The Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) says it is in advanced discussions with the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates to establish the first sharia compliant trade bank.

The new bank, which will be called Emirates Trade Bank, will focus on international trade and commodity financing, and comes as part of the UAE’s push to position itself as the capital of the Islamic economic world.

Led by Dubai’s minister of cabinet affairs Mohammed Al Gergawi, a committee of six members, including various ministers and the head of Dubai Export Development Corporation (DEDC), are driving the initiative forward.

“Emirates Trade Bank will exclusively offer integrated trade and international commodity financing solutions, through leveraging and mobilising the infrastructure and logistics ecosystem of the UAE,” says DIEDC.

“The bank will fulfil Dubai’s strategic goal of supporting the Islamic financial sector and integrating investments from this domain towards doubling UAE trade flows, which stood at AED1.4tn (US$381.2bn) in 2014, by 2020.”

Sharia compliant finance is banking activity that is consistent with the principles of Islamic law.