Amina Ahmed Mohammed, Chief Executive Officer of the Emirates International Accreditation Centre (EIAC), officially opened the 9th Halal Expo Dubai 2017, at a ceremony at Roda Al Bustan Hotel on Monday, September 18, 2017, two days after Malaysia officially recognised the UAE’s ‘Halal Products Control System’ national certificates and the national Halal mark issued by the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA), which will boost the UAE’s US$20 billion (Dh73 billion) annual Halal imports.
The recognition will facilitate the trade of UAE halal products and ensure acceptance in Malaysian markets, as well as markets that accept Malaysian halal systems certification, of which there are 60 markets globally.
“This UAE-led initiative, a first of its kind in the Arab and Middle East, will open up export horizons to producers in the country, as well as export and re-export support to dozens of new markets, which is positively reflected on the support and encouragement of international industries, especially in the markets of East and South East Asia and the Australian continent, and also contributes to food security in the country,” Abdullah Abdul Qader Al Maeeni, Director-General of ESMA, said in a statement.
The UAE is home to 5,000 importers, manufacturers and stockists of Halal products. Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA), the country’s standardisation authority, is expected to issue 18,000 Halal certification this year – which is one of the highest in the world.
The two-day exhibition is expected to be attended by 4,000 people – mostly buyers and sellers of Halal products and services – from 40 countries. More than 75 companies from 15 countries, including Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Spain, Pakistan, Switzerland, India, the United Kingdom, Brunei, Thailand, China and the U.A.E are participating at the show.
These developments are a direct result of the vision of the government as envisioned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, when he declared his plan to transform Dubai as the global capital of Islamic Economy in 2013.
Subsequently, the government has created Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), which is supporting the Halal Expo Dubai – a major exhibition participated by more than 75 companies from 15 countries including national pavilions from Malaysia, Kazakhstan, China and Pakistan.
The global Halal economy is estimated to touch the $6.4 trillion (Dh23.48 trillion) mark by 2018, up from $3.2 trillion in 2012, according to a latest report, while Dubai reinforces its position as the capital of the global Islamic economy as it opens doors to the 9th edition of the Halal Expo Dubai.
The GCC countries import US$50 billion (Dh183 billion) worth of Halal products, according to a latest research by Farrelly and Mitchell – a food and agri-business specialist. Of this, the UAE’s Halal import bill is $20 billion (Dh73 billion), or about 40 per cent of the GCC’s Halal products imports.
Dubai Food Park, a government initiative, has recently inked a Dh1.35 billion deal to establish a UAE-China food industrial cluster that will eventually support China’s US$1 trillion ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative and help promote the speedy expansion of the Halal products and services across Asia, Europe and Africa.
Raees Ahmed, Director of Orange Fairs and Events, organiser of the Halal Expo – Dubai, 2017, says, “Halal Expo Dubai is part of our efforts to help Dubai strengthen its position as the global hub of Halal and Islamic economy. The two-day exhibition will create the right meeting point for international buyers, sellers, producers, manufacturers, importers, exporters and wholesalers of Halal and Islamic products and services and help generate businesses for the leading international Halal suppliers through Dubai.
“Halal foods are considered to be healthy and hygienic. A growing number of non-Muslim consumers prefer halal foods, as they are deemed safer. As a result, the distribution of halal foods has expanded beyond traditional markets in cities such as Shanghai which has 80,000 Muslims.”
China, the world’s largest producers and suppliers of consumer products and services, has taken Halal products seriously. China’s halal sector is expected to reach $1.9 trillion by 2021, a CAGR of 9 per cent from 2015, according to research.
China has a strong domestic demand for halal foods, estimated at $20 billion coming from the 26 million Muslim consumers. Even though China’s Muslim population is only 2 per cent, majority are settled in Northwest China including Xinjiang, Ningxia, Gansu and Qinghai provinces, accounting for 70 per cent of the total Muslim population in these regions.
“The Muslim population is also younger than the national average and with more than 41 per cent of being younger than 19 years. This age profile and increase in the Muslim population are the key long-term drivers for domestic halal food consumption in China,” Raees Ahmed says.
“China is witnessing a growth in the number of national halal food players as well as partial halal product lines. In addition to demand from Muslim population, growing popularity of halal foods as a healthy option is also driving demand.
“We have witnessed a strong response from the Chinese manufacturers – who are taking Halal products and distribution more seriously,” Raees Ahmed says.
Globally, Muslim expenditure on food and beverage (F&B) was estimated at US$1.12 billion in 2014 and potentially rising to US$1.58 billion in 2020. Muslim expenditure makes up 16.7 per cent of global expenditure on F&B in 2014.
Orange Fairs and Exhibition LLC, is organising Halal Expo – an international exposition to highlight the growth in the ethical, moral and halal and healthy living, products and services.
Halal Expo Dubai is the largest and most comprehensive Business-to-Business (B2B) halal exposition in the Middle East for the US$2.3 trillion global halal industry. The event, which attracted participation from 13 countries in its previous edition and registered 3,700 trade visitors from 40 countries, expect larger trade participation where buyers and sellers of halal products and services are expected to do brisk business.
Raees Ahmed says, “We are extremely delighted to welcome the Chinese Pavilion at the Halal Expo, which reflects the fact that the Halal products and services are expanding beyond the Muslim world.
“Chinese Pavilion will help create greater consumer awareness on the global Halal products, Halal standards and the benefits of consuming clean, green and Halal products – a trend that is fast spreading worldwide.”
Halal Expo Dubai focuses on a number of business verticals, including, halal food, halal beverage, halal fashion, halal cosmetics and personal care products, halal travel and tourism, halal hospitality, halal banking and finance.
Halal Expo Dubai, supported by a number of government and semi-government organisations as well as the media, is open to business visitors for sourcing products and services from 10:00 to 18:00 hours, September 18 and 19, 2017 at the Roda Al Bustan Hotel – near Dubai International Airport, Al Garhoud Area.