Top 5 growth markets for Islamic finance

As Islamic banking assets near $2trn, we take look at some of the most impressive market opportunities moving forwards


1. Qatar

The country’s five-year CAGR stands at 31 percent, and with $54bn worth of Islamic assets Qatar occupies some 24 percent of the overall Islamic finance market. The country, along with Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, UAE and Turkey are considered by E&Y to be crucial to the future internationalisation of the industry.

Qatar skyline on the National Day of Fireworks

2. Indonesia

Islamic finance in the Southeast Asian nation has exhibited a five-year CAGR 3.1 times larger than that of conventional financial services at 42 percent. And although the country accounts for a relatively meagre slice of the market, the fact that Indonesia plays host to the world’s largest Muslim population looks sure to drum up growth in the future.

Purple sunset over the modern buildings along Jalan Thamrin in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia
Purple sunset over the modern buildings along Jalan Thamrin in Jakarta

3. Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is home to an incredible $245bn worth of Islamic assets and occupies a 53 percent share of the market overall. What’s more, KSA represents 16 percent of global Islamic banking assets and boasts the highest Islamic banking penetration of any nation worldwide, qualifying it as the most mature Islamic finance market.

Riyadh, capital city of Saudi Arabia

4. Malaysia

The country’s prowess in the Islamic finance sector constitutes a large part of its plan to soon become a major financial superpower, alongside the likes of London, New York and Tokyo. Malaysia is without the huge Muslim population of its closest competitors, but its Islamic finance market is extraordinarily well developed.

The Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur
The Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur

5. UAE

The UAE, Dubai in particular, presents a tremendous opportunity for Islamic finance moving forwards, given that the region looks set to become “the capital of the Islamic economy”, according to the emirate’s Prime Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Moreover, the country is home to $83bn worth of Islamic assets.

Dubai at night
Dubai at night