New report says digital Islamic services are an emerging sector

The Dubai Islamic Economy Development Center, partnered with professional services firm Deloitte, released a report on untapped opportunities presented by the Digital Islamic Services market today.

The report was compiled by the Sharia-compliant firm Noor Telecom and details a number of areas where there are market openings to build on Islam-based digital services to serve both the Middle East and the growing Muslim population around the world.

Noor Telecom’s Chairman and CEO Ayman Al Bannaw said digital technology holds huge potential for creating niche services for the global Islamic community.

“Technology is arming us with tools that are far more powerful and effective than anything in the past -- the impact of which is fully evident in the Muslim community,” Al Bannaw said. “By observing and following this trend, we have identified a strong need for Digital Islamic Services.”

Santino Saguto of Deloitte Middle East said there are a number of noteworthy prospects, but so far few Islamic Internet platforms have arisen to meet the need.

“Currently there are no venture capital funds in the Middle East that specifically target Islamic needs, signifying a huge gap that could and should be filled,” Saguto said.

Specific areas the report suggests could be growth sectors include modest fashion and Islamic finance, economic finance, media, art and design. Sharia-compliant travel services could also find a new way to serve customers in the Middle East. The report also suggests platforms that trace the market route for Halal food so consumers in the Middle East can be sure of where their food comes from and that it is compliant with religious law.

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