This chapter includes the following articles.
For the past decade, Saudi Arabia has been at the forefront of development in the Islamic financial services (IFS) sector. The Kingdom, which is home to more than a quarter of the GCC’s Islamic financial assets and a handful of the world’s largest sharia-compliant financial institutions, is currently among the top IFS markets in the world. In 2011-12 the sector continued to expand, buoyed by strong economic fundamentals and the Kingdom’s growing reputation as a centre for innovation in IFS. Of course, the sector does face challenges, including the lack of a large, well-trained national financial workforce. However, the IFS industry as a whole is poised for substantial expansion for years to come. With GDP growth expected to top 6% in 2013, according to IMF forecasts, the government and private sector alike are bullish on growth for the foreseeable future.