Dubai Municipality planning new rules for halal food

9th Dubai International Food Safety Conference to be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from November 9 to 11.

By Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 22 Oct 2014, 12:45 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:38 PM

With the UAE’s annual halal food imports projected to reach $8.4 billion by 2020, the Dubai Municipality is chalking out new regulations to implement certification and specifications for halal food products and producers.

This was announced by municipality Director-General Hussain Nasser Lootah on Monday, while speaking at a Press conference held to announce the 9th Dubai International Food Safety Conference (DIFSC) in November. The DIFSC will be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from November 9 to 11.

Food safety experts from across the world will converge in Dubai for the event that is also aimed at improving the knowledge and expertise of food control officials across the region.

“This year, the conference will focus more on halal food. The global halal food market has an estimated annual value of $1 trillion, which is approximately 20 per cent of a global food market predicted to reach $5.3 trillion by the end of 2014. With GCC halal food imports set to jump from $25.8 billion in 2010 to $53.1 billion by 2020, the UAE’s annual halal food imports will reach $8.4 billion by the end of the decade,” Lootah said.

“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. The conference will also see halal food policy-shapers and government organisations coming together to discuss the implementation of far-reaching standardisation and certification frameworks.”

“Dubai has the ambition and world-class infrastructure to serve as the economic hub of the worldwide halal food industry and the global Islamic economy, and developing Dubai as an international Islamic economic hub shows the foresight of its leaders and will provide opportunities for growth, development and prosperity in the region,” he added.

Khalid Mohammed Sherif Al Awadhi, Director of the Food Control Department, said, “This new initiative represents an engaging, value-added proposition for our global network of food manufacturers and traders, and underlines the innovative vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Higher Committee for Development of Islamic Economy.

“Following the Government of Dubai launching its ‘Dubai – Capital of Islamic Economy’ initiative, the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) and Dubai Municipality plan to introduce globally recognised standards and certification for halal food products and slaughtering.” Halal food, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), is defined by Islamic Law outlined in the Holy Qur’an as lawful food permitted for consumption. Halal food cannot consist of or contain anything which is considered unlawful under the Islamic law and there are strict criteria governing the entire supply chain — from slaughtering of animals, processing and transportation to kitchen preparation and storage, he explained.

The conference is organised by the Food Control Department with support from the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) and the Institute of Food Technologists.

Bobby Krishna T. M., Principal Food Inspection Officer at Dubai Municipality, said: “The DIFSC brings food safety professionals from across the globe under one room and prides itself on providing an ideal platform for the food safety community to come, work together, learn, share, and mutually benefit — this is firmly reflected by the resounding number of people who attend the event each year.

“This year’s show is bigger and busier than ever with four preconference workshops, 16 symposia with more than 100 presentations, 30 exhibitors and an expected 2,000 delegates. To address the regional needs, we have three symposia in Arabic language and a symposium on halal foods.”

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