Workers expect their defined contribution plans to play a greater role in their retirement income than annuities.
Qatar's Al Khaleej Insurance & Reinsurance Co.  has converted from conventional insurance and reinsurance business to takaful operations, in compliance to Shariah (Islamic) insurance practice.
This development is an evitable trend in the Middle East region as nearly all businesses are Islamic-based companies, Jassim Al Moftah, general manager of Al Khaleej Takaful Insurance & Reinsurance, told BestWire. The company aims to contribute to the growth and development of takaful in Qatar, building on its more than 30 years of conventional insurance experience.
All business lines are being transformed to takaful. Al Khaleej Takaful Insurance & Reinsurance continues to operate in its current location with a new logo.
Established in 1978, Al Khaleej Takaful Insurance & Reinsurance offers group life, medical, marine, aviation, fire and accident, motor and energy insurance. Direct insurance businesses all come locally from Qatar. In reinsurance, the company provides services for both local and overseas clients such as from Europe.
The company said in a statement it plans to develop and introduce more innovative takaful products beyond its traditional activities for the benefits of its clients. The Qatar-based company has branches in Madinat Khalifa and Rayan.
In recognizing the growing trend of Islamic insurance, the company said the Shariah-compliant insurance does not focus on profit alone but rather addresses risk factors and alleviates the impact of losses on people.
Al Khaleej Insurance & Reinsurance reported gross written premium of 214 million Qatari rials (US$59 million) for the year ended September 2009, up from 202 million rials in the previous year. Its total assets stood at 711 million rials, up from 668 million rials a year ago.
(By Iris Lai, Hong Kong bureau manager: Iris.Lai@ambest.com)