Abu Dhabi building platform to create global halal industry standard

Abu Dhabi is building a solid platform to create
globalised standards in the Halal industry, a rapidly expanding
business now reaching 1.8 billion consumers worldwide and worth an
estimated US$2.1 trillion.

While Malaysia and
Brunei have well established regulatory bodies to verify products that
are Halal compliant, and levels of protection are in place in countries
like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, there is a growing demand for a
universal standard across all Halal products. Meeting that demand will
require a major combined effort between the industry and government

Abu Dhabi’s role in creating and developing a
comprehensive Halal trade event, bringing together major players and
experts from around the world, was highlighted today as an important

Organisers IIR Middle East announced that the second
edition of Halal World Expo, the GCC’s leading event dedicated to the
global Halal industry, will take place at the Abu Dhabi National
Exhibition Centre from 11-13 November, 2008.

In making the announcement the company said it was being
encouraged by the Abu Dhabi government to ensure the event placed an
emphasis on discussion and debate which can help reinforce moves to set
up globalised standards for the Halal industry.

“Following on from the event’s successful launch last
December, the government sees this year’s exhibition as another crucial
step in increasing the role the UAE plays to meet the demand from Halal
consumers worldwide,” said Christine Weaver, Exhibition Director for
Halal World Expo.

”It will give national industry leaders the chance to
work together with global professionals from countries such as
Malaysia, South Africa, Brunei, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia which have
Halal compliance systems in place. Added Weaver: “It is often taken for
granted that processed food and products available in supermarkets of
an Islamic country like the UAE are fully Halal compliant unless stated
as being for ‘non muslim’ consumption or use.”

“While there are currently systems in place to protect
consumers in the UAE, the rapid growth pattern in the Halal consumer
market means there is increasing demand for a globalised standard
across all Halal products.  A universal standard will provide consumers
with peace of mind when making buying decisions which are directly
related to their lifestyle and beliefs.”

At a time when the UAE is set
to capitalise on the growing Halal cosmetic market, currently worth an
estimated Dhs2.06 billion worldwide, the diversity of the Halal
industry will be highlighted by Halal World Expo.

This year’s event is introducing an Islamic Finance
Pavilion to give particular emphasis to Shari’ah compliant financial
services, a sector worth between US$200 and $500 billion annually and
of growing interest for world financial markets.

The exhibition will
also focus on Halal lifestyle products, including Islamic fashion,
cosmetics and other health care products, for which there is a growing
demand in the UAE and other parts of the Middle East.

Halal World Expo 2008

With its dense concentration of Muslim consumers, the
Middle East is one of the premier users of quality Halal products, and
there is huge potential for the Halal industry to produce and
distribute high quality, regulation certified Halal products throughout
the region.

In the UAE, 80 per cent of imported food is Halal, with
products coming from countries such as Brazil and Australia, the latter
exporting 43,071 tonnes of mutton, 17,685 tonnes of lamb and 3,312
tonnes of beef to the Middle East in 2006. Last year the Emirates
accounted for 7.77 per cent of the world’s lamb and beef imports and
15.38 per cent of all poultry imports, second only to Saudi Arabia.

The UAE is a major Halal industry hub, importing and
channelling an estimated AED550 million worth of Halal merchandise each
year, and the Gulf region as a whole has a huge requirement for Halal
food. Brazil is currently one of the biggest exporters of meat and
agribusiness in the world, and a substantial percentage of its exports
are Halal products.

Close to 70 per cent of its exports of one million
frozen whole chickens to more than 100 countries is Halal-certified,
and most of these go to the GCC countries.The second edition of Halal
World Expo takes place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from
11-13 November 2008.