme has been officially endorsed by Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and has garnered further international influence with the addition of a Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES) Round Table, set to take place on 6 March 2020. 
The event has assumed greater significance as it will mark the first time the international series of round tables on the Islamic economy, which is establishing a presence in German-speaking Europe.

Each GIES round table that takes place outside the UAE features experts from the UAE and the host region, providing an opportunity for dialogue and knowledge exchange between the Muslim and non-Muslim stakeholders of the Islamic Economy.

Owing to their geographic location, many Islamic countries are reliant on food imports from the West. The UAE is a case in point. As the home of a major international airport and some of the world’s leading seaports, the emirate of Dubai serves as the entry point for the large volume of goods – including halal products – that the country imports from Europe. Since 2013, DIEDC has been successfully working on implementing the strategy of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to establish Dubai as the global capital of the Islamic economy.

The GIES round table at HALAL HANNOVER will serve as a precursor to the next Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES), to be held in Dubai on 9 and 10 November, 2020 on the sidelines of Expo2020 Dubai, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

“The GIES round table is a major boost for HALAL HANNOVER,” said Christoph Schöllhammer, Deutsche Messe’s director for HALAL HANNOVER. “Dignitaries, thought leaders and decision-makers from the international halal industry will gather at the event to discuss the benefits, opportunities and challenges of the international market for halal products and services.”

The round table will take place from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on 6 March 2020 in the conference area of Hall 19/20 at the Hannover Exhibition Centre.

The conference component of HALAL HANNOVER will feature a varied and well-balanced line-up of speakers and topics. Spanning three full days, the event will provide a unique opportunity for attendees to explore current trends and developments in the halal economy and network with industry experts from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the UAE, Germany, Malaysia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey. The programme will offer a strong focus on certification and quality assurance of halal products, retail, logistics, Muslim travel and Islamic banking. The conference presentations will be in both German and English.

For further information on the conference programme, please visit https://halal-messe.de/en/conference/

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