Finance & Capital Market

Dubai fintech company gets key shariah certification

Stake, a Dubai-based fintech and real estate investment platform, has announced that it has become the first in the industry to be awarded a shariah certification. 
Also known as a Fatwa, the certification was granted by the Shariah Executive Committee of Guidance Financial Group, a entity specialising in the fields of shariah-compliant investments and financing as well as advisory services.
The committee acted on behalf of the Shariah Supervisory Board of Guidance, which comprises six of the most prominent international Islamic scholars and chaired by Justice (Ret.) Muhammad Taqi Usmani. 
Members of the Guidance Shariah Supervisory Board include Shaykh Nizam Yaquby, Dr Mohamed A. Elgari and Dr Mohd Daud Bakar, who also sit on the independent Shariah boards of major financial institutions in the GCC, the UK and the US. 
Supported by the guidance advisory team, the Stake Shariah certification process was led by Dr Bakar, who provided the Fatwa to the Dubai fintech group after reviewing the structure, mechanism and relevant key legal documentations in relation to the digital real estate investment platform. 
Stake was created to provide retail investors from all over the world access to fractional real estate investments in a transparent and easy way, receiving shariah certification opens the platform up to a significant pool of investors. 
"We are delighted to have achieved this stamp of approval from the esteemed Shariah Supervisory Board of Guidance Financial Group," stated Rami Tabbara, the co-founder of Stake. 
"We were originally convinced that the Stake platform already was aligned with the basic principles of Shariah. Today, this has been officially validated by some of the leading Islamic scholars of the world," he added.
Manar Mahmassani, the co-founder of Stake, said: "We are excited for the journey to come and to welcome the global Islamic investment community on our platform. A special thanks to the Guidance team who have worked tirelessly with us to amend our investment structures and documentation to become Shariah compliant."
"As a result of your efforts, Shariah conscious investors from all over the world are now able to directly access the oldest and largest tangible investment asset class in the world and build bespoke portfolios of properties of their choosing, starting in the thriving city of Dubai," he added. 
Dr Mohamad Hammour, Chairman of Guidance Financial Group, said: "We are honoured to be working with Stake in this important endeavour to broaden the appeal of its online platform to include those requiring adherence to shariah standards in all aspects of their investments."
"This seamless harmonization of Shariah principles and fintech creates an enhanced product offering that allows retail investors to participate in this innovation whilst remaining faithful to their values and principles," he added. 
Since launching earlier this year, Stake has grown from strength to strength, attracting over 12,000 registered users from 28 countries and 98 different nationalities, completing a total of 18 property investments on its platform. 
Stake’s advisors include Daniel Miller, the Co-Founder of Fundrise, the first and largest real estate crowd-investing platform in the US, as well as Gaurav Shivpuri, an ex-veteran at JLL, the leading global real estate advisory firm. 
The company recently added as advisor and independent board member Walid Mansour, Partner at Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP).