DUBAI: The Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) hosted a webinar to highlight the growth opportunities in the Islamic economy. The webinar took place after the launch of the second edition of the Halal Guidebook entitled ‘Dubai A Global Gateway for Halal Industry: A Step-by-Step Guide’. The Guidebook unveils key trends that will have a lasting impact on the regional economy and provides an analysis of the global and national Islamic economy. Representatives of various entities interested in the Islamic economy attended the webinar, as well as local and international companies looking to invest in the sector, entrepreneurs, specialists and industry experts.
The webinar displayed the role that Dubai plays in supporting the flow of halal trade, which strengthens its position as the hub of the Islamic economy. It also highlighted Dubai’s ideal location in the heart of the regional and global Islamic economy, two hours away by air from 455 million Islamic consumers, which is equivalent to US $587 billion of value within the halal market.
During the webinar, industry experts discussed the halal sector and trade in the emirate as well as the trends that affect its various stakeholders at the government and regulatory levels, as well as other commercial and industrial entities. The webinar displayed the key pillars of enabling investors to benefit from the growth opportunities of the Islamic economy, as well as the mechanisms for obtaining halal certificates and accreditations. They discussed the impact of the guidelines, regulations set due to the pandemic, the business enablers for the sector and the halal trade flow highlighted in the Halal Guidebook – which was issued in cooperation with The Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), The Halal Trade and Marketing Centre (HTMC) and DinarStandard.
The webinar further unveiled interesting trends that will have a lasting impact on the regional economy and delved deeper into the functions of The Halal Industry Guidebook including its ability to help provide a clear picture on investment opportunities within the Halal sector. This has since played an active role in supporting businesses operating in this industry, as well as international investors entering the market and launching their operations in Dubai. The webinar highlighted several success stories from leading global players across various industries who contribute to the Halal economy such as Hershey’s, Abbott and Fonterra among others. Other functions of the Guidebook that were brought to light include its function as a systematic guide on the halal trade flow, the halal certification and compliance process.
The virtual event saw the participation of Tomas Guerrero, Manager of the Halal Trade and Marketing Centre, Ibn Arabi ElGoni, Head of Product at Salaam Gateway, Shareef Mohammed Global Procurement Manager at Al Islami and Iman Ali, Research Analyst at DinarStandard. The spokespeople highlighted the opportunities provided by the Islamic economy and how consumer spend reached $ 2.2 trillion USD in 2018. This is equivalent to 12% global expenditure and a Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2%, according to the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2019/20.
Abdulaziz Alhammadi, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at DAFZA, said: ‘During this period, the implications of the pandemic have left much of the economy in an unfavourable position. The diversification efforts put forth by Dubai have since proven to be at the core of strengthening the economy and ensuring progress is sustained. Due to the diversification plans, entities operating within the halal economy have seen exceptional growth rates within core economy sectors such as halal food, halal medicine and modest fashion.
‘The emirate of Dubai has focused heavily on the growth of halal industries, and the increase in halal trade flows, positioning itself as the gateway for the Islamic economy for more than 57 member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, which accounts for $296 billion of halal imports. The Halal Guidebook is a comprehensive reference to the Islamic ecosystem in Dubai, and a guide for the best practices to enter the market in the UAE and expand across the region, which aims to enhance the investors experience in this sector, Alhammadi concluded.
Wadha Buti Al Ghafli, Director of Strategy and Planning, DIEDC said: ‘The Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre is delighted to have joined its strategic partners from Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority, DinarStandard, and the Halal Trade and Marketing Centre, in the launch of the second edition of the Halal Guidebook. It provides an overview of the Islamic economy ecosystem in Dubai with a focus on the halal certification and compliance processes, and serves as a remarkable reference with a step-by-step guide for companies that seek to engage in the Islamic economy.
According to the Halal Guidebook, The halal economy is estimated to be worth $3.2 trillion by 2024. For companies looking to participate in the halal economy, DAFZA offers a wide range of services and capabilities to ensure a smooth set-up of their business operations. The free zone provides access to a variety of government and business services in a single centralized location. It also provides companies within the halal economy with advanced infrastructure for their operations, which boosts their business growth.