Monday January 3, 2022
Continuing its efforts to contribute to social development, Bank Nizwa, the leading Islamic bank in the Sultanate, participated in and sponsored the first Waqf Forum, which was organized by Imam Jabir Bin Zaid Waqf Foundation in cooperation with the Ministry of Endowments & Religious Affairs at Sheraton Hotel Muscat. Aiming to empower the role of Waqf foundations in the Sultanate of Oman, this initiative comes in alignment with Bank Nizwa’s commitment to support Islamic Awqaf (endowments) and develop the endowments sector in Oman, which is regarded as one of the most effective Shari’a-compliant tools, contributing to the economic growth and social welfare.
The forum was held under the auspices of HE Sheikh Al Fadl bin Mohammed Al Harthy, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, in the presence of a host of industry experts and representatives from the public and private sectors. The event focused on key topics related to Islamic endowments, including activating the partnership between endowment foundations, the mechanism of managing endowment foundations, and adopting the best practices to organize awqaf in the country, as well as reviewed regulatory and framework of Waqf investments and its related challenges.
Commenting on the forum, Mr. Khalid Al Kayed, Chief Executive Officer of Bank Nizwa said: “The Islamic Awqaf sector in the Sultanate of Oman is witnessing remarkable developments thanks to the efforts made by the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs to expand the role of community participation in developing endowments in accordance with specific governance and controls. The annual forum of Waqf foundations is an ideal and great platform that brings together industry stalwarts and experts to discuss the significance of Waqf foundations and its roles in promoting societal development. Certainly, this forum contributed at bridging communication between the endowment foundations across the Sultanate through exchanging experiences and knowledge, as well as developing some aspects related to the endowments administration and compliance in Oman.”
The event witnessed the participation of Mr. Khalid Al Kayed, Chief Executive Officer at Bank Nizwa, in a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Waqf Partnership - Cooperation and Integration’, addressing the role of private sector in general and Bank Nizwa in specific in developing the sector of Waqf. The panel discussion also highlighted Bank Nizwa's efforts in developing Waqf foundations and promoting awareness on the concept and principles of Islamic Waqf, as well as discussing the challenges faced to enhance integrated roles between Waqf foundations and other entities.
The forum also carried out workshops covering a wide array of topics related to the endowment sector, including governance of endowment foundation, feasibility studies for endowment investment projects, and promotion of endowment across the country.
“Guided by the principles of Sharia and a firm dedication towards CSR activities that serve the local community, Bank Nizwa remains at the forefront of promoting social development and investment through our impactful partnerships and programmes. Our sponsorship of the First Waqf Forum translates our Bank’s business philosophy. As Waqf foundations have an immense impact on humanitarian causes and wellbeing of the society at large in the recent time, it is imperative to activate the complementary role between the private sector and institutions to support and invest into Waqf foundations. We remain at the forefront in supporting the efforts of Waqf foundations endeavours to create awareness about Waqf and its role in building a sustainable society and economy.”
It is noteworthy that Bank Nizwa actively fosters the sector of Waqf in the Sultanate by supporting foundations through providing facilities related to opening accounts, investing funds and providing financial advice in investment projects, as well as assessing risks prior the foundations enter into Waqf investment projects.
The Bank is further expanding its endeavors to invest into Islamic Waqf projects. Bank Nizwa signed MoU with Imam Jabir Bin Zaid Waqf Foundation to launch an educational platform that provides a comprehensive understanding on Waqf concepts and principles, enhancing community awareness on endowment.
As the first Islamic bank in Oman, Bank Nizwa maintains a long-standing commitment to raising awareness of the concept and principles of Islamic finance and sharing its multifaceted benefits with people across the Sultanate. The Bank seeks to enhance the Islamic economy, contributing to the socio-economic development through integrated efforts between the various institutions.