Abu Dhabi Travel Report: Day 1

 I left South Africa on Sunday evening the 18th of October to attend the World Halal Travel Summit in Abu Dhabi. Although there have been pervious halal summits in Malaysia, I was told, that a Halal summit of this magnitude has never been arranged before.

During my flight I was given the dinner menu, and under the beverage section there were various options of alcohol. This was a clear sign of the extend to which our needs of Muslim travellers have been over looked.

I arrived on Monday morning and were taken to our hotel to have breakfast and freshen up.

At 9:30am I was transported to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre where the summit is being hosted. I was amazed at the size of the exhibition center. I would estimate it to be three times the size of Sandon Conventional Center.

The summit commenced with a key note adress by a representative from the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.

Thereafter there was a presentation by Reem Al Shafaki. She spoke about expanding the Halal market and the challenges that the market is facing in raising finance.

El Nur Seyidli, from Halal booking.com spoke defining the concept of Halal. The Halal market essentially covers 5 areas:
1. Halal food and drink
2. Gender related nuances (dedicated beeches for the different genders)
3. Non Alcoholic environment.
4. Facilities for prayer.
5. Muslim friendly activities

There were a number of other talks that focused on various aspects of Halal.

I spent the entire day at the summit and by sunset I was brought to the hotel to catch up on much needed rest.