Halal products gaining in popularity

DUBAI – Halal products are becoming a
popular trend with all faiths and the UAE will benefit as a hub for
distribution, according to food producers at Gulfood 2008 Exhibition on

halal food company Al Islami Foods launched Al Farooj Fresh, a fast
food restaurant chain in the UAE, to meet demand for halal restaurants.

Islami Foods CEO Saleh Abdullah Lootah made the announcement at the
exhibition at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre
yesterday and said the demand for halal restaurants was growing

said there was a large population of immigrant Muslims in countries
like the United Kingdom and France, and the faith itself was growing
worldwide, generating demand for halal foods.

he said there was also demand from non-Muslims and said events after
9/11 had led to an awareness and interest in the region.

“Consumers are becoming educated and they’re reading more about halal products,” he said.

Additionally, halal products in Dubai found a welcome reception among its diverse multicultural population.

Ltd marketing general manager Afzal Aziz said halal foods were
benefiting from consumers’ increased attention to the contents of their
food, such as demand for organic products, as halal was associated with
cleanliness and food safety.

want to know what the product contains. Halal certification is now
stricter with worldwide agencies providing recognised certification,”
he said.

Shukri Abdullah, secretariat of Malaysia International Halal Showcase
(MIHAS), the world’s largest halal exhibition, described halal as “the
next force to be reckoned with”.

Abdullah said companies were already basing themselves in Dubai and Sharjah which presented ideal hubs.

Dubai and Sharjah, they can dispense the product and have a proper
marketing strategy because of this region’s awareness of halal,” he

Sura, marketing manager for Alwazzan, the producer of Khazan Meats,
said the Kuwaiti company had recently expanded with a factory in
Sharjah and planned to continue the move to the UAE.

“Other faiths are choosing halal because they believe scientifically it is healthier,” he said.

UAE is to become our hub in one year. The most enquiries (for export)
have come from the US and it will be our first priority.”