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Islamic finance as a driver for enhancing economic sustainability and innovation in the GCC

Salah Alhammadi (Faculty of Business Studies, Arab Open University – Kuwait, Al-Farwaniya, Kuwait)

Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management

ISSN: 2053-4620

Article publication date: 25 January 2024




This study aims to investigate the role of Islamic finance in supporting sustainable economic growth, innovation and digital transformation in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. Amid global challenges like the Russia–Ukraine conflict and COVID-19, the focus extends beyond the GCC’s oil dependency to explore how Islamic finance can enable technological advancements and foster a digitally innovative economy. The research aims to reveal the potential of Islamic finance in driving economic diversification, technological progress and sustainable development in the GCC.


Using a content analysis approach, this study critically examines the economic repercussions of recent global crises, shedding light on how Islamic finance contributes to socio-economic justice and the provision of social goods in the GCC. The research synthesises findings from various secondary sources, including academic literature, reports and industry standards, to analyse Islamic finance’s role from an ethical and strategic perspective within the GCC’s evolving economic landscape.


The findings reveal Islamic finance’s potential to significantly contribute to the GCC’s economic diversification and resilience against global economic downturns. The study highlights how Islamic finance aligns with the sustainable development goals and its effectiveness in promoting ethical financial practices and socio-economic justice.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should focus on global comparative studies to understand Islamic finance’s impact on sustainable development beyond the GCC. Longitudinal studies are also essential to assess the long-term effects of Islamic financial instruments on economic stability.

Practical implications

The research advocates for incorporating Islamic finance principles into the GCC’s economic strategies, emphasising its role in providing resilient and ethical financial alternatives conducive to sustainable development. It underscores the need for policy initiatives integrating Islamic finance to bolster socio-economic welfare and environmental sustainability.


Offering a novel perspective, this paper enriches the discourse on the contribution of Islamic finance to sustainable economic development. It presents critical insights into how Islamic finance can underpin long-term economic resilience and growth in the GCC. It provides valuable implications for academia and policymaking, particularly in emerging economies’ science and technology policy management.



This research was supported and funded by the research sector, Arab Open University – Kuwait Branch, under decision 24074.

Funding: This research received funds from the Arab Open University, Kuwait.

Data availability statement: All data appear to be publicly sourced.

Conflicts of interest: The author declares no conflict of interest.


Alhammadi, S. (2024), "Islamic finance as a driver for enhancing economic sustainability and innovation in the GCC", Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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