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“Be Our Guest" campaign launched for Malls in Northern Emirates

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 10 February 2021 | Posted in , , , ,

Line Investments & Property (LIP) malls initiates five weeks of Spend and Win promotions with Valentine's and Mission Mars Celebrations

IMO News Service

Dubai, UAE: The shopping mall and management division of Lulu Group International, Line Investments & Property (LIP) introduces the 'Be Our Guest' campaign with a number of initiatives for the month of February across three Malls in Northern Emirates, RAK Mall, Lulu Mall Fujairah and Mall of Umm Al Quwain.

The Spend and Win promotion will have 35 daily prize winners and a grand prize winner in each mall. From February 7th to March 13th, shoppers can be part of the Spend & Win promotion by spending AED 100/- at any store and AED 200/- at Lulu Hypermarket to stand an additional chance of winning.

Shoppers spending AED 100/- at any F&B outlet can double their chances of winning a daily Prize of AED 1,000/- for 35 days or win a grand prize of AED 10,000/-. The prize adds up to AED 50,000 in Tenant Vouchers and there will be Social Media Contests to give away AED 2,000 worth of vouchers as prizes.

For Mission Mars celebrations, there will be amazing photo opportunities with replicas of space shuttle and astronauts. Visitors to the Malls can attend information sessions on Mission Mars and get detailed knowledge from the experts at hand. Customers are also encouraged to take their pictures at the Mars lookalike photo wall, post them on their channels and tag the mall.

For Valentine’s, there will be special offers by numerous retailers and special activations in the mall on the 14th of February. Each mall will be distributing flowers and gifts to couples and customers next to Valentine’s picture frame. People can also click a memorable picture while receiving the flowers.



The Food Festival, Valentine’s Day and the Mission Mars celebrations with two weeks of engaging entertainment will enrich the mall visit experience further, in addition to the giveaway prizes. 

 All Line Investments & Property Malls place great emphasis on safety measures regarding COVID-19, ensuring the public areas remain a safe place to shop and dine in.

Saudi Arabia to continue dominance in Islamic Finance in 2021: Expert

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 08 February 2021 | Posted in , , ,

IMO News Service

Saudi Arabia’s credentials is going to boost and its leadership in the Islamic finance is going to continue in 2021, Arab News quoted a senior industry expert as saying. The prospects have brightened after the resolving of the GCC-Qatar rift and the growing focus on green finance.

Bashar Al-Natoor, Fitch Ratings’ Global Head of Islamic Finance, said that the Middle East region, specifically Saudi Arabia, is currently leading the Islamic finance market globally.


Saudi Arabia is maintaining lead across the 5 key sectors of Islamic finance, including Islamic banks, Takaful, Sukuk, fund management and Sharia-compliant corporate sectors. Until now, Saudi Arabia was historically seen to be only leading in countries where the dual Islamic and conventional financing thrived.

The end of the GCC-Qatar rift and the normalization of ties has increased the confidence of the investors in the region and successfully eliminated a political risk, in addition to providing a material boost to the Sukuk market.

Global Halal Food Market expected to reach USD 922.53 billion by 2026

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , , ,

IMO News Service

The Halal Food market is witnessing a tremendous growth with the increasing Muslim populations worldwide and their continuously rising annual spending on food. As such, the demand for halal food and beverage products has significantly grown thus compelling the market players to focus on authentic and branded products. A recent study by Polaris Market Research has indicated that the global Halal Food Market is expected to reach USD 922.53 billion by 2026.

Presently, consumers are showing growing interest in halal industry. This is primarily due to the increasing consumer awareness about the nutritional and hygiene advantages, and improving lifestyles as a result of increasing disposable income. These products being processed and packed with much higher regulatory compliance compared conventional food products are gaining significantly popularity. Basically, they do not contain contents or ingredients that are against Islamic beliefs.

Halal foods are expected to be produced, packaged, stored, and distributed as per Islamic teachings. Moreover, these products are considered to be safe, clean, and highly nutritional. The significant growth in Muslim populations across the globe is expected to offer immense opportunities to Halal Food market. In addition, the rapidly accelerating economic power of Islamic countries is anticipated to largely influence them to spend additional money on the branded products.


The growing issues over the absence of proper regulatory framework to assure the authenticity of these products might be a restraint to the commercially produced halal food. The industry can be considered as a fragmented one and the absence of standardized regularizations has repressed the mainstream F&B participants from venturing this section of the worldwide Halal Food market. However, the number of small scale companies meeting the needs of the local populations has been increasing significantly.

Low level of awareness about the presence of authentic halal food brands is acting as a challenge to the industry. As a consequence, the industry is not experiencing demands to its full potential as expected. Moreover, halal authentic issues within the sector are considered quiet minor among consumer. Thus, this requires manufacturers to improve their marketing strategies and production facilities. Furthermore, it becomes difficult to understand consumer perspective about halal food & beverage brands. 

The Asia Pacific Halal Food market is anticipated to dominate the global market by 2026, owing to the presence of emerging nations such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Maldives, and Pakistan. These nations have significant population that follows Islamic beliefs. Moreover, the rising economic conditions in the region provide an opportunity for the foreign players to start of their production facilities, thus offering cost effective products the consumers in the region.

Saudi Arabia aiming to become exciting tourism destination for foreigners

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 05 February 2021 | Posted in , , , ,

By Danish Ahmad Khan

The conservative Saudi Arabia was until now a closed society, and generally not welcoming for foreign tourists. But, ever since the visionary, dynamic and suave Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman took charge the kingdom is witnessing a sea change. Consciously moving away from its oil-dependant economy, the diversification into other sectors is perceptible.

The unlikely destination for many in the past, Saudi Arabia replete with its rich history, heritage and gorgeous beaches is set to become an exciting tourism hotspot. Massive investments in tourist infrastructure and attractions are currently underway, Arab News reported.

Saudi Arabia had so far not allowed people to visit for tourism purposes either for sightseeing or recreation, except for the annual pilgrimage to Makkah and Medina. But the new changes in the country promises to bring significant transformations and positive effect. This is undoubtedly groundbreaking in many ways and will prompt the world citizens to see the kingdom differently, in a new light.


Ahmad bin Al Khateeb, Saudi Minister of Tourism, was quoted as saying that the Red Sea is still pristine, virgin, with protected corals and reefs and islands. Around 10,000 historical sites have also been discovered in the country, with five of them being listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. The minister also said that huge investments of $20 billion is to be made in future to boost tourism infrastructure, including airports, resorts and amusement parks.

It may be noted that the Red Sea, which has been attracting millions of tourists on the Egyptian shoreline, has remained mostly untouched on the Saudi Arabian side. Moreover, Saudi Arabia being the cradle of Arab civilization and birthplace of Islam is home to many ancient and medieval sites of historical significance, and bound to attract foreign tourists in a big way.

A recent study said that 1.5 billion people visited Saudi Arabia for tourism purposes in 2019. Of these, 30% were interested in history and heritage, while 40% visited for sea and sunshine.

Saudi Arabia is marching ahead with Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s ambitious Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the country’s economy from oil dependency to other industries, including tourism and energy. Saudi Arabia is planning to welcome 100 million annual visitors in the next 10 years, with the tourism revenue set to increase by 7% to contribute 10% of the country’s GDP.

[Danish Ahmad Khan is Founder-Editor of India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper – IndianMuslimObserver.com. He can be reached at indianmuslimobserver@gmail.com]

UAE: Sharjah Airport becomes first airport in the country to obtain the International Health Accreditation Certificate

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , , ,

IMO News Service

In a new global achievement Sharjah Airport has succeeded in obtaining the Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) certificate from the Airports Council International (ACI). With this Sharjah Airport has now become the first airport in the UAE, and the seventh in the Middle East to do so. This certification has recognised the achievements of Sharjah Airport as an International Hub, which continues to provide a safe travel experience in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The accreditation was awarded after a thorough evaluation of the health and safety measures in place, including social distancing measures, the cleaning and disinfection of facilities, and security inspections.

Ali Salem Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority, said, “Obtaining this accreditation from the Airports Council International is a reflection of the relentless efforts being made by Sharjah Airport to maintain public health and safety. We are applying the highest level of health procedures and measures in accordance with the directives of ACI and His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, and His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Executive Council to address the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Al Midfa added, “The health and safety of all travellers, customers, and employees, is our number one priority in all operations. Since the start of these exceptional circumstances, Sharjah Airport has developed an integrated plan in cooperation with partners from the operating authorities, to ensure that we are adhering to the highest standards. We thank and applaud the aviation sector and international bodies, including the Airports Council International, for laying out these guidelines and measures with the aim to protect all members of society.”

Stefano Baronci, Director General, ACI Asia-Pacific, said, “I would like to congratulate Sharjah Airport for meeting the highest level of expectations of travellers and customers, and becoming the first airport in the United Arab Emirates to receive the Airport Health Accreditation certification from ACI.

He added, “Sharjah airport’s obtaining this international accreditation is further evidence that the airport’s team has succeeded in implementing health standards and measures that ensure safe travel through the airport. This accreditation also confirms that Sharjah Airport is making all efforts to preserve the health and safety of travellers, customers and employees in various facilities and departments. "

Sharjah Airport has tried its best to curb the spread of coronavirus as part of its integrated plan to strengthen preventive measures by implementing several effective measures. The airport has intensified sterilization operations, including within the departures and arrivals halls and public facilities, in addition to sterilizing floors, barriers, walls, check-in counters, passenger bridges, waiting chairs, passport counters, security inspection devices, conveyor belts, luggage trolleys, and toilets.

It may be noted that the Airport Health Accreditation program (AHA) focuses on commitment to the health and well-being of passengers, customers and employees. The program looks toward the quality of airport health procedures in the wake of COVID-19, such as cleaning and sterilization practices, and the promotion of social distancing. The program had started in July 2020.

IndianMuslimObserver.com becomes Media Partner of Saudi International Halal Expo 2021

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 31 January 2021 | Posted in , , , , ,

By Danish Ahmad Khan

India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper – IndianMuslimObserver.com is proud to announce that it has become the Media Partner of the Saudi International Halal Expo 2021, to be held from November 29 to December 1 this year at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center. Earlier, the Saudi International Halal Expo was scheduled to be held in 2020, but was postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The Saudi International Halal Expo 2021 promises to be an outstanding platform for businesses providing both products and services that efficiently promotes ethical as well as fair business interactions and transactions. At a time when paradigm shift in economy is taking place post COVID-19 era, the Saudi International Halal Expo 2021 provides a great opportunity for businesses to position their brand among the latest and most state- of-the-art Halal products and services, which shape the global Halal industry.

The Saudi International Halal Expo 2021 is expected to host more than 200 national and international exhibitors, along with 5000-8000 visitors. The expo will also incorporate a series of B2B meetings engaging more than 200 buyers from 35 countries engaging within this exceptional trade business event.


According to a recent study, the large investments in halal products around the world exceeded $ 7 trillion in 2019. The investments in halal products and services are expected to increase in coming years.

A top official of the Saudi International Halal Expo 2021 in a statement said: “The World Bank has described Saudi Arabia as one of the world’s top summits in providing good and attractive business for all kinds of investments. We are undoubtedly proud to help in leading the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to become part of a list that includes 190 countries where the business environment has improved. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has jumped up 30 places to be placed 62nd.”

The statement added: “The food processing industry in Saudi Arabia is well-positioned to grow at a considerable rate in the near future. Domestic, regional and international demands for Saudi food products have been increasing year after year, with seafood, dates and halal foods leading the way. The Kingdom is famed for its authentic halal food products — particularly those from Makkah and Madinah. Saudi Arabia market is a great potential Halal Food Market, where Saudi Arabia’s Food and Drugs Authority (SFDA) has announced plans to launch what is claimed to be the world’s largest center for halal food and products. Plans for the center came under the Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s Vision 2030 reform agenda and aimed to utilize its geographical position between continents and role as the birthplace of Islam.”

Halal as a Lifestyle

The halal lifestyle leads to the right and unbiased way of life; it also refers to actions in our everyday life that incorporates different principles, values and standard of living. The concept of “Halal” goes far beyond the food and beverage industry and applies to the daily lives of Muslims and Non-Muslims , where it has a wider meaning due to nowadays complex manufacturing process. This makes it applicable to many sectors and even becoming the important way of life of the Muslim population. These sectors can be played together or simultaneously integrated in global trading that leads to Islamic economic growth. Being halal-conscious is actually the springboard to an optimal and cordial lifestyle-choice.

[Danish Ahmad Khan is Founder-Editor of India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper  IndianMuslimObserver.com. He can be reached at indianmuslimobserver@gmail.com]

Turkish Airlines gets “Diamond” status in the health and safety review conducted by APEX and SimpliFlying

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 27 January 2021 | Posted in , , , , ,

IMO News Service

Istanbul: As the airline that flies to the most international destinations in the world, Turkish Airlines also managed to become one of the busiest airlines during the pandemic period that has been plaguing the globe since last year. With its extra guidelines for safe travel and comprehensive hygiene precautions due to pandemic, the flag carrier airline has been awarded the highest “Diamond” status by APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association) Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying. 

Analyzed in three categories named Gold, Platinum and Diamond according to the hygiene precautions and preventative measures taken by airlines in the face of the ongoing pandemic, the online audit was conducted with 10 categories and 75 touchpoints in mind as the answers about the health and hygiene precautions were entered with concrete indicators by the participants. Reviewed alongside other airlines, Turkish Airlines achieved the Diamond status which symbolizes the highest health and safety level, thus maintaining its unparalleled service approach and quality in these extraordinary times. 


Meticulously implementing comprehensive precautions and newly developed changes since the start of the pandemic in order to continue providing a healthy and safe travel experience for its passengers, Turkish Airlines achieved the Diamond status with numerous criteria such as touch-free check-in process, implementation of social distancing, temperature measuring at entrances, Covid-19 test service at the airport, extra hygiene precautions, in-flight social distancing, hygiene expert cabin crews appointed in flights and hygiene kits offered to passengers.

As the pandemic and its effects are still present around the globe, the precautions may differ from time to time due to rapidly changing conditions. But since the fight against the pandemic requires continuity and commitment, the precautions and measures taken by the airlines in the report will be reviewed every three months to check on the continuity of their statuses.

On the results, Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, M. İlker Aycı stated: “We continue to meticulously implement the comprehensive hygiene precautions in order to ensure that our passengers can travel in health and safety during the pandemic. We provided comfort and reassurance for our passengers with our Hygiene Expert cabin crews appointed in our flights and hygiene kits offered to all of our passengers, along with all the precautions taken in airports and in our aircrafts. We are glad that our guidelines for safe travel have achieved the highest “Diamond” status. We will continue to work selflessly to provide the best possible travel experience for our passengers.”

In his statement on the matter APEX CEO Dr. Joe Leader said: “Turkish Airlines consistently has provided incredible passengers experience now topped by Diamond level certified, hospital-grade health safety for its customers. From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic forward, Turkish Airlines has demonstrated a step-by-step customer health safety plan as expansive as its 127 country route-map. APEX applauds the incredible commitment and diligence by Turkish Airlines for passenger safety worldwide.”

Cambodia to establish Department of Halal Affairs

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , , ,

IMO News Service

Cambodia is ready to welcome Muslim tourists in a big way. The government has announced it will be soon establishing the Department of Halal Affairs under the purview of the Ministry of Commerce’s General Department of Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Prevention (CCF), The Phnom Penh Post reported.

A meeting was conducted by Cambodian Halal Steering Committee (CHSC) on January 21 for discussing the draft sub-decree No. 160 dated July 29, 2016 which established the committee, informed CHSC deputy chairman Osman Hassan.

The meeting, which was chaired by Council of Ministers secretary of state Tekreth Samrach, focused on establishing the halal affairs department after revising some of the articles in the sub-decree. Also, the composition of the CHSC will be fine-tuned after amending the sub-decree.


The halal affairs department will immediately become operational as soon as the sub-decree is implemented. The judicial police officers will be inspecting the legal data and enforcing halal labeling laws at all enterprises.

The Halal Affairs Department will be enforce stricter management of halal products and small and medium-sized enterprises will be inspected for properly putting halal labels according to Cambodian technical standards.

The government’s move has been welcomed by the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA). A statement by CATA said, “The management of halal products, especially food, will play an important role in attracting Muslim tourists to Cambodia down the line.”

The commerce ministry has so far registered and issued certificates for 666 halal products in Cambodia.

Turkish Airlines launches “TK Extra Care” in collaboration with Dr. Oz

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 18 January 2021 | Posted in , , , , ,

IMO News Service

Istanbul: Turkish Airlines has launched a new hygiene programme “TK Extra Care”, which highlights new protective hygiene measures, in collaboration with the global carrier’s ambassador Dr. Mehmet Oz, the producer and host of the world-renowned “The Dr. Oz Show.”

The announcement of the new animated in-flight video comes at a time when health and safety is a top consideration on travelers’ checklists. Inspired by the airline’s ongoing dedication to its passengers’ well-being, the three-minute video follows Dr. Oz through the travel experience passengers should expect when flying with the global airline today. From the moment Dr. Oz checks-in for his flight to when he arrives at his destination, viewers will not only be reminded of the airline’s hygiene protocols necessary for a safe flying experience, but will have full assurance that Turkey’s flag carrier is enforcing a higher level of protection for every stage of the journey that goes above and beyond industry standards.

Turkish Airlines puts passenger hygiene at the forefront, protecting its guests at each stage of the journey. In the three-minute animated video, Dr. Oz shows that from checking-in online and carrying only personal items in the cabin, passenger contact is reduced. Viewers learn that upon entering the airport, all passengers must wear a mask and are provided with hand disinfectant and body temperature screenings throughout the terminal. The video also highlights that Turkish Airlines has taken extra safety steps to ensure peace of mind, such as disinfecting luggage with a UV system and boarding passengers in smaller groups from the back of the plane to the front. Hygiene Experts are present on each flight to maintain a high health and safety level, while each passenger will receive a hygiene kit upon boarding.


Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, M. İlker Aycı commented on the video’s debut; “There is no question that travelers around the world are facing an immense need for enforced safety measures and peace of mind while traveling. At Turkish Airlines, the hygiene standards for our passengers are our top priority and we offer the highest standards. These extra safety precautions have been introduced following the authorized committees’ evaluations and approvals. With the release of ‘TK Extra Care’, we are hopeful that viewers will recognize Turkish Airlines’ hard work and dedication in keeping both passengers and crews safe, and we are pleased to have Dr. Oz share our message with the world.”

In June, with the resumption of services, Turkish Airlines announced new ‘Guidelines for Safe Travel,’ as well as two new in-flight services to protect the health of its guests. The airline continues to distribute “Hygiene Kits,” containing a face mask, disinfectant and antiseptic tissue to its guests, while “Hygiene Expert” cabin crews are appointed to flights to enforce all on-board hygiene and social distancing measures for the healthy travel of passengers.

Dr. Oz has been sharing his expertise with Turkish Airlines’ passengers since 2017, when the airline launched its “Fly Good Feel Good” project, created to provide an even more comfortable and healthy travel experience to its passengers.

Equity Markets – Best Investment Option for Muslims

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 13 January 2021 | Posted in , , , , ,

By Imtiaz Merchant

Muslims should take advantage of the boom witnessed in the Indian Equity markets and they should not get left behind in the economic growth that is being witnessed throughout the country and likely continue for years to come. India is one of the fastest growing nations in the world with the GDP growing over 7 % for 2017-18 and expected to grow above 8 to 10 in 2021 onwards.

To be part of the main stream of the economy and get equal investment opportunity, Equity stock markets (The Islamic way) provides the most cost-effective investment solution for the Muslims. Equity markets have proved that they are not only the most cost effective, transparent, liquid and conducive to small and big size investors as a means of investment, nonetheless history has also proved that it outperforms and gives better returns than all other asset classes where return on investments as the parameter considered. In the long term a developing economy, equity (stock) market always goes up and up. though volatility is not ruled, so considering the inherent benefits Muslims must invest in the Equity Market.


On the onset Investment in equity markets is Islamically permissible since it is based on Musharaka (Partnership) principle where the profit is earned with the risk of loss, where in profit and losses are shared (PLS). With Ulema’s (Islamic scholar) guidance and approval it is now possible to invest in regulated Equity markets, of course with some stipulated conditions, and in fact Investment in equity markets the Islamic way is probably the best and only option available for the Muslims in a regulated environment. The government body SEBI being liberal about shariah based investment makes more sense to invest in equity markets after having been approved by the Islamic Scholar.

Now we investigate the inherent advantage investments in equities the Shariah way have over other forms of structured investments.

Fixed Interest (Riba) Based Investments (Banks)

Fixed interest (Riba) based investments like the Saving Bank deposit, Bank FDR; Postal savings, Debentures, Bonds etc. are strictly prohibited in Islam. Allah says in the Holy Quran,‘O those who believe, do not eat Riba (usury or interest) multiplied many times. And fear Allah, so that you may be successful.’ (Holy Quran Al-Imran verse 130). Islam since inception has discouraged interest based fixed saving and withholding wealth, but it has encouraged Business& Investments. ‘Profit should be earned only with the risk of losses’, in equity investment the profit and loss are shared in proportion to the investments made. Thus, investment in equity market is in accordance to the Quran and Hadeeth injunctions.

Investment in Real Estate

Investment in Real Estate / Properties, although permissible in Islam but it has many disadvantages over equities. First, Equity Market is well regulated by SEBI and Real Estate market is not regulated by any institutions, unit size is concern, it is not possible for every individual to buy property since the investment involved is huge, whereas one can invest in equity for an amount as low as Rs. One thousand and there is no upper limit. Secondly, property is subject to a lot of legal paper work and one has to go through a very cumbersome procedure to acquire properties. However, it is very easy to buy and sell shares by becoming the member of SEBI registered broker. Thus buying and selling shares is as easy as snapping your fingers. There is often a threat of encroachment of the property which involves costly litigation. Equity shares have a big advantage here since the stocks purchased get directly deposited in the investor's D-mat account where it is in the safe custody and one can sell them whenever he desires to sell. Further If returns on investments is considered as a parameter than historically it’s proved that returns earned in equity investments is superior to all the asset classes including the real estate over a long term. The Real Estate has given an annualized return of 8 to 9 percent whereas equity has given a yield of 12 to 15 percent. Finally One can make partial withdrawals from equities and get the sale proceeds in maximum three days (T+2),whereas it is not possible to get part withdrawals in the real estate, one has to sell the entire property and the payment proceeds sometimes takes months. Hence Equity market has immense liquidity to take immediate Exit whenever he or she decides and that is far too easier and faster than Real Estate.

Investments in Conventional Mutual Funds

Investments in Conventional Mutual Funds is not permissible from the view point that these mutual funds are not mandate to follow Shariah norms thus they even invest in stocks of prohibited businesses like Liquor, Banks, Hotels, Entertainment, Cinema, Casino etc. that is strictly prohibited in Islam, hence profit earned from these mutual funds is impure and tainted. They invest in Debt & derivatives instrument too which is not allowed under the Shariah laws. And moreover, since about 45 percent of the Market Capitalization is Shariah Non- Compliant, presumably almost 40 to 45 percent returns earned is not Halal, hence this option too is not shariah compatible for Investments. However, Muslims can invest in Authentic Shariah- Compliant Mutual fund / Shariah compliant PMS, approved and monitored by reputed Shariah Scholars and fund manage by people who have faith in shariah.

Big Advantage

One more point that goes in the favor of equity Investment is the Capital gains tax. The long-term capital gains tax is just 5 % that too if the gains are above 1 Lac i.e. if the investment is held for more than one year. And the short-term investments for less than a year, investors is obliged pay only 15 % percent tax on its gains on booked profit after subtracting losses. Muslims must take advantage of this benefit and invest in equities that would help them create wealth in the long term in the Shariah way. The only concerning part in the equities investment is the market risk and volatility. The performance of the company, industry and economy is never static and varies from time to time and since the market is a result of mass psychology it goes up or down on fear and hope based on the underlying fundamentals. Andin order to overcome this and to optimize Halal return on investments, one needs to take guidance from Shariah based Equity Research advisors and Fund managers who can guide and advise the prospective investors based on their Risk Profile and Risk Appetite. If this part is taken care of diligently, then equity investment certainly is the best Investment option for Muslims.

Role of Shariah Scholar

Islam makes ‘Lawful Earning’ (Halal) mandatory, and in Islam, the spiritual and secular aspects are one and the same. This implies that Islam emphasizes the need to make a living by means that are permissible under it. After many years of debate and discussions and looking into the need for Muslims to Invest in equity markets as an alternate to Bank and Insurance, Islamic scholars have permitted Muslims to invest in equity markets with certain strict stipulated conditions. With the advent of computer technology and with so much of information available, now it is possible to screen the companies on Shariah norms and do the purging as well.


Imtiaz Merchant
Shariah scholars have imposed investment restriction and conditions and only upon fulfilling these conditions Muslims can invest in equity markets the Halal way.

The conditions laid down are as follows:

  • Restriction based on the type of Securities: Investment should only be done in Shariah compliant stocks as defined. A security trading in derivatives and day trading in stocks is strictly not permitted. Short selling is prohibited. Securities should only be sold after having its complete possession.
  • Restriction on Business Activity: No investment shall be made in stocks of the companies whose business activity is Prohibited (Haram)
  • Conventional interest-based banks and other financial institutions like banks, NBFC, Insurance companies, stock brokers, Securities traders etc.
  • Alcoholic beverages like wine and other liquor related products and services.
  • Pork and non-Halal food products
  • Entertainment includes film production companies, cinema, Cable TV, music etc.
  • Restriction based on financial ratios: Apart from the above restriction, Islamic scholars from different part of the world have set certain financial criteria based on the need and essentiality. In India Islamic Investment &Finance Board (IIFB) and independent Shariah Board comprising of eminent scholars have approved the following financial criteria:
  • Interest bearing debt of the companies should not exceed 33 percent of its twelve months’ average market capitalization.
  • Cash plus interest bearing securities of the companies should not exceed 33 percent of its twelve months’ average market capitalization.
  • Trade receivable and other debtors of the companies to its twelve months’ average market capitalization should not exceed 33 percent.
  • Interest Income plus prohibited activity (impure) income of the companies to the company’s total income should not exceed 5 percent. (subject to cleansing)
  • Shariah Screening Process: Shariah screenings conducted for all the listed equities as prescribed and mandated by Shariah scholars. This process is done every quarter. Those stocks that successfully pass the Shariah screening norms are thus called Shariah complaint universe. This process is done under the supervision and audit of Shariah committee of Aalims and muftis.
  • Purification of Impure Income (purging): The income thus derived from trading and investments in shares do have some portion of impure or prohibited income. This income can be in form of interest received by the companies or some prohibited activity carried on by the company that earns impure or tainted income which needs to be cleansed or purged. This is a compulsory process. The impure income consequently cleansed should be given as charity (Without expecting Sawaab).
Conclusion

In conclusion we can confidently and vividly say that Equity investment the Islamic way is the Best option or alternate available to Muslims to park their saving. The investment in the company is well regulated by SEBI and approved by Shariah scholar, it is liquid enough to withdraw as and when, transparent, safe in D-mat A/c, lower Taxes, least cumbersome as compare to other asset classes and above all superior returns in the long term, the equity investment in the listed companies are almost coefficient of the economic growth.

No lending or borrowing, just investing. And truly an ethical and socially responsible way of Wealth Creation.

Note: The above text is the property of Pragmatic Wealth Management Pvt. Ltd. The above content cannot be used or reproduced without the consent and permission from Pragmatic Wealth Management Pvt. Ltd. in written.

[Imtiaz Merchant is Managing Director of Pragmatic Wealth Management Pvt. Ltd. He is Editor of Islami Tijara Magazine and Owner of Brand Adaaf Advisory Services. He can be reached at merchant@pragmaticwealth.net]

iPORTAL Live, MDEC jointly launch Global Knowledge Platform for US$2 trillion Islamic Economy

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 07 January 2021 | Posted in , , , , , ,

IMO News Service

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and iPORTAL Live Sdn Bhd have launched a new Islamic Economy Knowledge Portal aimed at further enhancing the ease-of-access to information and knowledge of the Islamic Economy to users, as well as facilitate connection and encourage collaboration by industry users dispersed globally.

As the leading hub of Southeast Asia’s Islamic Digital economy, Malaysia has the resources and depth of knowledge that makes it the perfect location for iPORTAL to launch its platform.

Through its partnership with MDEC, iPORTAL Live will bring in global expertise and knowledge transfer in the area of Islamic Digital Economy into Malaysia. This will elevate Malaysia’s position as a global Islamic Digital Economy hub, and further strengthen the country as the Heart of Digital ASEAN.

The launch of the new knowledge portal comes amidst significant growth in the Islamic Digital Economy according to the latest State of Global Islamic Economy Report. It is estimated that Muslims spent US$2.02 trillion (RM8.18 trillion) in 2019 including the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, fashion, travel and media/recreation sectors, all of which are impacted by Islamic faith-inspired ethical consumption needs.


This spending reflects a 3.2% year-on-year growth from 2018. In addition, Islamic finance assets were estimated to have reached US$2.88 trillion (RM11.7 trillion) in 2019.

The issue is that while there is significant growth in the Islamic economy, the information and data for consumers, products, insights and research is dispersed globally. The challenge then is placing all this information in one place for easy access and reference.

iPORTAL Live aims to address this issue with the launch of its Islamic Digital Economy knowledge portal at www.iPORTAL.live. The portal is a global platform that will showcase the 10 sectors of the Islamic Economy all in one easy to access place. It will start the users’ journey with knowledge, under Academy, which will then continue to Entrepreneurship, Insights, Waqf Economy, Research, Marketplace and a Job Board.

The new portal will also provide digital pathways for inclusion and connectivity for all sectors. For example, through the portal, Islamic Financial services can connect to players of modest fashion or Muslim media for funding opportunities; the halal industry can connect with the Takaful industry for matters of insurance; or social impact startups can showcase their innovative suggestions for the Islamic economy verticals.

“Malaysia has been a pioneering leader in Islamic finance and remains the biggest Islamic finance market in Southeast Asia. Backed by our strong regulatory framework and an expanding Islamic finance ecosystem that includes Sukuk, Takaful and Syariah-compliant funds, Malaysia is on track to reach the central bank’s target of 40% share of total financing by the end of 2020. We believe the launch of iPORTAL's global Islamic Economy platform, will enable many more global stakeholders to learn and adopt from Malaysia's decades of experience and contribute towards the global growth of the Islamic digital industry,” says Saifuddin Abdullah, Malaysia’s Minister of Communications and Multimedia.

“Malaysia has been at the forefront of championing Islamic banking and finance for the last three decades. The Malaysian government, through MDEC, has started serious work to embed the Islamic digital economy in the grand design of the Malaysian blueprint of the digital economy. Through the launch of iPORTAL Live, the information will be readily available and accessible for the interested masses, contributing to the creation of an inclusive Fintech hub while firmly establishing Malaysia as the heart of digital ASEAN,” added Dr Rais Hussin Mohammed Ariff, MDEC’s chairman.

Dr Rushdi Siddiqui cofounder/CEO iPORTAL Live said, “The launch of iPORTAL Live could not have happened without the hard work of Malaysia, UAE, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bahrain, Pakistan, UK and others in raising the profile of the 10 sector US$3 trillion Islamic Economy. iPORTAL Live has 74 introductory courses, 50% are free. Meanwhile, on the verticals of the Islamic economy, it has more than 400 social impact startups, including women owned, from 12 countries that get updated monthly, it has Islamic banking regulations from 14 countries in one place with opportunity for public comment, it has Waqf research and projects from 8 countries, it has job board with 250 openings, it has 26 members on its advisory board and 27 partnerships, etc.”

Thus, iPORTAL Live is a B2C2B platform that is part Google (search on Islamic economy), part Amazon (content by third parties) and part Wikipedia (contribution to the Islamic economy). It’s about reducing friction and user journey for connecting to the global Islamic economy community with content, commerce and opportunity to collaborate.

“The Islamic Economy is open for business for all in the new normal, and iPORTAL Live is the digital meeting place for values aligned education, consumption, investment, funding and business,” adds Rushdi.

World Premiere for Europe: First Diversity Chamber of Commerce established in Romania

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

IMO News Service

Bucharest, Romania: The world's first Diversity Chamber of Commerce has been established in Romania in order to promote the principles of diversity and inclusion in the country's business community. The Chamber will serve as a forum where multinationals can interact with Romanian businesses run by individuals from minority groups that have traditionally been marginalized economically -- and in particular, women, the LGBTQ+ community, Roma, people with disabilities and others.

The project is the only one of its kind in the world, organized on the model of a typical chamber of commerce. Through a whole range of activities, from mentoring and coaching, to training, networking and certification, the Chamber will support the Romanian economy by helping make it easier for minority businesses to connect, compete and grow. The Romanian Diversity Chamber of Commerce was founded by Dentons, ING Bank, Mega Image and Raiffeisen Bank and the NGO "Orasul Meu, Culorile Mele" and was inspired by the Diversity Charter. Other members include Accenture, Accept, GKN Fokker Engineering, Roma Entrepreneurship Development Initiative (REDI) and Visa, with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as an honorary member. The Romanian Diversity Chamber of Commerce is audited by PwC. Both the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Bucharest and the Netherlands-Romanian Chamber of Commerce supported the formation of Chamber.

“For most international businesses, membership in the Diversity Chamber of Commerce is a natural extension of their focus on corporate social responsibility and an acknowledgement that diversity and inclusion are not only morally right but also good for business. According to international studies, diverse companies are 35% more likely to see better returns than their industry medians. We encourage companies with similar ideals to join us in this revolutionary initiative,” explained Perry Zizzi, Managing Partner of Dentons in Romania and President of the Chamber.

Serge Offers, Chief Financial Officer of ING Bank, and Adrian Nicolescu, Vice President for Brand Market, Communication and Sustainability at Mega Image, were elected as Vice President and Treasurer of the Chamber, respectively.

Leading the way

While most of Western Europe is already championing diversity and inclusion, Romania is one of Eastern Europe’s most active advocates on this matter. More than 70% of respondents to the study "Diversity and Inclusion in Romanian Organizations" conducted by the Romanian Diversity Charter in partnership with MKOR Consulting believe that diversity and inclusion management has a direct impact in increasing motivation and satisfaction at work. Moreover, an inclusive environment that focuses on everyone’s needs is reflected in the improvement of quality of life and mental and physical health of employes (51% of respondents).

60% of large companies have diversity and inclusion strategies and 33% allocate annual budgets for them. On the other hand, 47% of SMEs and 44% of micro-enterprises have an ad hoc approach and only 6% of SMEs allocate diversity and inclusion budgets. Most public institutions participating in the study have an ad hoc approach to diversity and inclusion practices (86%).

86% of organizations addressing diversity and inclusion focus on gender diversity. The companies that focus the most on gender equality issues are large companies and SMEs. 63% of organizations address the inclusion of people with disabilities and 54% include ethnic or religious groups. These are generally public institutions.

International Day for People with Disabilities

Several companies, embassies and organizations in Romania including the Swedish Embassy in Romania, AFI Europe Romania, Light into Europe Association, Dell, Dentons, GlobalWorth, ING Bank, Kaufland, Prime Kapital, Raiffeisen Bank, Motivation Foundation, Sky Tower and Special Olympics Romania joined the Romanian Diversity Chamber of Commerce initiative and celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3rd) by illuminating buildings in purple, thus sending a message of solidarity with the disabled community. According to official statistics, there are approximately 800,000 people with disabilities in Romania.

The Romanian Diversity Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization that promotes the principles of diversity and inclusion in the Romanian business community and supports the development of the Romanian economy through implementation of greater diversity and inclusion. More information on www.rdcc.ro.

Strategi Advisors Startup Studio initiated to meet current market needs

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , ,

Innovating and Scaling in the Age of Uncertainty drives the need for a dynamic Startup Studio

IMO News Service

Dubai, UAE: To bring together innovative and forward-thinking visionaries to build an entrepreneurship ecosystem in the UAE that engages not only entrepreneurs but also decision makers and encourages startups to aim higher in terms of visibility and impact on the global stage, Strategi Advisors initiates their startup arm, the Strategi Startup Studio.

With an abundance in Risk Capital in the UAE and startup scalability being the new heaven for investments diversification, Investors at all levels like HNI, family offices, shares and crowd-funding see great potential in technology especially post COVID-19 but need guidance in paring up with an innovator with similar passion and vision.


Mana Sultan Al Suwaidi, Founder of Strategi Startup Studio said, “The need for an evolving Startup Studio was evident way before COVID-19 but the recent crises strongly drive a larger force towards technology infrastructure and efficiency in all areas of business. We believe that successful businesses emerge when great ideas and entrepreneurs come together in a creative and nurturing environment to bring new concepts to life.”

Strategi Startup Studio conceives, launches and scales local and international startups bringing innovative ventures to the city. Supported by Strategi Advisors that already has dedicated experts on board to cultivate a world class tech driven ecosystem, stakeholders can benefit from the team’s local know how, get clarity and be inspired to transform their businesses with the best global talent and capital.

Mana adds, “We hope to build ventures with success stories for unicorns created in the UAE making local, regional and international impact. Experts from Strategi Advisors will represent, support, and protect the growth of the startup business community with world-class expertise in every discipline required to build a market-leading company. Our objective is to collaborate with the most experienced and trusted partners to give direction to high growth startup entrepreneurs by listening, reflecting and guiding them.”

Offering requirements of a conducive Tech Ecosystem with capital, talent, Infrastructure, market potential and supportive regulations, Strategi Startup Studio aims to make Dubai a thriving global startup hub by working in synergy with the local government, incubators and accelerators.

According to Mana, UAE is ready to create its own hub for building businesses and the young generation is ready for this. Coming from a pedigree of Emiratis keen on cultivating the vision and framework of leadership, entrepreneurship and "glocalization”, Mana and his peers aspire to demonstrate an advanced level of ecosystem development, characterized by cross-border venture building capabilities.

In the last four months, Strategi Startup Studio has been in investment discussions with a sovereign fund in Abu Dhabi and other regional venture capital investors to invest USD50 millions for exchange of equity in startups in the next five years.

To investors, UAE’s strategic positioning as a vibrant hub for trade, finance, media, tourism, hospitality, talent and technology offers great potential for investment opportunities across multiple sectors as 60% of humanity exists within a 5-hour flying radius of UAE (China, India, Europe, Russia and North Africa).

While neighbouring countries are competing as conventional economies, UAE is evolving into a knowledge economy offering the perfect platform to connect startups, investors and enablers with relevant resources, accessibility and opportunities and Strategi Startup Studio is the first step towards building an ecosystem that rivals entrepreneurial hubs like the Silicon Valley.

Today more than ever companies need a forward-thinking strategy with new set of tools and frameworks to navigate through uncertainty and stay relevant. Strategi Startup Studio aims to do just that and guide businesses to think and act differently as well as gain leverage as ecosystems gain relevance to impact economies in a meaningful way.

Shams and OMNES Media unveil an Influencers Platform with huge opportunities

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 05 January 2021 | Posted in , , , , ,

OMNES Influencers aims to connect businesses with influencers who could promote their products and deliver results within given budget and time

IMO News Service

Dubai, UAE: Shams Media Services, a subsidiary of Sharjah Media City (Shams), and OMNES Media, an integrated media and communications solutions company, have launched OMNES Influencers platform in its Beta Edition to help users explore and benefit from an ever-expanding online market, which is witnessing a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 32%.

“The global influencer platform market, which is expected to grow from $6 billion in 2020 to $24.1 billion by 2025, offers tremendous opportunities to influencers and customers alike. OMNES Influencers is designed to introduce a new generation of influencers to the social media world,” said H.E. Dr. Khalid Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City (Shams).

“Such a platform will definitely contribute to reshaping the communication industry and positively impact multiple business sectors,” he said, stressing that various factors, such as the customers’ shift towards video-based content across the social media space and an increase in the adoption of ad-blocking software are likely to enhance the adoption of influencer marketing.


In three months, over 2,100 influencers have registered on OMNESInfluencers.com, which also offers necessary licenses and training programs to make the influencers’ professional journey more pleasant and smooth. OMNES Influencers boasts influencers from over 115 nationalities with the UAE ranking first followed by India and Morocco.

OMNES Influencers platform also hosts an open digital marketplace, enabling business sectors to interact directly with influencers locally and internationally. The platform recommends influencers to businesses based on their campaign requirements, using artificial intelligence and an advanced search engine.

“At OMNES Influencers, we help businesses connect with the right type of influencers who could promote their brands and deliver results within given budget and timeframe,” said Fahed Aldeeb, CEO of OMNES Media.

“Interestingly, in the past few years, advertisers have begun steering away from paying big bucks for major celebrity endorsements, opting instead to utilize so-called micro-influencers,” he pointed out.

“It’s a trend that is growing at a rapid pace. A recent report showed that over half of the marketers surveyed plan to increase their influencer budgets, and a vast majority of these budgets going towards micro-influencers,” Aldeeb highlighted.

“Even those with fewer than 5,000 followers are seen as smart investments,” he said, inviting influencers to register at OMNESInfluencers.com to enhance their presence, popularity and chance to earn a decent regular income.

About OMNES Influencers

OMNES Influencers is the next big marketing platform that enables brands to capitalise on social connections and promote individual-centric conversations and endorsements.

OMNES Influencers, a joint venture between OMNES Media and Shams Media Services LLC (A Sharjah Media City subsidiary), is an independent Influencer management organisation that harnesses the power of individual influencers, enabling them to connect, network and partner with society, brands and the world at large.

Designed to become the hub of Influencer marketing, OMNES Influencers is built around three pillars of Influencer Marketing: Creating Influencers, Developing Influencers and Promoting Influencers.

Lulu Group's Silicon Central in Dubai set to transform shopping into an experience

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , , ,

IMO News Service

Dubai, UAE: The shopping mall and management division of Abu Dhabi-based Lulu Group International, Line Investments & Property LLC (LIP) boasts an impressive portfolio of malls through the Gulf and India. Moreover, with a strategic vision for future growth and development across the GCC, LIP reiterates its position as a renowned industry leader in offering the right kind of support to make any brand a sure-fire winner as it introduces its retail project in Silicon Oasis.

LIP’s latest development is Silicon Central in Dubai, a three-level retail and leisure destination that will provide an enhanced shopping experience to its neighbouring communities.


With a total of 220 stores in 81,500m2, Silicon Central will include a 9,000m2 hypermarket and a 7,800m2 department store, alongside a 35,500m2 array of retail shops and services that will offer a broad mix of brands tailored to ensure shoppers' complete satisfaction.

Adding to the unique shopping experience, a diverse range of dining options will comprise of 24 casual restaurants and cafes as well as 21 food court units, making it the perfect place to catch up with friends and families in an enjoyable atmosphere or to enjoy a quick snack on the run.



A wide range of entertainment options are also on offer, including a 12-screen cinema, a 6,800m2 Family Entertainment Centre, incorporating a 2,000m2 New Generation Entertainment Centre for both kids and grownups to stay active, plus a 2,500m2 gym to keep the community in shape. It’s all about convenience and accessibility, with nothing forgotten, including 3,500 car parking spaces.

With such a broad range of options, Silicon Central is set to be the destination of choice for families and entertainment seekers throughout its immediate catchment area, which takes in a population of 500,000 people, and further afield.

LIP’s success and commitment to excellence have not gone unnoticed either, with the organisation picking up five awards at the Retail Congress MENA Awards 2019.

Salim MA, Director, Lulu Group International 

Held in the Ritz Carlton, DIFC, the Awards Ceremony honoured the most outstanding achievers in the shopping mall industry in the MENA region. LIP took part in the event together with entries from Mall of Um Al Quwain, Al Wahda Mall, Mushrif Mall, and Khalidiyah Mall, winning one gold and four silver awards in the following categories:

Design & Development
Mall of Um Al Quwain (Gold)

Net Operating Income (NOI) Enhancement
Al Wahda for Celebrity Visit (Silver)

Traditional Marketing: Cause-Related Marketing
Al Wahda Mall for Operation Smile (Silver)

Traditional Marketing: Digital/Social Media
Khalidiyah Mall for Enhanced Website (Silver)

Traditional Marketing: Sales Promotion
Mushrif Mall for Talentology 2019 (Silver)

The winners of the Retail Congress MENA Awards 2019 were selected by a jury of regional and international industry experts in retail.

Mr. Salim MA, Director Lulu Group International said, “Our vision is to enhance the retail experience for our customers and partners and receiving awards for all the malls that took part is a testimony that the Line Investments & Property team is committed to excellence in the new age initiatives and community events they bring to the malls.”

With unparalleled expertise stretching across every conceivable specialist field of endeavour, including location-sourcing, design, development, management and marketing, LIP is fully committed to being the preferred investment and property management company in the retail and real estate sector of the regions it operates in. It currently offers 360-degree retail solutions in 23 malls in six countries, with several further properties planned for the future in new cities and markets.

Sharjah Technology Park Launches Angel Investors Network

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , ,

IMO News Service

The Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) has launched the Sharjah Angel Investors Network (SAIN) to support and Innovation ecosystem and knowledge economy in the region. This initiative will contribute to making the UAE economy an open global laboratory for testing new concepts of advanced future technology and a global platform for innovation and entrepreneurship.

SAIN will convert high-net worth individuals into angel investors who will provide capital for business start-ups. SRTI Park will provide the angel investors with a training programme to introduce the elements of angel investment and how to diversify risks, negotiate the terms of deals and deal with entrepreneurs, and in the next stage, investors will learn how to pursue deals and how to support emerging companies.

Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park, said: “We are super excited with the launching of Sharjah Angels Investors Network. Our network of Sharjah angels will boost access to investors and funds for companies and partners based at SRTI Park. In past two weeks, we have cemented our relationship with various strategic regional and local funds to facilitate start ups and innovative SMEs access to funds.”


The angel investors will provide support to entrepreneurs in the field of emerging technology. The network will assist company owners in receiving investments and negotiating the terms of each deal by joining the business accelerator, preparing their financial statements and preparing to present their ideas to angel investors.

The announcement of SAIN came during a special forum organised by SRTI and attended by a number of major investors and business leaders in various innovative and technical sectors in the country.

Al Mahmoudi said SAIN will link modern technology and innovation companies with the financial, business and investor community in Sharjah. It will also enhance the emirate’s competitiveness and support the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, in making the emirate a capital for innovation and hub for modern technologies.

Toshiba Gulf FZE partners with Redington for regional distribution

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 03 January 2021 | Posted in , ,

IMO News Service

Toshiba Gulf FZE appoints regional distributor, Redington Gulf to handle their memory and storage solutions product portfolio for Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, formalising the partnership at GITEX 2020 in a signing ceremony.

Santosh Varghese, Vice President, Toshiba Gulf FZE said, "To remain at the forefront and position ourselves as market leaders for storage and memory solutions, we are excited to partner with Redington and are confident that in a short time, our brands will have the market footprint it deserves. We look forward to Redington Gulf's value added services for our products."

“Our partnership with Toshiba/KIOXIA enables us to offer a wider choice of storage products to our partners in the region and become their preferred distributor for sourcing storage products. As part of this agreement, Redington will ensure availability of products locally in the countries we are contracted through our robust in-country distribution capabilities and an engaged partner network.” said Jeetendra Berry, President-IT Volume Middle East, Redington Gulf.


“KIOXIA”(Previously Toshiba Memory) branded products are being showcased at GITEX 2020 and includes microSD/SD memory cards, USB memory and SSDs, specifically designed for end-users to store their digital way of life wherever and whenever they want for use with smartphones, tablets and PCs, digital cameras and more.

Also highlighted at GITEX was Canvio® portable storage lineup with new applications and designs, adding new Canvio FlexTM and Canvio GamingTM models along with new colors and textures. The next generation of Canvio® designs delivers seamless portability, high storage capacity, suited for a broad range of users, including multi-platform users, gamers, business professionals, outdoor photographers, and students.

Toshiba Gulf FZE offered various activations at Gitex 2020 including seminars that helps to prepare for future Jobs and enhance photography as a hobby in the digital transformation era.

About Toshiba Gulf FZE

Toshiba Gulf is the Regional Corporate Representative office of Toshiba for Middle East and Africa. TGFZ aims to increase Toshiba’s Group’s business, expand the base for further market development and address the social demands and needs in the region. TGFZ is also responsible for the Sales, Marketing and Support of Storage Devices (Client and Enterprise HDD, Memory Cards), Multifunctional Printers, Barcode printers, Audio products, Industrial and Infrastructure equipment (Motor Drives)

OPINION: India Farm Laws, Minorities and the hidden agenda

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , , , , ,

By Er. Shaik Abdul Sattar

With the introduction and passing of the Farm bills in the month of September 2020, India for sure is going back in an age of ignorance and exploitation. Where farmers were extorted by the landlords and local money lenders with compounding interest on their hand loans borrowed due to famines, rains and wretchedness. The plight of the farmers has been well documented in movies like Do Beegha Zameen and Mother India.

The APMC markets (Mandis) were introduced to tackle this exploitation and take off the middleman, to bring the produce from farm to the market and being sold directly to the customer. With a benchmark prices set on those commodities being sold, ensuring that the farmer sells his produce at the set price without any variation an
d thus gaining the profits, and ensuring that the prices are not too heavy for the customers.

The Bills will prohibit the state governments to collect market fee and cess, which invariably would make these markets redundant. As the famers will not go to the markets to sell the goods and neither does the state governments would get any income from these markets. Now the monopoly would be with the corporates and the third parties to buy the produce from the farmers at horrendously low prices than the (Minimum support price) MSP and sell it at inflated prices in the market.


The Punjab state government knows these bills are not in favour of the minorities of this country, and it is to target another section of the minorities who have a strong grip in the agricultural aspect of this country. The Kashmiris were attacked earlier by abrogation of the article 370 and taking off its special status which would allow people from across India to buy land in Kashmir and which is what the ruling party is propagating to people in Hyderabad, when they were rallying in the municipal elections, marketing Hindus to buy and invest their money on lands in Kashmir.

Why are the farmers only from Punjab and Haryana are protesting the farm bills and why not it’s the case with the farmers from the other states of India? The simple answer to this is; Punjab is the one of the largest producers of essential food crops and commodities and it was the first state to oppose the farm bill when it was passed in the parliament. It was also one of the few states which outrightly said in the parliament that, they are not going to impose the NRC/CAB bills when they were introduced.

Now the radar has shifted to another minority section of this country the Sikhs from the Muslims, who have traditionally been the farming community. One thing is for assured that; this government knows the formula for winning the elections. which is through money and power, and it is setting up its crony corporate players in the Indian markets, who can make sure that they rule with their wealthy empire, absolute power and authority in a majoritarian democracy.

The farmers from other states should understand this con setup, by the government and come in support of the farmers of Punjab and need to stand as one. When the voices of the farmers can echo from all corners of India, then the state governments will come into action and can pressurize the party at the centre to take back these dubious bills.

[The views expressed by the writer Er. Shaik Abdul Sattar are his own, and doesn’t construe the policy of IndianMuslimObserver.com. He can be reached at sas_beck@hotmail.co.uk]

Islamic Economics gives directions on how to prevent pandemics and regulate their socioeconomic impact: Dr. Javed Jamil

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , , , , , ,

“Islam provides the answers by promoting only healthy economics and discarding the dangerous economics, in terms of effect on health and social justice, and also giving directions how to contain epidemics. It also ensures that the wealth does not remain in the hands of a few, but is more equitably distributed; and the governments are in a healthy economic position to meet the demands in times of crises. Islamic experts and Muslim countries and organizations need to highlight the extraordinary results if Islam’s socioeconomic and heath-friendly propositions are applied in the world.”

By Our Special Correspondent

Renowned thinker and writer, Dr. Javed Jamil, currently Chair in Islamic Studies and Research, Yenepoya (deemed to be) University, Mangalore, has emphasized that the commercialisation of the substances and practices prohibited in Islam is the major cause behind the rise of various pandemics, and Islamic Economics provides the way out of their socioeconomic impact. He has expressed these opinions in his research paper published in the January 2021 edition of KAU Journal of Islamic Economics published by King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, the top ranking University of Saudi Arabia. He was invited to be a part of an international panel to discuss the role of Islamic Economics in avoiding and countering the impact of the Covid-19 like situations in the world. Started in 1983, the Journal of King Abdulaziz University – Islamic Economics has the honour to be the first professional journal in the field of Islamic economics. It is listed by some of the most prestigious indexing services providers on the subject of economics like Scopus, SSRN, EconLit, and RePEc.

In the paper titled, “Economic Fundamentalism Facilitator of Pandemics and their Economic Consequences: The Way Out in Islam”, Dr. Jamil, known for his work in “Apllied Islamics” has shown that most of the major killers in the last 100-120 years, including Swine Flu, Spanish Flu, HIV/AIDS, HPV/Carcinoma Cervix, Hepatitis-B, Rabies, etc and now Covid-19, the association with Islamic positions is proven beyond doubt by the facts and figures available in the realm of medical sciences. Pork, sexual malpractices including promiscuity, prostitution and homosexuality, presence of dogs in the domestic areas and eating of prohibited wild animals like bats and pangolins, have all been the major reasons behind the rise of these pandemics, which have killed more than 200 million people in the last century. The role of alcohol in the rise of HIV/AIDS and other Sex Transmitted diseases is also well-documented. Dr. Jamil has shown that circumcision plays an extremely important role in prevention of HIV/AIDS and HPV, which is associated with hundreds of thousands of deaths of women due to Cancer Cervix, which is relatively rare in the wives/partners of circumcised men. He has argued that, if despite huge mortality and morbidity associated with these practices, they are allowed and popularised, it is because of the fact that all of them are big markets.

Dr. Jamil has argued that if Prophetic Hadith on the epidemics had been followed and none had been allowed to enter and leave Wuhan, when Corona epidemic broke there, the world would have largely been saved. He has also opined that the disease spread fast due to drinking habits of the people, night life and the role of certain powers in holding Economics above Health. He has argued that, in contrast to Islam, which gives priority to the survival and healthiness of life, the modern international systems are dominated by the economic interests at the cost of health and family and social peace. Lambasting the current economic philosophy of “economic fundamentalism” he says that Market forces are busy in commercializing dangerous practices in the name of freedom of choice, which is leading to many health issues. They first commercialise the problems and then they commercialise solutions, he argues. The Islamic economic philosophy is based on the supremacy of peace, which is a comprehensive state covering individuals, family and society; human peace, health, security, and welfare are the guiding factors, and no matter how strong the economic reasons are, any activity that threatens health and comprehensive peace cannot be permitted.

The concluding remarks of the paper are worth reproducing:

“In conclusion, the following points need to be highlighted:

First, the Covid-19 outbreak had its origins in the market of wild animals, many of which prove to have a biological structure suitable for transmission of viruses to humans, which then have the propensity to lead to human-to-human transmission.

Second, it started spreading from the place of origin to the rest of the world, because nothing was done at the right time to stop trafficking of the people from and to the place of its origin.

Third, it hit the economy particularly hard because the world economy had a huge share for the entertainment industry, which crashed due to social distancing and lockdown measures.

Fourth, it hit the people hard, because in most of the countries, except for the few elite, the masses are poor as well as the governments. Huge economic inequality in countries like India led to huge disasters.

In short, if in today’s world, the major portions of the economy had been in the sectors, which pose no threat to health or social justice, the situation would not have been as bad as it has turned out to be. If this continues, the future will bring bigger disasters.”

He adds: “Islam provides the answers by promoting only healthy economics and discarding the dangerous economics, in terms of effect on health and social justice, and also giving directions how to contain epidemics. It also ensures that the wealth does not remain in the hands of a few, but is more equitably distributed; and the governments are in a healthy economic position to meet the demands in times of crises. Islamic experts and Muslim countries and organizations need to highlight the extraordinary results if Islam’s socioeconomic and heath-friendly propositions are applied in the world.”

Dr. Jamil has also called upon the Islamic world, especially rich Muslim countries including the OPEC countries, “to play a role in the availability of vaccination to the poor in their countries as well as in other countries.” He also stressed that “Islamic countries need to invest more and more in scientific research.”

Dr. Javed Jamil has also argued that the current reach of Islamic Economics has become limited to Financing and Banking. It has become “an abysmal failure in influencing in any way the direction of the globalization, which revolves around the commercialization of not only human strengths, but also of human weaknesses.” So, while Islamic finance is to be promoted, other important measures related to economics should not be lost sight of, and there needs to be more work on the generation of wealth within the Islamic trio of Rights, Duties and Prohibitions, establishment of taxation system based on Zakah, Ushr and Khums and campaign against the Economics of Prohibited Substances and practices. He has also proposed a new definition of Islamic Economics:

“Islamic economics refers to the establishment of a world order where people, individuals or groups, are free to earn their livelihood through rightful use of the provisions of God and their abilities, natural or acquired, without the violations of the true goal of Comprehensive Peace that Qur’an envisages, that is within the boundaries of the three-dimensional system of Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Fundamental Prohibitions, and the establishment of a system that ensures comfortable living for each and every human being, including those who are in a disadvantageous position, temporarily or permanently, due to some reason.”

Dr. Jamil has also presented a detailed Islamic Holistic regime of hygiene as part of Dynamic Paradigm of Health based on Islam. The whole paper can be read here.

Singapore offers 1st Asia Pacific Halal / Muslim Friendly Cruise Ship Experience

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 02 January 2021 | Posted in , , , , , , , ,

IMO News Service

The halal industry is growing rapidly whereby it was approximately USD2.3 trillion, which has now almost tripled, to USD 6.4 trillion as of 2020. UNWHD has identified its exact and accurate partnership with Genting Cruise at this juncture by identifying the niche market and the right partners to engage with.

There have already been cruises in the Asia Pacific region serving halal food but World Dream is the first to embrace a more holistic Muslim-friendly approach beyond just having a halal-certified kitchen. The “halal/Muslim-friendly cruises” concept has been talked about since a few years now. It has been getting more and more interest from Muslims preCOVID. This growing interest from Muslims encouraged some cruises to have halal-certified kitchens.

Halal is not only for Muslims but for the whole mankind and UNWHD and Genting Cruise have made these arrangements so that everyone can have a home away from home feel.


Singapore is a pioneer country in many aspects and has always been a front runner for taking new & unique initiatives and setting as an example for other countries.

Creating an edge to accept & obtain Halal/Muslim Friendly Compliance in Cruise Ship is a goal for many leading industry players, United World Halal Development (UNWHD) a Singapore-based Halal Certification Body was the pioneer to certify Halal Friendly Cruise Ship in the Asia Pacific.

World Dream, one of the services from Genting Cruise Lines, a brand of Dream Cruises, which is Benchmarked by the OIC/SMIIC Standards & Guidelines for Halal Food And Beverages Prepared, Stored And Served as well as Halal Tourism Guidelines set out by the Standards and Metrology Institute for the Islamic Countries (SMIIC).

The cruise is also officially rated by Halal Travel Authority Crescent Rating. The Singapore-based Muslim-Friendly Travel Authority told Salaam Gateway this is the first time it is rating a cruise service based on the services they (World Dream Cruise) offer (halal-certified food, prayer facilities etc.), they are rated Crescent Rating 5,” Being the highest.

UNWHD and Genting Cruise who had similar vision of serving to all immaterial of any caste creed or religion decided to give an amazing cruise experience which complies with Halal Friendly environment.

UNWHD follows a stringent audit process which complies with Halal & Shariah Compliance Standards before issuing the certificate. Genting Cruise has gone through such scrutinized process to attain the Halal Friendly Cruise Ship certificate. Genting Cruise ship has a halal-certified central kitchen with halal-certified ingredients for halal cuisine, prayer room with access to Quran, prayer mats, and compass to locate the Qibla. It will also cater to Ramadan guests with Suhoor and Iftar menus.

This stunning initiative is expected to bring more tourists as being the centric in the Asia pacific and Singapore to become the global tourism attraction in the field of Halal / Muslim Friendly Tourism.

United World Halal Development (UNWHD), Singapore strives to continue its solid commitment towards people’s safety and welfare. UNWHD is built on internationally applicable standards of practice, knowledge, and ethics encircling all businesses to offer quality products and services. UNWHD vision is to extend the halal way of life to all businesses and explore new areas of economic growth of halal standards, certification, and practices.

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