The UAE Scheme for Halal Products is growing, with companies from 46 countries now on the list of Halal Certification Bodies registered with the Emirates Authority for Standardisation & Metrology (ESMA).
Russia is the latest country to join the list, which also includes Argentine, Canada and Australia, state news agency WAM reported.
Abdulla Abdul Qader Al Maeeni, director-general of ESMA, attributed the success to the UAE's robust legislative environmentas well as the openness policy adopted by the government that has been conducive to expanding the list of Halal products to embrace commodities other than foods, including cosmetics, textiles, and medications.
He said it aimed to tackle the structural and operational challenges in the area of regulation, standardisation, compliance, supply chain integrity, innovations, research and development, consumer education and awareness.
The halal certificate is a document guaranteeing that the product, service is compliant with Islamic Sharia. This includes certificates for halal slaughtering and halal esabolishments, such as farms and slaughterhouses, as well as halal certificates of raw food materials, food additives, ingredients with meat derivatives, extracts, as well as animal smells, gelatin, fats, oils and their derivatives.
The expansion of the scheme comes as the rate of growth witnessed in the halal market suggests that by 2030, it can be the biggest industry in the world.
However, although halal standards and processes are based on the universal principles and teachings of Islam, the halal industry is yet to use one universal set of determinants and one all-encompassing mark.
Based on a report by Thomson Reuters, the global expenditure in halal food sector alone stood at $1.128 trillion in 2014 and this is expected to grow to $1.58 trillion by 2020.
The global market for halal food and lifestyle sector including travel, fashion, media and recreation, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics is expected to be worth $2.6 trillion by 2020.
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