As Dubai aims to become the capital of Islamic economy, local authorities have already started moving the wheels in motion to set up an international centre to certify halal products with recent appointment of its action team.
The team, which is headed by officials from Dubai Municipality, has set up a master plan consisting of two phases.
“Within the first half of this year, our first phase of the master plan will be completed that will focus on the standardisation and certification of meat products as they make up most of the Halal market,” said Ameena Ahmad, Director of Dubai Accreditation Centre.
Once the centre is running, it aims to cater to the 1.6 billion Muslims living across the world.
The Islamic economy is estimated to be worth US $2 (Dh 7.34) trillion, and increases about 20-25 per cent annually, according to Thomson Reuters.
“We want to facilitate our services so instead of companies sending their sample goods to us, we will be sending our team of experts overseas to monitor the factories, farms, carry out the auditing, how it is processed, and to ensure that the final products are Halal compliant,” explained Ameena.
She pointed out that the second phase of the international centre will then concentrate its efforts on non-food items, such as cosmetics, toiletries, and other items that may need to be Halal certified.
Halal products are those that do not include alcohol or animal derivatives pigs or animals that have been slaughtered in an improper way.
“The proposed centre will undertake required tests for Halal food to ensure that all such products are free from any chemical or artificial additions which are not complying with the Islamic Law, with the aim to be the first international reference in the food industry worldwide,”Hussain Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality. in a recent statement.
Salem Bin Mesmar, Assistant Director General of Health, Safety and Environment Monitoring Sector at Dubai Municipality, who heads the new team, stated yesterday that, “The move is expected to boost the business activities of Dubai as it comes in the most wanted context in both local and global levels,” he said.
“Due to the increased activities of food trade and other products, Dubai can serve the entire world as an authorized centre to issue Halal Food compliance certificates and accredit other products such as medicine, leather and cosmetics.”
By Mariam M. Al Serkal Senior Reporter
Gulf News 2014. All rights reserved.