MANAMA: This year's World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) has been the biggest event of its kind ever, the organiser claimed yesterday. On the closing day of the conference, Mega Events managing director David McLean, who has organised all 17 editions of the WIBC, said they have attracted a total of 1,247 delegates this year.
"We also had our largest support from sponsors with 64 participating and our largest line-up of key international speakers with 68.
"The turnout was well up on last year when the industry was in a bit of a dip and reflects the positive upbeat attitude of the industry.
"The feedback from both delegates and speakers was that we have weathered the crisis and can now look forward to the recovery," he said.
"The mood in the market is very positive and we have a lot of the delegates already signing up for next year's event when we return to Bahrain," he added.
The WIBC was convened under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, and held under the official support of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).
Its theme was to build a new growth paradigm for the Islamic banking and finance industry in the new global financial landscape.
The inaugural keynote plenary session saw CBB Governor Rasheed Al Maraj and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank Group,chief executive officer and general manager Khalid Mohammed Al Aboodi providing perspectives on strengthening industry foundations.
The session provided meaningful insights into new international regulatory developments that will strengthen the industry and create a more rigorous and robust architecture.
The inaugural plenary session was immediately followed by a high-powered chief executive officers and industry leaders' power debate.
Moderated by Ernst & Young partner Sameer Abdi, the power debate session assessed the future outlook for Islamic finance and evaluated the prospects for expanding the internationalisation of Islamic finance in new high-potential markets.
The World Islamic Banking Exhibition, which was held on the sidelines of the conference, showcased latest products, services and innovations from over 64 exhibitors.