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Are we missing the trees by looking at the forest? Given all the fanfare, regarding Dubai’s mission to position itself as the Islamic economic centre, there is a pressing need for substantial action plans that focus on key deliverables involving people or talent & knowledge. Joy Abdullah explores —“Can Dubai Make It?”

dubai skyline

With the Halal & Islamic finance industries seeing double-digit growth in recent years’, Islamic economy has come into the spotlight and with Dubai’s announcement of re-inventing itself as the ‘Islamic economic center’ these twin industries have taken center-stage.

SEE ALSO:  Dubai setup Watchdog for Islamic Financial Products
SEE ALSO:  Halal World Food Exhibition to propel Dubai’s Islamic Economy Capital Vision

This is great news for a variety of reasons:

  1. Business growth opportunities for multi-nationals, regional and national businesses in the twin industries of Islamic finance & Halal.
  2. UAE’s seven pillar strategy brings to fore additional industries that would benefit.
  3. Increasing employment requirement i.e. job opportunities which will then impact on increasing consumption.
  4. Increased requirements of up-skilling of industry professionals.

But should the focus be on Islamic finance & Halal or elsewhere?

The driving forces for the Islamic economy are the twins– Islamic finance & Halal.
While these two industries are in pole position for leading Dubai’s charge to establish itself as a global center, the powerhouse that would provide the fuel to these two industries is the education sector.

Why the education sector?

There are two key drivers that are easily identified, looking at the strategic overview that has been laid out, for ensuring success of this project within the timeline given. These two drivers are common and equally important for all the seven industry sectors involved. These drivers are:

  1. Talent: Having both, technical & behaviourial competencies, in key specific positions would be of crucial necessity in order to ensure successful strategy implementation.
  2. Knowledge: Providing the required learning & development facility to up-skill current professionals & to develop a pipeline of talent is a long-term necessity.

In order for Dubai to be able to achieve its goal of being the Islamic economic centre, the education sector will have to take a leadership role.

SEE ALSO:  Dubai to set up Framework for Promoting Islamic Economy
SEE ALSO:  Dubai Launches Center for Islamic Banking and Finance

Need of the hour

The education sector will have to put in place a blueprint that would provide the short-term knowledge up-skilling of professionals with the long-term graduate talents pipeline development.

Knowledge up-skilling will have to be in the form of collaborative projects, with regards to content development, between the educational and the seven key industries identified in this national project.

Industry organisations would have to look at putting in place talent development programs coupled with aiding the education sector in upgrading their academic content for developing graduate talent.

Will Dubai Make It?

These are early days still. With approximately 120 days into the 36 month project timeline valuable time is ticking by. Key action plans which show such collaborative efforts across the seven industries are yet to be seen on ground.

Whilst the hardware or infrastructure is in place it’s time to focus on the software or people that will enable Dubai to achieve its mission.

(Joy Abdullah is a cross-functional organisational expert, specialising in brand-based business sustainability which, in essence, is getting the organisation to focus on its customer experience. To know more about Joy, follow him on LinkedIn or check out his Blog Benefit Point)

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