Islamic bank Alizz joins the first Waqf forum

The Waqf sector is considered to be one of the main drivers of fund growth in the Sultanate, said Asaad bin Hilal Al-Kharusi, acting COO of Alizz Islamic Bank. He added that although the industry is still new to the Sultanate, it is only a matter of time before people realize how the Waqf Foundations will take over asset management using a different approach.

Al Kharusi was speaking at the first Waqf forum organized by the Imam Jabir Bin Zaid Waqf Foundation (JBZF) in partnership with the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs under the auspices of Sheikh Al Fadhl Mohammed al Harthi, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers . Alizz Islamic Bank was one of the main sponsors of the first Waqf Forum held at the Sheraton Hotel.

He added that the cooperation and investment with the foundations of the Waqf will produce several impressive results through the endowment, experience, effort and money which is the main pillar of real investments. In the same context, he underlined the importance of appealing to all the foundations and funds of the Waqf to make known their definition, their roles and their activities.

Elaborating on Sukuk, Al-Kharusi said, “We had previous experience with Sukuk. Although it is easier to issue Sukuk to institutions and large investors, small investors have the right to join the investment industry and benefit from potential opportunities. Therefore, we have made an excellent decision to offer such an opportunity to small investors. But before that, we launched a big marketing campaign that covered major cities in different governorates to educate people about Sukuk, as it was the first issue aimed at individuals. We received a positive response as around a third of subscriptions came from individuals. “

The forum aimed to provide a platform for foundations, experts and advocates of the Waqf to meet and discuss the promotion of this sector. The forum saw three round tables on the themes “Waqf Partnership – Cooperation and Integration”, “Management Mechanism of Waqf Foundations” and “Investment in Waqf Foundations” with 17 speakers. The panels highlighted cooperation and integration in the Waqf sector, its management mechanisms and investment in Waqf establishments.

In addition, the forum hosted three workshops covering topics related to the endowment industry, including governance of endowment foundations, feasibility studies for endowment investment projects, and promotion of endowment foundations.

The forum also saw the signing of a number of memoranda of understanding and cooperation notes with various institutions in the Sultanate. It should be noted that the first endowment forum aims to promote cooperation between the foundations of the Waqf and the actors of this sector on the one hand, and its sponsors, on the other hand, through the exchange of experiences and knowledge, and development of various aspects related to the administration of endowments to Waqf foundations. The forum also served as a catalyst to highlight the importance of Waqf foundations and their role in societal development and promote partnerships between Waqf foundations on the one hand, and public-private sector institutions on the other.

Melvin B. Baillie