The Jakarta Post
Muslim travelers look for countries with a history of Islam. (Shutterstock/FTiare )
The second installment of Jakarta Halal Things, a halal lifestyle event, is slated to run in the Senayan City shopping mall in Jakarta on Dec. 7 and 8.
Themed “Halal for Everyone”, the event returns with an exhibition and conferences highlighting trending halal businesses, from tourism, food and beauty products to modest fashion and sharia financing.
Jakarta Halal Things co-chairman Desy Bachir said she hoped that everyone could experience the halal way of living.
“Halal has a good connotation,” said Desy, adding that in the previous event, not all visitors came wearing hijab and that halal was not considered an intimidating concept.
Temi Sumarlin, the event’s founder and CEO of Scarf Media, an online magazine covering modest fashion and halal lifestyles, said most Muslims have practiced halal lifestyles from a young age. However, more people began to appreciate halal lifestyles starting in 2010 with the rise of social media.
“People were exposed to [halal-related] information and there were movements in the Muslim communities,” she explained.
Among the lifestyle businesses, halal tourism is said to be one of the most popular.
“It’s trending all over the world, not only in Indonesia,” said Temi, saying that Taiwan had established a halal certification agency, while Japan introduced halal restaurants and prayer spaces to accommodate Muslim travelers.
Learning from the previous event, Temi mentioned that visitors showed great interest in halal lifestyle tourism, particularly halal travel packages to South Korea, Japan or Europe.
These packages come with guides who help to remind participants about the shalat praying time and show the way to prayer rooms.
“It turns out that Muslim travelers find it difficult to find prayer rooms when traveling abroad,” she said, adding that the tour guides also bring travelers to halal food joints.
In addition to popular destinations, last year’s visitors, who were mostly women aged between 20 and 40, were also interested in countries with a history of Islam.
Temi also said that there was room for improvement in the halal industry in Indonesia as a Muslim-dominated country.
She said that many still doubted the opportunity of halal industry.
In halal tourism, for example, Temi mentioned the lack of sharia hotels.
“The number of sharia hotels is still small, but there’s a big opportunity,” she said, adding that travelers from the Middle East were among those most attracted by sharia hotels.
Through the event, Temi hoped that the halal industry could be accepted by people outside the Muslim community. (wng)