Dubai Islamic Investment Group is to create a new vehicle for halal-based investments. It is to partner with Malaysia’s pilgrim
fund, a state fund that helps Muslims save for their Haj pilgrimage,
and Malaysian state-owned Halal Industry Development Corporation. The
new company, expected to be established before this year end, plans to
invest in agriculture, food processing, restaurants, grocery firms and
The news comes just days after Malaysia’s Sarawak
state said it had received around $438m in foreign investment, mostly
from Taiwan and the Middle East, for a proposed new zone making halal
products. IHI Alliance,
a non-profit body, was started with around $4.6m provided by the
Malaysian government, to harmonize halal standards and certification at
the global level.
So, what exactly is halal, and why is it attracting so much of investment?
an Arabic word meaning permissible, refers to foods and other items
which are allowed under Islamic law. It forbids consumption of pork,
blood and alcohol and stresses that investments must meet ethical
Islamic standards and avoid industries that involve gambling.