By Syed Sajid Aziz
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is to be made center of World Halal Food (WHF) very soon, this was announced on the occasion of establishment of Gulf Halal Centre which was inaugurated by Chairman, Sharjah AWQAF, Sheikh Sagar bin Mohammad Al Qasmi, at Sharjah recently.
The setting up of WHF was a step in fulfilling the vision of Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid al Maktoum, to make UAE the center of world Halal Food trade. The opening of the cenrre coincided with Sharjah celebrating 2014 as the Islamic cultural capital of the world, and with Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Ruler of Sharjah’s guidance and support to the Islamic world and great Islamic architecture that can be found and seen in all Sharjah government.
The ceremony was held at a local hotel in presence of VIPs, senior government officials, diplomats, CIPs, business community and media, who witnessed the official launching of Gulf Halal Center (GHC), the pioneering Halal Certification body in the United Arab Emirates, offering Halal Audit and certification services to Emirati companies, to help them convert to Halal Management System. Sheikh Sagar al Qasmi, declared it as part of the jubilation celebrating Sharjah as the Islamic Cultural Capital of the World 2014.
Chairman of Gulf Halal Center, Saif Mohammad Jasim al Midfa while talking to media said that the Halal market does not only include food products and ingredients but also food service establishments, Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, Personal care products, Animal & Poultry feed, Apparel & leather products, hospitality and tourism, banking, finance, Takaful and logistics, which will all be covered by the Gulf Halal Center.
Asad Sajjad, the CEO of Gulf Halal Center gave an eye opening presentation on how the Haram ingredients are used in our everyday use products and emphasized on the importance of Halal Certification as the demand of 1.7 billion Muslim consumers as well as a lot of non-Muslims, who prefer Halal food as its healthy and wholesome (Tayyab).
Asad said that Halal Certified has emerged as an internationally recognized and established brand that is a big sales booster for the Emirati manufacturers and exporters to enter the 3 trillion dollar plus Global Halal market. Halal Certified removes the non-tariff barriers for many countries as Halal Certified products are able to enter countries with obligatory Halal requirements.
He said that GHC team consists of qualified professionals including Halal technical auditor, Shariah experts and food technologist, experienced in Halal Audit and certification work as per UAE Halal standards for food safety and Shariah, also compliant with OIC-SMIIC Halal standards that are accepted worldwide.
The GHC also offers Marketing services for Halal Certified products as well as Halal Training and awareness services, for the company employees and management.