With the Muslim population projected to increasingly claim a bigger share of the world’s consumer spending, the global halal industry is homing in on Sharjah as the 4th OIC Halal Middle East exhibition got under way at Expo Centre Sharjah on Tuesday (December 8).
Giving credence to the market projection and underscoring the significance of the three-day event, latest reports say that the Muslim consumer spending across the different sectors of the Islamic economy is expected to reach US$2.6 trillion by 2020, compared with US$1.8 trillion in 2014.
Being held under the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Halal Middle East has launched a new vertical targeting the halal tourism segment – Halal Tourism Middle East 2015 – and is also featuring the expanded Kitchen Equipment – HoReCa Middle East 2015 – as a concurrent show.
The event was opened by H.E. Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdullah Bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Chairman of Sharjah Sea Ports and Customs, in the presence of Mr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Owais, Chairman, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah; other officials, dignitaries and industry representatives.
“The 4th OIC Halal Middle East comes at a time when the UAE is emerging as a global leader in the rapidly growing Islamic economy, which is expanding at nearly twice the rate of the global economy and Muslim consumer spending is on the rise. Awareness about halal products is increasing and more products are being certified to comply with Shariah,” said Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah.
According to experts, halal products and services are receiving more global attention since the core market, the Muslim population, which is close to 1.8 billion now, is expected to reach 2.2 billion by 2030.
“There is no better platform in the region than the Halal Middle East for global halal players to best explore the market, which has resulted in the show featuring exhibitors from across the world, besides some of the leading names in the country and the region. The new tourism vertical gives one more reason for the regional industry to visit the show,” added Mr. Midfa.
Delegations and business teams from several countries are expected to visit the show in order to find new markets and develop their products according to local needs and comply with relevant halal standards and certifications. This has mostly been facilitated by the large number of international associations and industry bodies that are supporting the show.
Meanwhile, the 3rd Kitchen Equipment – HoReCa Middle East 2015 is looking to leverage on a regional hospitality industry that is expanding fast on the back of preparations for several upcoming mega events, rising tourist arrivals, and a stronger meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions segment.
Apart from kitchen essentials, the expanded Kitchen Equipment-HoReCa Middle East has brought together catering supplies, hotel equipment & supplies, furniture, furnishings, tableware, catering equipment, facilities management & technology solutions.
A key highlight of Kitchen Equipment-HoReCa Middle East is the ‘Chef’s Tech Arena’, which is providing live display of kitchen equipment to visitors, and in the process introducing new technology and demonstrating their use.
The shows are open from 10 am to 6 pm and admission is free to all trade and professional visitors.