October 05, 2015

Emirates Islamic, one of the leading Islamic financial institutions in the UAE, has today announced the launch of the ISLAMIC BANKING INDEX by EMIRATES ISLAMIC™, the first-of-its-kind consumer focused survey on Islamic Banking in the UAE. The new index will provide an annual benchmark of shifts in the 'penetration', 'perception', 'knowledge' and 'intention' of UAE consumers when it comes to Shari'a compliant banking.

The Islamic Banking Index was unveiled by Emirates Islamic CEO, Jamal Bin Ghalaita at the 2015 Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES) who commented: "The creation of the ISLAMIC BANKING INDEX by EMIRATES ISLAMIC™ marks a new chapter in how we measure the development and growth of Shari'a compliant banking in the UAE.

"By analyzing four key indicators, (penetration, perception, knowledge and intention), we have created for the first time, a benchmark that brings together perception and reality on the status of the Islamic banking industry in UAE. In doing so, the index reveals more than just the attitudes and opinions of people in the UAE towards Islamic Banking - it also creates a pathway to the solutions that will enable us to drive the continued growth of Islamic banking in the UAE."

"As one of the fastest growing Islamic banks in the region, the launch of the index also marks our continued commitment to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai to make the emirate the global capital of the Islamic Economy."

Key Findings of the first ISLAMIC BANKING INDEX by EMIRATES ISLAMIC™ include:


  • 47% of the UAE's banking consumers have at least one Islamic banking product
  • 34% of the UAE's banking consumers have an Islamic product from an Islamic bank
  • Islamic banking has higher shares in auto finance and savings account product categories.


  • Respondents perceive that Islamic banks support the community more and have lower transaction fees as compared to conventional banks
  • Respondents, especially non-Muslim users, rate conventional banks higher on technology, innovation and financial soundness
  • Overall, Islamic banks are more trusted particularly by users of Islamic banking products


  • Six in ten respondents in the UAE have heard about at least one Islamic banking product structure
  • Awareness of all Islamic banking product structures is higher amongst users
  • Close to half of users (46%) and over a quarter of non-users (27%) of Islamic banking products can select the right definition of 'Murabahah' as an indication of correct knowledge


  • 26% and 27% of the respondents have expressed their intention to acquire an Islamic and conventional banking product respectively in the coming 6 months
  • 75% of all intenders are open to Islamic banking products. 86% of Muslim intenders and 59% of non-Muslim intenders are open to Islamic banking products
  • 21% of the intenders say they only seek Islamic banking products, while 54% say they are open to both.

Commenting on the findings, Bin Ghalaita said: "With three out of four people in the UAE willing to consider an Islamic banking product, there is clearly an opportunity for the industry as we continue on our path to become the global centre of the Islamic economy. Trust, fairness and community responsibility are core pillars of the Islamic banking proposition and clearly people associate with that. Yet, the same consumers also want the best products, technology and service. This is also our call to action. With a firm focus on continued innovation, Emirates Islamic is committed to developing the best products and services that will meet the needs of our customers. In doing this, we will ensure we play a leading role in supporting individuals, entrepreneurs, corporates and SMEs that shape the future of the UAE's Islamic economy."


  • Responses were gathered online, in September 2015, from over nine hundred respondents aged 18+, with a bank account in the UAE and earning more than AED 5,000 per month.
  • The sample is representative of the UAE banking consumers over 18 years, covers all nationality groups living in the UAE, men and women, across all seven emirates.
  • Penetration score is the percentage of consumers who have any Islamic product from an Islamic bank or Islamic offering within a conventional bank
  • Knowledge score is the percentage of consumers who are able to correctly define Murabahah. This is computed by multiplying the percentage of those aware of any Islamic concept (59%) by the percentage of those selecting the correct definition of the concept (60%)
  • Perception score is the average of the ratings of Islamic banks on a range of attributes.
  • Intention score is the percentage of those who would subscribe to any Islamic banking product in the next six months among total intenders of Islamic and conventional banking products

  • A detailed whitepaper with the findings is available here