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 authorities. Abu Dhabi’s role in creating and developing a comprehensive Halal trade event, bringing together major players and experts from around the world, has been highlighted as an important catalyst.
Halal World Expo, the Middle East’s largest and most comprehensive event dedicated to the global Halal industry, addresses this need and takes place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from 11-13 November, 2008.
With the official support of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Halal World Expo is being encouraged by the Abu Dhabi government to ensure the event places 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.”
The diversity of the halal industry is being highlighted within Halal World Expo 2008 which has introduced a number of dedicated product sectors aimed at catering for the increasing demand in shari’ah compliant products and services. The event will see the introduction of a dedicated Islamic Finance Pavilion for the $700 billion Islamic finance sector along with a Islamic Fashion showcase so suppliers can portray their varying styles to a dedicated audience.
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.
The latest industry trends will be highlighted on the 11 – 12 November at the Halal World Expo Forum, which runs alongside Halal World Expo. During the Forum industry leaders will present to a highly focused audience on the diverse topics the industry needs to address.
If you are interested in taking part in Halal World Expo on the 11 – 13 November, or are interested in attending the forum, you can contact the organizers direct on +971 (0) 4 336 5161 or visit their website on www.halalworldexpo.com.