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From Japan to the World: How Halal Wagyu Beef is Making its Mark



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By our Special Correspondent

Halal wagyu beef is a premium meat gaining popularity worldwide due to its unique flavor, tenderness, and high quality. It is a type of beef that is produced according to halal standards, which means that it is slaughtered in a way that is humane and follows Islamic dietary laws. Halal wagyu beef has become particularly popular in Muslim-majority countries, with a growing demand for high-quality halal meat.

The origins of wagyu beef can be traced back to Japan, where it has been raised for over 200 years. The word “wagyu” literally translates to “Japanese cow” and refers to four breeds of Japanese native to Japan: Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Shorthorn, and Japanese Polled. These breeds are known for their marbling and fat distribution throughout the muscle tissue. The marbling gives wagyu beef a unique flavor and tenderness, making it a highly sought-after meat.

Halal Wagyu beef is a premium product produced following Islamic dietary laws. Wagyu beef comes from a specific breed of Japanese cattle known for its high-quality marbling and tenderness. At the same time, halal refers to any permissible food or drink according to Islamic law. Halal Wagyu beef is produced by raising cattle following Islamic principles and slaughtering them in a specific manner.

The significance of halal Wagyu beef lies in its cultural and religious importance to Muslims worldwide. Muslims make up a significant portion of the global population and have specific dietary requirements that must be met for food to be considered halal. Halal Wagyu beef offers a premium beef product that meets these requirements and is enjoyed by Muslims worldwide.

The process of producing halal Wagyu beef involves several steps to ensure that the meat is halal. First, the cattle used to make the beef must be raised following Islamic principles. This includes providing them with adequate food, water, and living conditions. The animals must also be treated with care and respect.

During slaughter, the animal’s throat is slit with a sharp knife while a prayer is recited, ensuring that the animal dies quickly and painlessly. This method of slaughter is known as zabiha and is a crucial aspect of producing halal meat. The process of slaughtering the animal must be performed by a trained Muslim slaughterer, known as a halal butcher. After slaughter, the meat is cleaned, processed, and packaged for sale. This includes removing the blood and other impurities from the meat. The meat is then packaged and shipped to retailers and consumers.

Certification for halal Wagyu beef involves several steps to ensure the meat meets Islamic dietary laws. The certification process involves thoroughly inspecting the entire production process, from raising the cattle to packaging the meat. The inspection is conducted by a halal certification agency that verifies that all the requirements for producing halal meat have been met. Once the review is complete, the heart is labeled as halal and can be sold to consumers who require halal products. The certification process assures consumers that their meat is halal and meets their dietary requirements.

Halal Wagyu beef is gaining popularity worldwide, particularly in Muslim-majority countries and non-Muslim countries. Halal is a term used to describe any product or practice permissible under Islamic law. Wagyu is a premium beef prized for its rich marbling, tenderness, and flavor. In recent years, the combination of halal and wagyu beef has become increasingly popular, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down.

The popularity of Halal Wagyu Beef in Muslim-Majority Countries

The demand for halal wagyu beef in Muslim-majority countries has been steadily increasing. This is partly due to the growing middle class and rising disposable income in these countries, which has led to a greater interest in high-end products like Wagyu beef. Additionally, many consumers in these countries view halal certification as a mark of quality and purity, which makes halal wagyu beef an appealing choice.

Halal wagyu beef is also becoming more popular in non-Muslim countries, particularly with large Muslim populations such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. This trend can be attributed to a growing interest in halal foods among non-Muslim consumers and the rising popularity of Asian cuisine, which often features Wagyu beef.

Several factors are driving the popularity of halal wagyu beef. One of the primary factors is the increasing demand for high-quality beef products, which has led many consumers to seek premium cuts like Wagyu beef. Additionally, many consumers see halal certification as a mark of quality and purity, making halal wagyu beef an appealing choice.

Another factor driving the popularity of halal wagyu beef is the growing Muslim population worldwide. As the Muslim population grows, so does the demand for halal products, including halal wagyu beef. Finally, the rising popularity of Asian cuisine is also contributing to the popularity of halal wagyu beef, as many Asian dishes feature Wagyu beef as a key ingredient.

Halal Wagyu beef is a premium beef product that is gaining popularity worldwide. Not only is it a delicious and high-quality food option, but it also offers several benefits to consumers and producers alike. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of Halal Wagyu beef, including its nutritional and health benefits and its economic benefits.

Nutritional Benefits of Halal Wagyu Beef

Halal Wagyu beef is a rich source of protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, while iron is necessary for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Zinc is vital for immune system function and wound healing, and vitamin B12 is crucial for brain function and the formation of red blood cells. Halal Wagyu beef is also low in saturated fat compared to other types of beef, which can make it a healthier option for consumers.

In addition to its nutritional benefits, consuming Halal Wagyu beef may also have several health benefits. Research has shown that consuming grass-fed beef, which is the type of beef that Wagyu cattle are typically raised on, may be beneficial for heart health. Grass-fed beef is generally lower in saturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef, which may help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, consuming Halal Wagyu beef may help build and maintain muscle mass, which can benefit athletes and older adults.

Producing Halal Wagyu beef can also have several economic benefits. The global halal food market is increasing, and the demand for high-quality products like Halal Wagyu beef is increasing. This presents an opportunity for producers to expand their needs and increase their profits. Additionally, producing Halal Wagyu beef can create jobs in the farming, processing, and distribution industries, which can help to stimulate local economies.

Halal Wagyu beef is a premium product that is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. However, various factors can make producing and exporting Halal Wagyu beef challenging. This article will discuss the challenges of making Halal Wagyu beef in Japan, exporting it to other countries, and addressing these challenges.

Producing Halal Wagyu beef in Japan can be challenging due to the country’s strict regulations around halal certification. The process of obtaining halal certification can be time-consuming and expensive, and language barriers often make it difficult for non-Japanese speakers to navigate the certification process. Additionally, the traditional methods of raising Wagyu cattle, which involve feeding them beer and massaging them, may be different from halal requirements.

Challenges of Exporting Halal Wagyu Beef to Other Countries

Exporting Halal Wagyu beef to other countries can also be challenging due to various factors:

  1. Each country has its halal certification requirements, which can be complex and challenging.
  2. Transportation and storage of Halal Wagyu beef can be difficult due to the need for strict adherence to halal standards during the process.
  3. Cultural differences around food preferences and preparation methods can also pose challenges when exporting Halal Wagyu beef to other countries.

Addressing the challenges of producing and exporting Halal Wagyu beef is essential for the continued growth of the halal food industry. Halal certification is becoming increasingly important to consumers worldwide, and meeting this demand is crucial for producers looking to expand their markets. Additionally, addressing the challenges of exporting Halal Wagyu beef can help to create new trade opportunities and increase economic growth. Finally, addressing these challenges can help ensure that consumers receive high-quality Halal Wagyu beef products that meet their dietary and cultural requirements.

Halal Wagyu beef is a premium beef product that is gaining popularity worldwide. In this article, we have explored the growing demand for halal Wagyu beef, its benefits, and the challenges of producing and exporting it. In this conclusion, we will summarize the main points of this blog post, highlight the significance of halal Wagyu beef in the global food industry, and end with a call to action to try halal Wagyu beef.

We have discussed various aspects of halal Wagyu beef, including its growing demand in Muslim-majority and non-Muslim countries, its nutritional and health benefits, the economic benefits of producing it, and the challenges of building and exporting it. We have highlighted the importance of addressing these challenges to meet the growing demand for halal products and create new trade opportunities.

Halal Wagyu beef represents a significant market opportunity for producers and an essential consumer dietary requirement. The global halal food industry is projected to reach $1.9 trillion by 2025, and halal products, including halal Wagyu beef, are becoming increasingly important to consumers worldwide. Producing and exporting halal Wagyu beef can help to meet this demand, create new trade opportunities, and increase economic growth.

If you have yet to try halal Wagyu beef, we encourage you to try it. Halal Wagyu beef offers a unique flavor and texture experience unmatched by other beef products. Additionally, by choosing to consume halal products, you are supporting the growth of the halal food industry and promoting cultural diversity in the global food market.

In conclusion, halal Wagyu beef is a premium product gaining popularity worldwide. It offers various benefits, including nutritional, health, economic, and cultural significance. As the demand for halal products grows, addressing the challenges of producing and exporting halal Wagyu beef will become increasingly important. We encourage you to try halal Wagyu beef and support the growth of the halal food industry.

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Muslim-Friendly Tourism is the Next Big Opportunity for Malaysia




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Global Muslim-friendly tourism is projected to contribute significantly to international tourism, with an estimated 230 million Muslim travelers expected to spend around $225 billion by 2028. Recognizing this immense potential, many popular destinations are introducing innovative offerings to attract Muslim tourists. Malaysia, already a preferred destination, stands to benefit greatly from this trend, provided it capitalizes on the opportunity and addresses rising competition from neighboring countries.

Muslim tourists currently make up about 20% of Malaysia’s total tourist arrivals, contributing approximately RM14.7 billion to the local economy in 2023. However, countries like Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand are aggressively promoting their Muslim-friendly tourism and hospitality (MFTH) products and services, posing a competitive challenge for Malaysia.

In response to the increasing competition and to tap into the vast potential of Muslim tourists, the Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC), under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture (MOTAC), is enhancing its efforts to strengthen Malaysia’s position as a top Muslim-friendly destination. ITC has introduced the Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality Assurance and Recognition (MFAR) and the Muslim-Friendly Tourist Guide (MFTG) programs to ensure the quality of products and services, boost tourist confidence, and open new market opportunities.

Launched in 2019, MFAR is the first government-backed recognition for businesses offering Muslim-friendly services in various areas such as tourist accommodations, spas, medical facilities, travel management, transportation hubs, shopping centers, and entertainment parks. ITC sees these standards as essential for attracting Muslim travelers and enhancing their experience in Malaysia.

Nizran Noordin, ITC director-general, stated, “Just like how Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia’s (JAKIM) halal certification has been helpful for Muslims in their decision-making regarding food and consumer goods, MFAR aims to provide the same recognition for tourism products and services.” The goal is to optimize tourists’ satisfaction and experience, enabling them to explore Malaysia’s cultural and natural attractions confidently.

The MFAR program not only assures the quality of Muslim-friendly services but also serves as a marketing tool to communicate the availability of amenities such as prayer facilities, halal food, and water for ablution. While emphasizing Muslim-friendly tourism, MFAR recognition does not exclude non-Muslim patrons, ensuring inclusivity.

The MFTG program recognizes MOTAC-licensed tourist guides who have completed ITC’s training and passed assessments on understanding the Muslim tourist market. This initiative aims to enhance the quality of services provided to Muslim tourists.

Malaysia has consistently topped the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) since its inception in 2015. In 2023, Malaysia was named “Muslim-Friendly Destination of the Year” and “Muslim Women-Friendly Destination of the Year” at the Halal in Travel Awards. These accolades highlight Malaysia’s strong transport infrastructure, communication proficiency, ease of entry for travelers, safety, extensive halal dining options, and the availability of prayer places and Muslim-friendly accommodations.

With the upcoming Visit Malaysia Year 2026, the country targets 35.6 million tourist arrivals and RM147.1 billion in receipts. MOTAC aims to position Malaysia as an Umrah hub for Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Oceania, further increasing Muslim tourist arrivals. Nizran Noordin emphasized that the growth of the Muslim tourist market could sustain various sectors such as banking, finance, and insurance through offerings like payment gateways, digital wallets, and travel insurance tailored for Muslim tourists.

To facilitate the application for MFAR recognition, ITC has developed a rating system where businesses can achieve silver, gold, or platinum recognition based on their level of commitment and compliance with the guidelines. Nizran Noordin expressed hope that industry players will adopt these recognitions to provide greater assurance to Muslim tourists, especially as Malaysia prepares to become an Umrah hub.

The potential for Muslim-friendly tourism in Malaysia is immense. By leveraging strategic initiatives and addressing competitive challenges, Malaysia can solidify its position as a leading destination for Muslim travelers, driving economic growth and enhancing its global standing. For the latest updates on Malaysia’s tourism initiatives, follow official announcements from the Islamic Tourism Centre and MOTAC.

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Pilgrims Remain Bedrock of Saudi Tourism Plans




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By Andrew Hammond

Saudi tourism is to undergo a massive expansion with religious travellers remaining its bedrock – but some hotel operators are wary of an overheated market.

The kingdom is aiming to bring in 150 million visitors per year by 2030, with tourism accounting for 10 percent of non-oil GDP, playing a key role in its economic transformation plan valued at $1.25 trillion.

The Saudi Tourism Authority displayed the country’s offerings – from the futuristic luxury resorts in Neom, to wellness holidays in AlUla and mountain climbing in Aseer – at this year’s Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. 

The plans include an additional 320,000 hotel rooms by 2030 according to property consultant Knight Frank, with more than half of them expected to be in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

“Knight Frank’s analysis of hotel supply in Mecca and Medina reveals a significant figure of 221,000 hotel rooms announced, planned or under construction,” said the consultancy. Super-rich Muslims are also seeking homes there. It added that of the 320,000 extra hotel rooms, 251,500 will be in the luxury and upscale brackets, raising the share of high-end hotels from 66 to 72 percent of the total.

The high percentage of religious tourism is telling. As the location of the annual Hajj pilgrimage and the year-round pilgrimage known as Umrah, Saudi Arabia can be sure to attract a solid base of these visitors who still account for nearly 50 percent of tourism.

Pilgrimage tour and hotel operators say the opening up of the visa system since 2019 and the end of restrictions on businesses requiring a local partner have revolutionised the sector.

“The strategy for 2030 means they need pilgrims from everywhere,” said Ahmed Saber, CEO of Indonesia-based Diar Al Manasik International.

“Before it was difficult to get the visa, difficult to get the package. But now it’s easy, you can go online.

“Businesses used to need a Saudi partner but now you can bring your company from outside and start business (registering) with the government,” he said, adding he had set up new offices in nine countries over the past year offering pilgrim tours.

Earlier this year the government began offering visas on arrival for pilgrims who are resident in the EU, US and UK or who possess a valid visa for those countries. Nationals of Australia, Canada, China, Malaysia, Norway, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand and Turkey can receive an Umrah visa on arrival.

The Saudi market is so frenzied that few hoteliers seem to worry about cannibalisation amid the plethora of projects underway.

Red Sea Global, a key tourism-focused giga-project, says it will have 79 hotels by 2030. Neom is to host at least 12 resorts. Even cutting edge mall projects like Cenomi Central’s Jawharat Riyadh, which is due to open in 2027, will contain hotels.

Mandarin Oriental, which has only one luxury hotel in Riyadh among a number across the Gulf, is taking a cautious approach in contrast to some brands.

“Whilst we want to expand in Saudi Arabia, we are probably not on that progressive trajectory like some other luxury players,” said Michael Koth, general manager of the Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental in Abu Dhabi.

“I dont think on a global scale it’s the only country one wants to invest in, but it’s one of the countries one needs to invest in. Other luxury operators have chosen to do it differently.”

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HLISB Introduces BizHalal To Support SMEs in the Global Halal Market




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In a significant move to empower Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) navigating the lucrative global Halal market, Hong Leong Islamic Bank (HLISB) has introduced BizHalal. This innovative, Shariah-compliant banking solution is designed to provide both financial support and Halal advisory services, aligning with Malaysia’s strategic vision to expand its Halal ecosystem.

What is BizHalal?

BizHalal is more than just a financial product; it’s a partnership between HLISB and the Halal Development Corporation (HDC), solidified through a recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This collaboration underscores HLISB’s dedication to fostering growth and development within the Halal industry.

Strategic Goals and Historical Context

HLISB CEO, Dafinah Ahmed Hilmi, reflected on the bank’s ongoing commitment to the Halal sector since 2018 and expressed enthusiasm about how BizHalal will further stimulate the expansion of local Halal SMEs. The service package includes tailored financing solutions and expert advisory services, ensuring businesses are well-equipped to thrive in this dynamic market.

Market Potential and Economic Impact

The global Halal market, valued at USD 3 trillion in 2020, continues to grow, with projections placing Malaysia’s Halal industry at US$113.2 billion by 2030. Despite this potential, a gap remains between the market demand and supply, highlighting the critical need for increased investment and collaboration to tap into this burgeoning sector.

Partnership Impact

HDC Chairman, Khairul Azwan Harun, emphasized the importance of strategic partnerships like that of HLISB and HDC in closing the market gap and cultivating local Halal champions. These collaborations are pivotal in ensuring the sustainability and global competitiveness of Malaysia’s Halal SMEs.

Technological Integration

Acknowledging the role of technology, HDC has introduced the Halal Integrated Platform (HIP), which simplifies the certification process and enhances the operational efficiency of Malaysia’s Halal ecosystem. This digital approach not only streamlines operations but also broadens the accessibility of Halal certification for SMEs.

Support and Advisory Services

Under BizHalal, HLISB’s Halal Industry Specialists provide comprehensive support to customers. This includes a readiness assessment, advisory assistance, and integration into the Halal Digital Ecosystem. These services are crucial for both existing Halal-certified businesses and new entrants aspiring to obtain certification.

Inclusivity and Accessibility

BizHalal is accessible to all HLISB customers, supporting both current Halal-certified businesses and those seeking to achieve certification. Additionally, customers who avail of HLISB’s business financing facilities will automatically qualify for the BizHalal program, making it easier for SMEs to join and benefit from this initiative.

With the introduction of BizHalal, HLISB reaffirms its commitment to supporting the growth of SMEs in the global Halal market. This initiative not only aligns with Malaysia’s economic goals but also serves as a catalyst for the development of a robust, sustainable Halal ecosystem that can lead on the international stage.

This rewrite not only incorporates the key phrase “HLISB Introduces BizHalal To Support SMEs in the Global Halal Market” effectively for SEO but also enhances the article’s relevance and informative nature, making it more engaging for readers interested in Islamic finance and the Halal industry.

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