UAE: Appetite for halal food products on the rise

93097-1Sharjah, 27 October 2014 – With consumer spending on food rising in the GCC region, the food and beverages segment of the global halal industry is sensing a big opportunity in the UAE and the rest of the region.

Recent researches point out that a steady rise in population, increasing per capita income and a booming tourism industry are the main drivers of food consumption in the GCC, encouraging the global halal industry to zero in on a leading regional platform that offers instant access to a predominantly Muslim population of the region.

“Food and beverages is the largest segment of consumer expenditure in the GCC region, which has one of the fastest growing populations in the world. This, coupled with rapid economic growth and relative youth of the population, is set to drive demand for halal food and beverages in a big way, thus stressing the importance of a platform like the OIC Halal Middle East Exhibition & Congress,” said Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah.

According to latest market reports, the GCC population is set to grow at a rate of over 30 per cent and touch 53.5 million in the next six years, while the consumer spending on food in the region is expected to reach $106 billion in the next five years.

Globally, the halal food & beverage market is valued at US$1.1 trillion last year, which is likely to hit US$1.6 trillion by 2018, according to a recent study. Along with a halal food industry that is growing fast in the Middle East and North Africa region, this points to a high-potential market where opportunities are plenty for global manufacturers and dealers.

“The halal food industry is pretty competitive, but with the UAE being a gateway to the entire MENA market, the potential we hold is huge. Besides, the UAE being a re-export market, we see great scope in sourcing basic food from countries and selling it to regional as well as international markets after further processing and branding them,” said Mr. Midfa.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the 3rd OIC Halal Middle East Exhibition & Congress will be held at Expo Centre Sharjah from December 8 to 10, 2014.

The event will consist of a trade fair and a congress, a series of specialized workshops and a complementary show, the 2nd ‘Kitchen Equipment & Technology Exhibition Middle East’.

While the specialized workshops will provide in-depth knowledge about halal industry, delegates to the congress can expect to see the who’s who of the global halal industry, convergence of major halal producers and buyers and network with manufacturers and buyers.

“While food and beverages will be the main focus of the exhibition, other products and services that come under halal will also be featured prominently during the show. Besides, the congress will be all-inclusive halal event, where every segment of the industry will be covered, right from tourism to cosmetics and standards & certification to business opportunities in various countries,” added Mr. Midfa.

While the exhibition will also host special pavilion from countries such as China, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand, India, South Africa and Iran, the concurrent Kitchen Equipment & Technology Exhibition Middle East will provide easy access to the latest kitchen essentials to the region’s hospitality and catering industry.