Income from premiums on takaful (Islamic insurance) contracts was just over $2bn in 2006. According to World Takaful Report by Ernst & Young, the figure will grow to $4.3bn in 2010.

“Growth in the takaful sector has outpaced that witnessed in other insurance sectors,” said Sameer Abdi, partner of Ernst & Young’s Islamic financial service group, during a speech in Dubai on 14 April to launch the report. “Current growth trends point to a $10bn-15bn industry in 10 years.”

Abdi said the biggest issue the takaful industry faces is the shortage of skilled and experienced staff and particularly qualified Sharia scholars. The limited range of products offered was also a major deficiency, he added.