The growing role of the UAE as a hub of Islamic economy and the great impact it will have on global halal trade has resulted in a halal event in Sharjah seeing an impressive rise in industry participation from across the globe.
The 2nd OIC Halal Middle East Exhibition & Congress held along with the 1st Kitchen Equipment & Technology Exhibition Middle East attracted 25% more participation, with both exhibitor and visitor numbers increasing by 25%.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, at Expo Centre Sharjah from December 16 to 18, 2013, the event hosted 125 exhibitors, as against last year’s 100, and registered a footfall of 2,686, compared to 2,162 in 2012.
“Ever since the UAE has started playing a pro-active role in the halal trade and standardisation initiatives, the global attention is on us. A slew of key initiatives and events were announced and organised recently that aims to make the country the Islamic economic hub. And, I am happy to note that we succeeded in attracting the trade community, Shariah scholars, government authorities and various industry bodies from across the world to Sharjah,” said Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah.
“The rise in exhibitor and visitor numbers is a proof that the event has succeeded in making a great impact in the international halal community,” added Mr. Midfa.
Halal bodies from various countries accorded great significance to the event, since it provided a platform to boost bilateral trade. “Halal Middle East enabled us to engage in unique business deals and networking, where Malaysian companies could meet their UAE counterparts to facilitate the import and distribution of their products in Malaysia and vice-a-versa,” said Nurul Asyiha Binti Husin, Executive Members Affair, Malaysian Franchise Association.
The special pavilions at the show included those by the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism-Malaysia; State Government of Penang; Korea Halal Association; Embassy of The Republic Of Indonesia & the Indonesian Trade Promotion Centre; Japan Halal Association; Sudan Halal Development Authority; and SANHA – South African National Halal Association, among others.
Most participants, including local manufacturers and dealers, made optimum use of the platform to gain better penetration in the overall GCC food market that stood at US$83 billion in 2012.
“The show is important for us because it offers important information on growing trends and investment opportunities in the halal sector, and allows us to cater more effectively to our top three markets in the region — KSA, UAE and Bahrain,” said Khaleel Ur Rahman Thayal, Assistant Brand Manager, Supreme Foods Group.
The exhibition, congress and the kitchen equipment show, all of which were complementary in nature, resulted in attracting better quality crowds. “The concurrent shows played a good role in bringing in more quality visitors,” added Nurul Asyiha Binti Husin.
About 225 delegates from 40 countries, including leading halal certification experts and some of the biggest names in the halal industry, congregated at Expo Centre Sharjah for the Halal Congress, presenting, discussing and debating a slew of issues ranging from lack of common halal codes to growth prospects and certification norms to halal procedures.
The Kitchen Equipment & Technology Exhibition Middle East made an impressive debut, attracting the hospitality and catering industry in big numbers. The Chef’s Corner at the show was an instant draw, presenting live demonstrations on using kitchen equipment, new technology & multi-tasking, and seminars & workshops to visitors, in association with the International Centre for Culinary Arts (ICCA Dubai).
The event also saw some innovative products and technology being introduced in the region. “We introduced a new mainstream technology for refrigerators which is the LCD media screen refrigerator. The refrigerator will enable customers to make use of the glass door, which is made up of a see-through LCD screen, to advertise and brand their companies,” said Mohamed Khalil Abdullah, Creative Graphic Designer, COLD24 LLC.
Most exhibitors and visitors were also optimistic about the sector’s growth, with Muslims expected to spend $1.6 trillion on food and beverages by 2018, as against last year’s US$1.1 trillion, beating even China and America in their food bill. The global Islamic finance sector is also booming and Shariah-compliant assets estimated to be over US$1.4 trillion are likely to sustain a double-digit growth in the coming two to three years.
For more information, please contact:
P. Ravi, Director – Marketing, Expo Centre Sharjah
Mousa Nimer, Assistant Marketing Manager, Expo Centre Sharjah