‘Participation of local and international exhibitors and international speakers have played a key role in emerging Australia into the global arena of Halal industry and its affairs’; Syed Atiq ul Hassan, Director, Halal Expo Australia (HEA) 2017.
Sydney (Report by Sarwat Hassan); Just in its 3rd year Halal Expo Australia – held on Sat 11 & Sun 12 February 2017 at Rosehill Gardens Sydney – attracted the international exhibitors, speakers and global industry players. The presence of personalities such as H.E Nabil bin Ameen Molla, the Secretary of General Gulf Standard Organisation Saudi Arabia, Dr. Sirajuddin bin Suhaimee Director General JAKIM Malaysia, Dr. Nur Rahman CEO Brunei Halal Foods Brunei, Dr. Hadja Sittie Shayma Zenaida P. Hadji Raof Laidan, Regional Director of the Department of Science and Technology South Central Mindanao Philippines, Mr. Fazal Bahardeen, founder of CrescentRating (international organisation travel rating for halal tourism) Singapore, Dr. Pakorn Priyakor Director Halal Research & Science Thailand, and 20 other internationally known speakers and the official representation of H.E Dr. Obaid Al Ketbi, the Ambassador of United Arab Emirate, H.E. Mr Zakaria Ahmed, HC of Brunei, Dr. Yayan G. H. Mulyana, Consul General Indonesia Sydney, Mr. Shahrezan bin Md Sheriff Vice Consul Malaysian Consulate General Sydney proudly brought the Halal Expo Australia into the international domain of Halal international events. Halal Expos are held across the globe many international cities and Sydney is the part of that group now.
The event has elevated the image of Australian Muslims and defined a new dimension of the Australian Muslims. The participation of large number of local and international halal industry players have established a network between Australian and international halal market and provided an opportunity to the local and international businesses to develop their mutual relations in halal trade, economy, finance, travel & tourism, fashion and branding. Halal Expo Australia including international Halal Conference is the first Australian international event of halal products & services that is progressively building the importance of Australian halal market within Australia and internationally. Specially the international conference plays a vibrant role in creating awareness, providing valuable information to the Australian halal industry professionals and educating people on halal market and its significance for Australia.
‘what a great time we are having, I couldn’t believe this kind of set-up as we never had before’ says one of the visitors. ‘I have been taking part in the Islamic festivals for last 20 years but never joined such a professionally designed event like this before’ says one of the exhibitors. ‘Insha Allah this event is going to be the top event in Australia soon’ says Dr. Priyakon, Director of the Halal Standard Institute of Thailand.
The weekend was the hottest one in Sydney yet it could not resist people to stay home, and people mostly families constantly visiting the event in 2 days. They enjoyed the Expo and the conference in the air-conditioned facility of the grand pavilion of Rosehill Gadens. A large crowd turned out on the 2nd day of the Halal Expo 2017 as the cooler temperature made way from the record- breaking heat in Sydney the day before.
The two-day event of the Halal Expo Australia (HEA) 2017 defined a new image of Halal Expo Australia where over 90 local and international showcased their products & services, at their beautifully decorated structured stands, these were amazing reflection of a new image of Australian halal market. People came from all over NSW, including far distances such as Canberra, Newcastle, Wollongong and even interstate with people from Melbourne and Brisbane excited to view the exhibition and take part in the activities.
Members of the public, along with the international guests praised the organisers for the informative exhibits, air-conditioned, spacious and comfortable facilities of the Grand Pavilion Hall at the Rosehill Gardens.
On Day 1 (Sat 11 Feb) the temperature in Sydney was touching 45 degrees yet the people from far distances coming in groups with intervals in the entire day and total number at the end of the first day was over 2000. The mood of the exhibitors and the visitors was amazing. Interesting part of the HEA 2017 is the International Halal Conference (IHC) 2017 running side-by-side of the HEA 2017 at level 1 of Grand Pavilion. The Day 1 of the IHC 2017 started at 10AM with the opening ceremony chaired by H.E Dr. Obaid Al Ketbi, the Ambassador of United Arab Emirate. Dr. Yayan G. H. Mulyana, Consul General Indonesia, Mr. Shahrezan bin Md Sheriff, Vice Consul, Malaysian Consulate, Sydney, Hon Julie Owen, Local Federal and Hon Geoff Lee, Local NSW MP were among other local and international dignitaries. 12 speakers, Dr. Amin Hady, sheikh Shady Al Suleiman, Dr. Haja Sittie Shayma (Zenaida) P. HR. Laidan (Philippine), Mr. Keysar Trad, Dr. Sirajuddin Bin Suhaimee (Malaysia), Dr. Muhammad Khan, Professor Dr. Pakorn Priyakorn (Thailand), Dr. Abu Saleh, Dr. Nur Rahman (Brunei), Mr. Nick Farncomb,Dr. Jan A. Ali and Syed Atiq ul Hassan spoke in DAY 1 delivered 3 sessions, Halal Lifestyle, Halal Certification, and Halal Trade & Economy containing 2 topics.
The 2nd day of the IHC 2017 started with the recitation of Holy Quran by Mr. Naseer Nazir. Four sessions, Islamic Investment & Finance, Halal Medicine & Treatment, Islamic Travel & Travel, two workshops on understanding halal standards and how technology has transformed the landscape of the Halal industry, and a special break-out session Role of GSO in halal certification were delivered by 12 top local & international speakers.
The highpoint of the conference was the special breakout session with His Excellency Nabil bin Ameen Molla, the Secretary of General Gulf Standard Organisation, Saudi Arabia who presented a very inspiring speech on the importance of halal market globally. At one stage, he asked the audience, ‘what do you think is halal for only Muslim or everyone one’ and a loudly reply from audience was, ‘for everyone’. His breakout session was followed by a workshop on ‘How technology transformed the landscape of halal industry’ conducted by Mr Ali Sabri Sani Abdullah and Ms Marina Muhammad of Dangang Halal Malaysia. Another workshop was organised by Halal Expo Australia on ‘understanding halal standards and its effect on your businesses’ conducted by Mr Azlan Oppier from Singapore. The sixth session of the IHC 2017 was on ‘Halal Medicine and Treatment’ delivered by famous local lady doctors Dr Seema Mohiuddin and Dr Wafa Samen. The 7th and last session was on the new emerging and growing ‘Halal Tourism and Travel industry’. This session was undertaken by Dr Neol Scott, Professor Griffith Institute of Tourism, Mr Fazal Bahardeen, CEO Crescent Rating, Halal Trip and Muslim Travel Warehouse, Singapore, Mr Imran Musa CEO of Ark Incorporation and Ms Miriam Tulveski, Country Manager (Sydney) for the Visit Indonesia Tourism Office.
This year, the theme of the conference was ‘The Role of Halal in Culture, Trade and Economy’ contains 7 sessions, 24 topics, 2 workshops and 1 special breakout session. 12 speakers, Dr. Amin Hady, sheikh Shady Al Suleiman, Dr. Haja Sittie Shayma (Zenaida) P. HR. Laidan (Philippine), Mr. Keysar Trad, Dr. Sirajuddin Bin Suhaimee (Malaysia), Dr. Muhammad Khan, Professor Dr. Pakorn Priyakorn (Thailand), Dr. Abu Saleh, Dr. Nur Rahman (Brunei), Mr. Nick Farncomb ,Dr. Jan A. Ali and Syed Atiq ul Hassan spoke in DAY 1 during 3 sessions on Halal Lifestyle, Halal Certification, and Halal Trade & Economy. DAY 2 of conference was fully loaded with 3 exciting sessions (Islamic Investment & Finance, Halal Medicine & Treatment, Islamic Travel & Tourism) 2 workshops (Understanding halal standards and its effects on your business, Role of GSO in halal certification) and one break-out special session delivered by H.E Nabil bin Ameen Molla, Secretary General Gulf Standard Organisation, Saudi Arabia.
The IHC 2017 was well professionally run by 6 moderators, Mr. Rahmat ullah Hussenizada, Mr. Ahmed Higazi, Ms Rahaf Ahmed, Mr.Sam Granzooy, Dr. Khurram Kiyani and Mr. Zahir Hussain. Their high moral and professional dealings were largely commended by the attendees.
A large food court was designed adjacent to the exhibition hall under the shed where 22 different halal ethnic foods were placed by local food caterers and restaurants offering variety of delicious halal food and beverages. Rides and amusements were placed for children however due to heat these could not be operated in the day until late afternoon on Sunday.
The aim of the Halal Expo Australia is to create awareness of all things Halal: food, products, services and a Halal healthy lifestyle; establish a network of Australian and International Halal industry players; build a B2B network of Halal industry players, investors, financers, entrepreneurs, and industrialists; expand B2C relationships between Halal businesses & consumers locally & internationally; develop social harmony and understanding between diverse people of Islamic and non-Islamic backgrounds and promote a halal healthy lifestyle.