UAE: Dubai FDI brings Int’l Halal Integrity Alliance to the region

h_2014_05_03IHI Alliance will be a critical resource centre for the region’s halal industry stakeholders

Dubai, 3 May 2014: Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED), has attracted the International Halal Integrity (IHI) Alliance, a global body mandated with leading the development of the halal concept worldwide, to open their regional office in Dubai as part of supporting Dubai’s Islamic economy initiative.

Dubai FDI will support IHI Alliance in setting up an ‘IHI Alliance Middle East’ chapter, which in turn will support the growth of the local and regional halal industry in line with the evolution of Dubai into a hub and resource centre for Islamic economy. IHI Alliance Middle East will provide halal industry training for businesses, government agencies, halal auditors and halal certification companies with emphasis on professional and Islamic integrity.

Commenting on the partnership Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai FDI said that the arrival of IHI Alliance has great significance as the local halal sector is set to see unprecedented demand and supply following the Islamic economy initiative of His Highness Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

“The Islamic economy initiative calls for the best standards and practices, which would reflect Dubai’s focus on being the best. The IHI Alliance Middle East will promote knowledge exchange and transfer of skills required for all halal industry stakeholders to achieve global recognition through leadership in quality, safety and sustainability,” added Al Gergawi.

The Islamic economy initiative aims to create an integrated platform to develop Dubai into an Islamic economy that operates parallel to the emirate’s existing vibrant economy. The proposed platform will include Islamic financial instruments, halal foods and trade standards, Islamic contract arbitration and Islamic quality management standards.

The IHI Alliance was set up by the inaugural World Halal Forum held in Malaysia in 2006 as a vehicle for the promotion of values, halal practices and quality control and its mandate was reinforced by the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) in 2008. The Alliance works to uphold the integrity of the halal concept in global trade through recognition/accreditation, training, collaboration and membership in partnership with the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).

Jumaatun Azmi, IHI Alliance Founder and Executive Director, stated that her organisation has considerable experience in working with businesses and government agencies and can help lay down best practices and procedures as soon as possible for a robust halal system suited for Dubai’s fast-paced economy.

“Sheikh Mohammed’s remarkable vision augurs well with what we do at the IHI Alliance and I am pleased to bring our services to the industry players in Dubai to help them capture the US$1.62 trillion market for halal food and lifestyle sectors. IHI Alliance has the right mix of professionalism, integrity and vision, backed by sound Islamic and technical input to serve the Dubai halal industry as we have done with others, including Malaysia,” said Azmi.

Azmi also termed Dubai’s decision to become a serious player in the halal industry within the Islamic economy as timely as the world is not only ready but demanding halal certified products. She added that with the endorsement from Dubai government, IHI Alliance can quickly and efficiently train, consult and certify businesses in Dubai to become halal compliant and certified.

The IHI Alliance currently has 144 members from 42 countries, 53 of them certification bodies. The Alliance has helped established halal certifications authorities in three. The IHI Alliance Standard is a Global Halal Standard developed in alignment with the WTO-TBT (World Trade Organisation-Technical Barriers to Trade) Code of Good Practice for Standards Development.