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  • The Friday Round Up (19 Oct): hajj, digital dignity, Arabic apps, ecology, entrepreneurs and Qibla credit cards

    As hajj begins this week, we look  through the eyes of Muslims to understand aspects of this most central of Islamic experiences. And of course we bring you the best of news about Muslim consumers.

    In depth

    This week is the beginning of the Islamic month of Dhulhijjah, which is the final month of the Islamic calendar, and also the month when the pilgrimage of the hajj takes place. This means Muslim pilgrims from around the globe have set off on the journey of a lifetime to Makkah to take place in the rituals which begin on the 9th day of the month and include the festival of Eid ul Adha on the 10th. But what do you need to know about the experience, how to decode the rituals, and what it means to Muslims? Here we address three aspects of the pilgrimage and its meaning.

    Cheat sheet: sharp insights into Muslim consumer markets this week

    Malaysian carnival promotes halal goods, and celebrates opening of new halal park

    E-commerce is worth an estimated $11bn in Middle East, the top markets being UAE worth $2bn in 2010, Saudi Arabia $520m and Qatar $375m Kuwait $280m Bahrain $175m Oman $70m

    Middle East game developers aim to be Arab culture “ambassadors” and give “digital dignity” delving into Muslim history

    Viacom to invest in Arabic content and production saying: “From a consumer demographic perspective there’s great potential here”

    “The Middle East and North Africa are ripe for growth in Arabic content and apps with a market as big as North America”

    Muslim consumers should use purchasing power to educate producers and outlets on the importance of halal certification”

    Human beings and ecology, an Islamic perspective: “Man fulfills a very important role in the cosmos” as a trustee of the environment

    Indonesia debates halal certificates for ingredients and as well as production processes for food and beverage, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals

    Nielsen: Indonesia is a major food consumption market as well as a major halal market, and 90% of the population is upbeat about the financial situation. The GDP is $3K per capita

    Islamic banks offers promotions to entrepreneurs working in the halal industry

    Is Islamic Banking only in name?’ asks Malaysian Muslim Consumers’ Association in urging banks to be sympathetic to housebuyers

    New Mastercard aimed at Muslims comes with inbuilt Qibla compass. It’s fees-based so no interest is charged, and includes a hajj voucher scheme

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