DUBAI: Dubai will host a new asset management firm specialising in awqaf (Islamic endowments), as the emirate seeks to become a global centre for the business of shariah-compliant charitable foundations, company officials said yesterday.
Awqaf are believed to control tens of billions of dollars worth of assets around the Muslim world, where people contribute a portion of their wealth, in cash or other forms, to charitable projects such as mosques and schools. Consultancy Ernst & Young estimates awqaf had roughly $105bn of assets in 2010.
But the management of these endowments has often been criticised as inefficient and primitive, leaving money tied up in fixed assets such as real estate where it earns low or zero returns.
NoorAwqaf, which will be owned 60 percent by Noor Investment Group and 40 percent by the Dubai government's Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF), aims to boost returns for awqaf around the globe. Reuters