Dubai – MENA Herald: aafaq Education L.C.C is a private company specialized in managing and investing in educational institutions recently entered into a strategic partnership with the University College of Bahrain to offer an Executive Master’s Degree in Islamic Finance in the UAE. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Dr. Mahmoud Abdalaal, CEO of aafaq Islamic Finance, and Dr. Sheikh Khalid Bin Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Founder and Chairman of Board of Trustees at University College of Bahrain, in the presence of senior officials and managers from both parties.

The new agreement comes at a strategic time when the UAE is witnessing growing investments towards human capital to raise the bar of Islamic finance in line with Dubai’s efforts to achieve the ambitious vision of becoming the capital of the global Islamic economy in the coming few years. Under the terms of the newly concluded agreement, the University College of Bahrain will be offering the Executive Master’s in Islamic Finance programme through select faculty members and administrators to ensure an optimal learning experience for students in line with the highest international standards in academics.

For its part, aafaq Education will provide the necessary licensing for the provision of the new Master’s programme in the UAE, in addition to the required offices and state-of-the-art classrooms along with the management of the programme. aafaq Education will also be responsible for marketing and promoting the new academic programme in the UAE and the GCC region, in order to reach to the largest possible segment of the target audience.

Commenting on the bilateral cooperation, Dr. Mahmoud Abdalaal said: “The agreement with the University College of Bahrain is a significant addition to aafaq Education’s network of strategic partnerships aimed at making a positive impact in terms of driving faster growth and development of the Islamic finance industry which is considered a pivotal contributor to the global economy. The new partnership supports the ongoing efforts to provide the Islamic finance industry with highly qualified professionals who are able to continue the journey of excellence and leadership in the UAE and reinforce the country’s position on the map of the world Islamic economy”.

“We are honoured to partner with a prestigious academic institution such as the University College of Bahrain to offer an integrated learning framework to ensure the building of qualified competences with a high degree of excellence and professionalism. It will help in addressing the growing need for specialized manpower to deal with the ongoing changes and developments of Islamic banking products and services. At the same time, it will leverage available opportunities in the Islamic finance industry that continues to play a crucial role in maintaining a stable global economy and is poised to reach a total of USD 3.4 trillion by 2020. We are confident that this agreement will be of great benefit in building competences and encouraging investment in human capital to achieve Dubai’s ‘Capital of Islamic Economy’ initiative launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” added Dr. Abdalaal.

Dr. Sheikh Khalid Bin Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa commended aafaq Islamic Finance’s vital role in supporting the UAE market with best-in-class Islamic financial services that comply with the highest standards of innovation, excellence and reliability. He underlined their efforts to encourage research, development and training to address the various needs and requirements of the Islamic economy.

“Cooperating with one of the leading finance companies in the UAE opens up a new door for us to expand our specialized academic programmes and paves the way to contribute effectively in providing the local and the GCC markets with highly qualified human resources who have the skills and talents to face emerging challenges and take advantage of the promising prospects in Islamic finance, in support of the serious efforts to promote Islamic economy,” concluded Dr. Al Khalifa.

aafaq Education, a subsidiary of aafaq Islamic Finance, is specialized in investment and management of academic and educational institutions.

Established 13 years ago, the University College of Bahrain is one of the highly acknowledged educational institutions in Bahrain and a leading provider of the best higher education and academic Bachelor and Master degree programmes. It has a total of more than 1,500 Bachelor and Master graduates in business management, information systems, and graphic design. In line with the growing role of the GCC region as a key player in the Islamic economy, the University College of Bahrain is keen to expand its scope of academic programmes in Islamic finance through effective partnerships with leading financial institutions such as aafaq Islamic Finance.