Dubai Islamic Bank

Dubai Islamic Bank is, as the name would suggest, the world’s first fully-fledged Islamic bank. The way it operates is based around traditional Islamic values, while still offering a full banking system with all of the expected services and abilities of a normal banking institution.

For those not familiar with the Islamic religion, this may seem a little confusing. In essense, the Dubai Islamic Bank operates quite like the average high street bank, and offers most of the same services and facilities. Everything you would expect to be available is, from online and telephone banking, to savings and current accounts, mortgages and investment opportunities.

The bank was formed in 1975, and is now part of the largest growth sector in the financial world. The Dubai Islamic Bank claims to offer a fairer deal for all customers, and is said to be based around customer service rather than profit. Considering it’s success, at least some of these claims must be true. The assets of Islamic-only banking is over $200billion and grows every day; and within this sector, the Dubai Islamic Bank is the original and – according to most – the best.

Interestingly, considering the Dubai Islamic Bank is in a sector not renowned for it’s world awareness, the bank prides itself on it’s community activity. There are funds for new businesses, which are profit-free for the bank and encourage entrepreneurship. These loans also come without administrative charges, showing a real sense of consciousness from the bank. The Dubai Islamic Bank takes their position in world affairs seriously and regular help those in need; for example, in January 2009 the Dubai Islamic Bank donated $10, 000, 000 (ten million dollars) to the Gaza relief fund following the outbreak of war in the area.

Despite the name, a customer does not need to be a follower of Islam to open an account with the Dubai Islamic Bank. The Islamic aspect comes in how the bank is run, namely as they seek not to make obscene profit. The bank, for example, is not available on the stockmarket, as this is technically a form of gambling, which in turn is forbidden in Islamic culture. This means the Dubai Islamic Bank is able to avoid the recent credit crisis due to a more ethical approach to banking.

The bank is run by a Sharia Board. Sharia Law is a form of ruling which applies to Islamic followers and is based around the morality of ethics of the religion. Within the Dubai Islamic Bank, the Sharia Board ranks above the Board of Directors as the final stopping point for all banking decisions. The Board ensures that all transactions are carried out ethically and in accordance to Sharia Law, and also has the power to issue Fatwas – essentially bans – on any type of trading that does not meet with the moral stance of Islam.

Although a non-Islamic customer must agree to these Sharia rulings, they are no different from the standard terms and conditions of any bank. Although, they may be; the conditions of banking with the Dubai Islamic Bank are fair, concise and mutually beneficial – something which is not true of the modern for-profit banks. This makes the Dubai Islamic Bank an enticing prospect for a customer desiring a banking service, but with morality.