(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Dubai will soon set up an independent, international accreditation centre for halal food, which will be, in the long run, a body to ensure standards and certification of all the halal products entering the UAE market.
The initiative is expected to bolster the goal of making Dubai the world capital of Islamic Economy as announced by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai.
The director-general of the Dubai Municipality Hussain Nasser Lootah on Sunday announced appointing an action team headed by assistant director-general for Health, Safety and Environment Monitoring Sector Salem bin Mesmar to work towards establishing the centre.
"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 certificate and accredit other products such as medicine, leather, cosmetics" etc," Mesmar said in a statement.
"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," he said.
As reported by Khaleej Times earlier, Mesmar said, a specific centre for accreditation and certification has been already established for the comprehensive systematic coverage of halal food operations at local level.
"The current facilities and infrastructure of Dubai will help it easily establish this first international centre in the field of halal food accreditation."
According to Mesmar, 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.
The members of the team for setting up the new centre include the director of the Food Control Department Khalid Mohammed Sherif Al Awadhi, director of the Dubai Accreditation Centre (DAC) Amina Ahmed Mohammed, director of the Dubai Central Laboratory Hawa Bastaki and other officials.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, the DAC director Amina Ahmed Mohammed said the team would submit its proposal for the centre for the director-general's approval in two weeks.
"We are yet to finalise the details of the centre like the location, schedule etc. But, all of us will work together to establish the centre."
She said the centre will be initially under the Dubai Municipality since all related departments are under the Municipality and the director-general is supervising this project. "However, in future, this centre will be an independent, international accreditation centre for halal products. We expect that there would beregulations that will make accreditation mandatory for all halal products that enter the UAE through this centre."
In November 2013, this paper had reported that authorities were making accreditation mandatory for all meat products and slaughtering services in Dubai. The Dubai Municipality had been coordinating with the Emirates Standardisation and Metrology Authority (ESMA) for that.
The global halal food industry is reportedly valued at 685 billion (Dh2.5 trillion), of which 83 billion is attributable to the GCC countries. Being an Islamic country, the UAE largely depends on imported halal products. Once functional, this new Centre is expected to boost Dubai's trade ties with other neighbouring countries.