Backed by an eminent and respected group of shareholders, Aafaq Islamic Finance was established in 2006 to provide innovative Islamic financial services and products that comply with Islamic Sharia across the UAE and the Region. Headed by its CEO, Hisham Hammoud, Aafaq stands on the list of many prominent financial organizations delivering high-quality financial services for a wide range of institutions.
Hisham is a business leader and a banking professional with over two decades of experience in business execution strategies, consumer banking, investment and wealth management, treasury and capital markets, operations, technology, risk management, business process re-engineering, profit, and cost optimization.
Over the years, Hisham has worked in Senior Executive roles across organizations like Citi Bank, Dubai Bank, Dubai Tadawul Brokerage, Dubai Resources, Al Tagdeer Company, Bank Islami Pakistan Limited, Network International Group, and Ajman Bank.
Hisham also holds a Risk Management and Advanced Leadership Skills certification from the state-of-the-art International Leadership Programs in the US, EMEA & AP regions. Besides that, he has an in-depth understanding of auditing and the associated regulatory issues in both local & global banks.
As the Group Chief Executive Officer at Aafaq Islamic Finance, Hisham drives the group strategy to maximize shareholder value and achieve market-leading business growth while building customer relationships and loyalty. Hisham’s relentless ambition and energy have driven him to achieve and exceed targets, goals and attain objectives.
A Key Player in the Financial Services Industry
With a proven track record of delivering innovative and Shariah-compliant financial solutions to its customers, Aafaq Islamic Finance has established itself as a strong player in the UAE.
Aafaq Islamic Finance recognizes that today’s youth are the leaders of tomorrow, and it is committed to empowering them through its products and services. By providing exceptional financial education and support, Aafaq aims to help the younger generation achieve their goals and contribute to the growth and development of the UAE.
On the other hand, SMEs play a crucial role in UAE’s economy, contributing significantly to employment and economic growth. However, these SMEs often struggle to access financing due to their size and lack of collateral. So, by supporting SMEs, Aafaq Islamic Finance aligns with the UAE government’s effort to promote economic growth and diversification through supporting small businesses.
“We are also exploring new market segments traditionally underserved by the financial industry. Through our innovative solutions, we aim to bring financial inclusion to these segments and help them realize their full potential,”- explains Hisham. “Digital transformation and innovation are also key elements of our new vision. We recognize that the world is changing rapidly, and we must adapt and evolve to stay ahead of the curve. By embracing technology and innovation, we aim to transform how financial services are delivered and revolutionize the industry.”
Due to its commitment to innovation, Aafaq Islamic Finance strongly focuses on AI and its potential to transform the financial services industry. Through its investment in digitalization, Aafaq Islamic Finance aims to offer its customers personalized and intelligent financial solutions. The organization’s digitalpowered solutions will better understand its customers’ needs and preferences and tailor its products and services accordingly.
Hisham and his team at Aafaq Islamic Finance also believe it can help the organization improve its risk management and compliance process, leading to a more secure and transparent financial system.
Creating a Diversified and Sustainable Economy
Being a leading Islamic financial institution, Aafaq is extremely proud to contribute to the UAE’s efforts to create a diversified and sustainable economy. The organization’s initiatives are aligned with the UAE’s vision of promoting innovation, entrepreneurship, and financial inclusion, and it is committed to supporting the government’s efforts in achieving these objectives.
Through its products, partnerships, and services, Aafaq aims to support UAE’s vision of becoming a hub for innovation, a leader in sustainability, and a model for economic growth and development.
With the contribution of Aafaq’s customers, employees, and partners, Hisham is hugely excited about the organization’s new vision and looks forward to working together to create a better future for all.
“Our focus on digitalization is key to our new vision and initiatives. We are excited about the potential of this technology to revolutionize the financial services industry, and we are committed to being at the forefront of this transformation,” – states Hisham.
A Leading Provider of Islamic Financial Services
Founded with the goal of providing innovative and customer-focused financial solutions in accordance with the principles of Islamic finance, Dubai-based Aafaq Islamic Finance is now a leading provider of Islamic financial services.
Some of the products and services offered by Aafaq Islamic Finance include:
- Corporate finance: Aafaq Islamic Finance provides various corporate finance services, including project and trade financing.
- Retail finance: The company offers a range of retail financial products and services, including personal loans, credit cards, and deposit products.
- Investment deposits: Aafaq Islamic Finance provides Shari’a compliant Wakala investments. On maturity, Corporates can enjoy several renewal options, from rolling over the principal amount & profit to rolling over the principal amount and collecting the profit.
- Corporate guarantees: The company offers several types of corporate guarantees with flexible margin options and simple & fast processing. Aafaq provides the following types of Corporate Guarantees:
- Bank Guarantees
- Labor Guarantees
- Establishment Guarantees
- Financial Guarantees
- Bid Bonds
- Advance Guarantees
- Performance Bonds
- Retention and Maintenance Guarantees
Motivating Innovation and Creativity in the Workplace
In today’s dynamic and fiercely competitive business world, the key to success lies in being creative and innovative. Hisham recognizes this fact and is determined to cultivate a culture of creativity and innovation at Aafaq Islamic Finance to keep the organization ahead of the game in the financial industry.
Promoting creativity and innovation in the workplace can also help Aafaq Islamic Finance attract and retain exceptional talent while creating a conducive and positive work environment that inspires employees to generate fresh and inventive ideas constantly. Hisham firmly believes that this is an indispensable aspect of the organization’s success and continues to work towards enhancing it. After all, creativity and innovation are essential for any company striving to excel in today’s competitive landscape.
Tackling the Pandemic
The global financial industry, including Aafaq Islamic Finance, has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has resulted in significant economic disruptions, creating various challenges for financial institutions.
To overcome these challenges, Aafaq Islamic Finance, along with other financial institutions, had to adapt its business model to ensure the safety of its employees and customers. This involved adopting digital and remote services, reducing branch operations, and implementing health and safety protocols. Additionally, the company has prioritized supporting its customers during these unprecedented times by providing flexible repayment options, offering financial education and advice, and implementing measures to alleviate the pandemic’s impact on the communities it serves. Despite these challenges, Aafaq Islamic Finance remains committed to providing the highest level of service to its customers while ensuring the safety and well-being of its employees.
The Gender-Pay Gap Challenge
The gender pay gap is a persistent issue that continues to plague societies worldwide, representing a sobering reminder of the disparities that still exist between genders. Despite concerted efforts to promote equality and fairness, women continue to earn less than their male counterparts for the same work, with the gap sometimes widening. This insidious form of discrimination erodes women’s financial independence and reinforces negative gender stereotypes, perpetuating a cycle of inequality that undermines progress and undermines the potential of half the population.
Being an organization committed to empowering and encouraging women, Aafaq Islamic Finance believes the pay disparity can have long-term effects on women’s financial condition.
“Unfortunately, despite advances in equality and anti-discrimination laws, the gender pay gap persists in many countries and industries. Women often earn less than men for doing the same work. This disparity can have long-term effects on women’s financial stability and economic independence,”- explains Hisham. “But one thing is for sure, that we at Aafaq Islamic Finance do not have a gender pay gap, but on the contrary, we always encourage and empower women while we also have an internal equal pay policy set in place to ensure that women working in Aafaq receive equal rights.”
Preparing for a Better Future
As Aafaq Islamic Finance enters 2023, the company has set its sights on enhancing the customer experience, embracing digital transformation, and fostering greater financial inclusion, all while promoting sustainable and responsible investment practices. The year 2022 was dedicated to building a sturdy foundation enabling Aafaq to navigate new challenges and seize emerging opportunities, thereby securing a leading position in the industry.