Meet Last Year's Winner of Ethica's "Weekend in Dubai" Competition Last year Fahad Tariq from Toronto scored the highest mark (91%) on the Certified

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Weekend-in-Dubai- Fahad s-Story

Meet Last Year's Winner of Ethica's "Weekend in Dubai" Competition

Last year Fahad Tariq from Toronto scored the highest mark (91%) on the Certified Islamic Finance Executive (CIFE) examination to win Ethica's "Weekend in Dubai" competition. Here’s his story…

Fahad on His Experience with Ethica's CIFE

I decided to enrol in Ethica’s Certified Islamic Finance Executive program due to its rigor, balanced curriculum, and international reputation. Ethica’s CIFE program allowed me to obtain a deeper understanding of Islamic finance products and how they are utilized at financial institutions around the world — this is exactly the requisite knowledge that is needed to enter the Islamic finance industry. The CIFE learning modules are high quality and very well structured. I was tremendously excited to hear that I had won the trip to Dubai to network with leading Islamic bankers and scholars — this is truly an opportunity of a lifetime.

As the plane descended through the clouds, I could see the Dubai skyline of soaring, iconic towers — architectural wonders in a desert landscape. My trip was generously facilitated by Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance. The purpose of my trip was to meet with Islamic bank executives, advisors, and other practitioners to learn more about the Islamic finance industry in Dubai and, more broadly, in the Middle East.

Prior to my trip, I had learned how vast Ethica’s network of users and global reach actually is. When my name was first published in the Ethica newsletter, I received congratulatory emails from around the world, including from an Ernst & Young colleague in Tanzania who I had never met.

My flight arrived on Saturday night. I checked into the hotel located near the BurJuman metro station. Although it was almost midnight, it was still bustling outside because most people did not have work the next day (due to a local holiday to celebrate the Prophet's birth, God bless him and give him peace). I decided to grab a quick bite to eat and was ecstatic when I realized that my dining options were unlimited since all the food was halal (unlike in my hometown of Toronto). I then went to sleep, anticipating an early morning the next day.

At 8am the next morning, I met Naeem from Ethica who took me to the Dubai Big Bus Tour, a fantastic hop-on hop-off tour of the entire city. Through the tour, I visited the main tourist attractions including the gold souk, spice souk, Dubai Museum, Grand Mosque, Atlantis hotel, Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah beach, Dubai creek, Mall of the Emirates, and the downtown core. The grandeur of the city became immediately apparent. It was interesting to learn about Dubai’s deep history and how its economy was previously sustained exclusively on fishing and pearl diving. The economy has completely transformed since then and now subsists on tourism and capital markets.

On Monday morning, I met Sameer from Ethica. Sameer meticulously organized all of my meetings during my stay. Our first meeting was with the CEO of the Islamic division of a regional bank. I appreciated the CEO’s candor as he explained the development of the Islamic finance industry in Dubai and Malaysia, and the progress he expects in the coming years. He was also excited about the growth potential of Islamic finance in North America. We then met a Sharia advisor who helps his banking clients structure transactions and products that are within the Islamic legal framework. It was interesting to hear about the breadth of products offered as well as the development of the Islamic microfinance industry in India. We later met with the CEO of a gold trading business and the President of a private equity firm. I was impressed with the commitment of these professionals to ethical standards and with their profound knowledge of both conventional and Islamic finance. I was surprised to learn that many of the executives I met had studied and worked in the West before transitioning into a career in Islamic finance. This provided them with a sophisticated understanding of the global banking and capital markets environment and where Islamic finance fits in.

On Tuesday, we conducted the remainder of our meetings and I prepared for my long flight home. The key lesson that I extracted from my meetings is that being a leader in the Islamic finance industry requires a strong understanding of the axioms and particulars of Islamic finance as well as a sincere commitment to the moral principles embedded in Islamic sacred law. I would like to thank the Ethica team for organizing the trip, a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

About Fahad Tariq:

Fahad currently works as a Chartered Accountant at the global accounting firm Ernst & Young in Toronto, Canada where he has been recognized as a top performer. Outside of work, Fahad is a leader in various community initiatives including the Muslim Chaplaincy of Toronto, an organization he helped launch in 2012. Fahad is also involved in Ascend Canada and DECA Ontario. He hopes to leverage his knowledge of finance and asset management to transition into a career in Islamic finance. Fahad obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree with High Distinction from the University of Toronto in 2010.


Meetings with Islamic finance scholars, bankers, and leading experts
Job search coaching at Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance
Participation in Ethica’s global network of CIFE graduates who now work in over 160 financial institutions in 64 countries
Airfare to Dubai
Hotel accommodation, visa, and transfers

Plus Amazing Bonuses...
* At the Top: Visit the observation deck of Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building
* Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of Dubai's famous landmarks
* Arabian dhow cruise on Dubai creek
* Visit the Dubai Museum and the Sharjah Islamic Civilization Museum
* Rewards booklet offering shopping, leisure, and dining discounts in Dubai
* Ethica's top business book picks
* 2 complimentary months of CIFE access
* 30% lifetime discount voucher for Advanced CIFE certificates
* 30% lifetime discount to future webinars


Enroll now for Ethica’s CIFE at a 20% discount anytime before August 30th, using promotion code 'DUBAI'
Attempt the exam anytime before November 30th
Highest score wins a trip to Dubai and amazing bonuses (+$4,000 value)

EnrollNow2 full

NOTE: This discount offer cannot be used in conjunction with Ethica's multi-user corporate/group rates.


About Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance


Ethica is trusted by more professionals for Islamic finance certification.

The Dubai-based institute has trained and certified professionals in over 160 financial institutions across 64 countries.

Ethica’s 4-month Certified Islamic Finance Executive™ (CIFE™) is a globally recognized certificate accredited by scholars to fully comply with AAOIFI, the world's leading Islamic finance standard. The award-winning CIFE™ is delivered 100% online or live at the bank.

Ethica s CIFE Certificate

Actual hand-framed CIFE certificate couriered to graduates

Ethica recently won the award for "Best Islamic Finance Qualification" from Global Islamic Finance Awards in the UK; "Best Research and Education Company" from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai at the Global Islamic Economy Summit; and the "Education Leadership Award" at the Asian Leadership Awards.

For more information about this article, or to schedule an interview with Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance, please call +971-4-455-8690 or e-mail at

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