The new mark will have to be carried by any product, service or production system declared as Halal, with all products facing a testing regime designed by the Emirates Authority for Standardization & Metrology (Esma). While Esma has published its scheme for Halal Products, it has not said when the scheme will come into effect. (See below this article to download a copy of the scheme.)
Halal trade network
Also this week Dubai Exports, the emirates export promotion agency, signed memoranda of understanding with trade bodies from food exporting countries around the world, in a bid to improve global Halal trade. The agreements were formulated in partnership with Malaysia’s Halal Development Corporation.
The scheme aims to create a Halal trade network, using common standards for Halal products. This would allow companies wanting to export Halal-compliant products to tap into a network of other producers and distributors, making it easier to sell Halal products around the world.
“The Halal industry is at the heart of Dubai's vision for the global Islamic economy. This series of hub-to-hub agreements provides a solid foundation on which to drive the development of the Halal sector and encourage cross border Halal trade, which, in turn, will generate significant investment opportunities for major international, regional and local businesses,” said Mohammed Al Gergawi, chairman of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre.
“The Halal sector is poised for significant growth over the next five years. This initiative will significantly strengthen economic activity, not just in Muslim majority countries but also in countries, such as New Zealand and Brazil, that have significant Halal-based industries. It also firmly positions Dubai as a leader in the development of the Islamic economy,” he added.
Dubai’s Halal ambitions
These announcements came ahead of the Dubai International Food Safety Conference next month, to be held alongside Gulfood Manufacturing. The subject of Halal certification will be high on the agenda, as the Dubai government continues to push the emirate’s plans to become the world’s leading centre for Halal certification.
“This year the conference will focus more on the Halal Food Conference. The global Halal food market has an estimated annual value of US$1tn – which equates to approximately 20% of a global food market predicted to reach US5.3tn by the end of 2014. With GCC Halal food imports set to jump from US$25.8bn in 2010 to US$53.1bn by 2020, the UAE’s annual Halal food imports will reach US$8.4bn by the end of the decade,” said Hussain Nasser Lootah, director-general of Dubai Municipality.
“By positioning Dubai as a worldwide Halal centre at the forefront of global Halal food industry growth, Halal Food is expected to generate significant inward investment opportunities for major international businesses eyeing regional buyers, suppliers, logistics providers and storage and transport solutions,” he added.