The News Lens
By: Scott Weaver
Applications are surging in Taiwan for halal (清真) certification – assurance that a restaurant’s food
preparation strictly follows Muslim law. This growth likely helped Taiwan achieve its ranking as the world’s seventh-most Muslim-friendly travel destination among non-Muslim countries, according to the “Global Muslim Travel Index 2016” survey published by Mastercard-CrescentRating. Taiwan’s rating was up from 10th place in the 2015 survey.
Given the continuing efforts of the Taiwan government to promote tourism from countries with large Muslim populations, this ranking may well move even higher. The number of restaurants, hotels, and other venues in Taiwan certified either as halal or the equivalent “Muslim-friendly” designation increased to 92 at the end of October 2016, according to Jeff Tsai, Halal Specialist for the Chinese Muslim Association (CMA), which is responsible for the certification process. The figure was up 21% from the 76 at the end of 2015, and a steep increase from the mere 11 at the end of 2011. Tsai expressed hope that the number of certified establishments will soon reach 100.
This program has transformed Taiwan from a place with very limited halal food availability to a locale offering many choices from among many different types of cuisine. The CMA office, located within the Taipei Grand Mosque at 62 XinSheng S. Rd., Sec. 2, can provide visitors with a list of Taiwan’s halal-certified restaurants. [FULL STORY]