Revealed: the GCC's halal import bill

New research says global halal economy is estimated to touch the $6.4trn mark by 2018
(JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)
By Staff writer
Mon 18 Sep 2017 01:39 PM

The global halal economy is estimated to touch the $6.4 trillion mark by 2018, according to a new report, with GCC countries importing $50 billion worth of products.

Research by Farrelly and Mitchell, a food and agri-business specialist, showed that the UAE’s halal import bill is $20 billion, or about 40 percent of the GCC’s total.

It said the UAE is home to 5,000 importers, manufacturers and stockists of halal products, with the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA), the country’s standardisation authority, expecting to issue 18,000 halal certifications this year.

These developments are a direct result of the vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai who declared his intention to transform Dubai as the global capital of Islamic Economy in 2013, the report added.

Subsequently, the government created Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), which is supporting the Halal Expo Dubai, a major exhibition this week participated by nearly 100 companies from more than 15 countries including national pavilions from Malaysia, Kazakhstan, China, Pakistan, Indonesia and the UAE.

Raees Ahmed, director of Orange Fairs and Events, organiser of the Halal Expo – Dubai, 2017, said: “Halal Expo Dubai is part of our efforts to help Dubai strengthen its position as the global hub of Halal and Islamic economy.

“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 has a strong domestic demand for halal foods, estimated at $20 billion coming from the 26 million Muslim consumers.

Globally, Muslim expenditure on food and beverage (F&B) was estimated at $1.12 billion in 2014 and potentially rising to $1.58 billion in 2020.

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