By Andy Sambidge
International accreditation centre project is part of plan to become global hub for Islamic economy
Dubai will soon launch an international accreditation centre for Halal food as part of the emirate's drive to become the world's capital for the Islamic economy.
Hussain Nasser Lootah, director general of Dubai Municipality, on Sunday announced that an action team has been appointed to set up the centre and will be led Salem Bin Mesmar, assistant director general, Health, Safety & Environment Monitoring Sector.
Lootah said in a statement: "The proposed centre will undertake required tests for Halal food and other products to ensure that all such products are free from any chemical or artificial additions which are not complying with the Islamic Law, with the aim to be the first international reference in the food industry worldwide."
Mesmar added: "The move is expected to boost the business activities of Dubai as it comes in the most wanted context in both local and global levels.
"Due to the increased activities of food trade and other products, Dubai can serve the entire world as an authorised centre to issue Halal Food compliance certificates and accredit other products such as medicine, leather, cosmetics," he said.
The Islamic economy is estimated to be worth $2trn and increasing about 20-25 percent annually, according to Thomson Reuters.
The Islamic population of 1.6bn is growing at about twice the global rate and is the youngest in the world.
Muslims also mostly live in emerging economies and are becoming one of the most significant consumer groups globally, with total disposable income estimated to be $4.8tr in 2012.
In September, a European halal food company announced plans to launch in Dubai on the back of Sheikh Mohammed's initiative to make the city an Islamic economic hub.
Dubai FDI, the foreign investment office in the Department of Economic Development (DED), along with the Austria Business Centre has facilitated the establishment of European Food & Beverages (EFB).
The firm aims to be a major supplier for the growing halal foods market in the GCC and the wider Middle East from its Dubai base, a statement said.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.