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Excerpted from the United Arab Emirates Guide.

An area of rapid growth is the global Islamic finance sector, which is based on an Islamic ethical foundation. Trade in money for the sake of profit is forbidden, but trade in goods is permitted. Transactions must be based on assets or other tangible goods in order to avoid what is considered usury, which is not in compliance with Sharia or Islamic law. Islamic banks have a different structure from traditional banks, but the services they offer are similar

According to the US Commercial Service, banks in the UAE fall in four broad categories: commercial banks, merchant or investment banks, Islamic banks and industrial banks. The 24 locally incorporated banks have 745 branches and pay offices in the UAE and 43 branches abroad. There are 28 foreign banks with 82 branches, one restricted license bank, three investment banks and 80 representative offices. Several foreign banks in the UAE have set up new branches. Local banks are exempted from any type of taxation whereas foreign banks pay a 20 percent tax on their profit.

Certification and Educational Requirements

It is imperative that the candidate has a graduate degree in commerce/accounting/finance and/or a post graduate degree/diploma in accounting and finance. One could join the industry as a junior accountant or as a senior depending on years of experience. Senior roles in the finance and accounting departments need professional certifications such as CA, ICWA and MBA. Most of the finance and accounting jobs also need candidates with a good knowledge of working with Windows and Microsoft Office.

Organizations and Trade Unions

Association for Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business (IMA)
The IMA is a leading association for management accounting and finance professionals. Its mission is to provide a dynamic forum enabling management accounting and finance professionals to develop and advance their careers through certification, research and practice development, education, networking and advocacy of the highest ethical and professional practices. The IMA Middle East Salary Survey is available to IMA members in English and Arabic.


Global Islamic Finance Magazine (GIF)
Global Islamic Finance Magazine (GIF) is a leading Islamic finance title for bankers, business professionals, brokers, insurers, corporate advisors, and providers of financial services. It focuses on the rapidly growing arena of Islamic banking, finance, economy and business. The publication includes current news, interviews, book reviews and special reports. Digital subscriptions are available to hard-copy subscribers.

This is just a sample of what you'll find in the complete United Arab Emirates Guide.

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