DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 11 DECEMBER 2021: Experts deliver upbeat forecasts for growth across the Gulf, ASEAN regions at summit in Dubai. The forum, organised by Dubai Chamber in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai, explores trade and investment opportunities between the GCC and ASEAN regions.

The halal industry is a high-potential avenue where companies in the UAE, GCC and Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) can boost trade and build cross border partnerships, according to experts.

Despite a slump in the market from the impact of the pandemic, experts speaking at the inaugural Global Business Forum ASEAN in Dubai cited their optimism for the halal sector, which globally is worth an estimated $4 trillion.

Increasing growth is forecast for the industry, with new strategies and policies identified as key drivers, they said.

The forum, organised by Dubai Chamber in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai, explores trade and investment opportunities between the two regions.

Saleh Lootah (pictured below), managing director of UAE-based Al Islami Foods, said he believed that consumer spending is slowly returning in Dubai, and noted that the halal industry will reach pre-Covid levels by the end of 2022.

Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip Hasan, Director-General, Islamic Tourism Centre, Malaysia, agreed, saying that with borders opening up and economies recovering, the halal travel industry is picking up momentum.

He said that while the number of Muslim travellers is growing, and remain influential, it is necessary for governments and businesses to build strategies and goals that can meet these demands and to expand the sector to make it attractive to non-Muslim consumers.

Commenting on the resilience of the halal sector, Riyanto Sofyan, chairman, Team for Accelerated Development of Halal Tourism, Indonesia, said that although halal tourism – along with the tourism sector in general – was one of the hardest hit during the pandemic, it is proving to be one of the fastest to rebound.

“In the third quarter of this year, we reached a growth of 3.5 percent year-on-year, so we are quite optimistic. This is the time and opportunity for halal market to go mainstream by using an inclusive approach,” he said.

He added that the key goal in the halal industry must be to brand halal products and services in way that they can go mainstream to attract non-Muslims as well through its unique propositions.

The forum is part of Dubai Chamber’s flagship series, which also explores economic potential in emerging markets across Africa and Latin America.

Source: Arabian Business


Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) is an entity under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia tasked to develop the Islamic tourism segment for Malaysia. It advocates for Muslim-friendly tourism (MFT) by offering research and market intelligence, training, industry development consultation, Muslim-friendly tourism and hospitality (MFTH) service standards and certification, and information exchange.

In 2021, ITC received two key awards, i.e. Strategic Business Alliance Award at The BrandLaureate World Halal Best Brand E-Branding Awards 2021, and Best Islamic Tourism Leadership Gold Award 2021 by Malaysia Tourism Council. These are recognition of ITC’s efforts and endeavours in formulating new strategies to meet the new normal of the business environment to ensure business continuity and sustainability, notwithstanding its role to develop and grow the Islamic tourism segment in Malaysia.

In addition, Malaysia was named top country in the region in the MFT sector by the State of the Global Islamic Economy (SGIE) Report 2020/21. Malaysia also retained the top-ranked destination in the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2021, a position it has defended since the launch of the Index in 2015.

These recognitions are an added motivation for ITC to continue to strengthen its efforts in being a prime mover and leading institution to ensure Malaysia is at the forefront of MFTH.

For further details, kindly contact:
Islamic Tourism Centre,
Level 13, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia
No. 2 Tower 1, Jalan P5/6,
Precinct 5, 62200 Putrajaya, Malaysia
Tel: 03-8891 7177 or via email itc@itc.gov.my/v2

Follow ITC on these social platforms:

Facebook: Islamic Tourism Centre
Twitter: @itc_my
Instagram: @itc_my
YouTube: Islamic Tourism Centre

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