Australia eyes Middle East’s halal meat market

Nick Meara
Updated 07 May 2019

Australia eyes Middle East’s halal meat market

When Muslim customers buy Australian red meat, they can rest assured that it is not only fresh but also 100 percent halal, according to Nick Meara, international business manager for Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) — MENA.

Australia has one of the strictest halal programs in the world. The Australian Government Authorized Halal Program (AGAHP) is undertaken in collaboration with the Australian government’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and Islamic organizations in the country. 

Important requirements of this program are that the animals are treated properly, have easy access to food and water and are free to roam.

Meara said that Australia, with its natural environment and high animal welfare standards, easily meets these requirements. “Additionally, all processing facilities in Australia employ only registered and trained Muslim slaughtermen. All slaughtermen are practicing Muslims and comply with their religious slaughter training based on Shariah principles,” he said.

Master Chef Tarek Ibrahim, the Middle East’s first master chef, said: “I have personally been to Australia and seen first hand the way animals are raised and the halal process that is being followed. As a Muslim, halal meat is very important to me and in my more than 30 years of experience traveling the world, I can confidently say that the Australian halal system is second to none.”

According to a recent Australian government report, Australian red meat is in demand in the Middle East and other major international markets.

The average customer’s perception of imported meat is that sourcing meat from so far away can affect the freshness and quality of the product. However, according to Meara, that is just not the case.

“State-of-the art technologies in Australia ensure that Australian lamb and beef is packed fresh and chilled to very low temperatures so it can be delivered to supermarkets in the Middle East in just a matter of days, and is still as fresh as the day it was packed,” he said.

The fresh meat is vacuum-packed to maintain freshness and quality, prevent bacterial growth and ensure an extended shelf life.


Burj Al-Arab named No. 1 city hotel in MENA

Updated 13 July 2020

Burj Al-Arab named No. 1 city hotel in MENA

Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah, the crown jewel in hospitality leader Jumeirah Group’s portfolio and global icon of luxury, has been named the No. 1 city hotel in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by Travel + Leisure at its World’s Best Awards.

Every year, Travel + Leisure — one of the largest travel media brands in the US — provides its 6 million plus readers the chance to have their say in choosing the most outstanding destinations, hotels, resorts, spas, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators and rental car agencies around the world as part of its annual survey. This year marks 25 years of celebrating the best in travel, with Burj Al-Arab recognized on the “World’s Best” list for its hospitality excellence, intuitive luxury service and iconic appeal.

Currently celebrating two decades of operations, the hotel is renowned across the globe for its boundary-pushing architecture and innovative design, with the team going above and beyond to create bespoke experiences for guests. It is also known for culinary excellence with a collection of restaurants led by renowned chefs and overseen by Michael Ellis, chief culinary officer and former managing director of the Michelin Guide.

José Silva, chief executive officer of Jumeirah Group, said: “Burj Al-Arab represents the very pinnacle of luxury, known world-over for its elevated design, service beyond expectations and unmatched physical spaces. International recognition such as this not only reaffirms the hotel’s iconic standing on the world map but also serves as a thank you to all those who go above and beyond, every day, to make our guests’ stay truly remarkable.”

Jumeirah Group, a member of Dubai Holding and a global luxury hotel company, operates a 6,500+-key portfolio of 26 properties across the Middle East (including the flagship Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah) Europe and Asia, with more properties currently under construction around the globe.

Prioritizing the health and safety of its guests and colleagues, Jumeirah Group has implemented a series of protective measures across all of its hotels, while strictly adhering to each market’s respective government directives. Four of its hotels in Dubai were recently awarded the Bureau Veritas SafeGuard label, with Jumeirah Al-Naseem being the first hotel in the world to receive the prestigious certification. The group is working closely with Bureau Veritas to certify its wider portfolio.

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results, therefore, reflect Travel + Leisure’s readers’ experiences before the pandemic.