The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) is confident of attracting more business and meeting planners from the Middle East following receipt of halal certification from the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) for its five kitchens; Chinese, Western, Cold, Pastry and Malay. This (confidence) is further supported by a survey conducted by crescentrating.com, a travel portal for halal-conscious Muslim travellers, that ranked Malaysia as the top halal-friendly holiday destination for 2012 among 10 OIC (Organisation of Islamic Corporation) member states.

As Malaysia’s leading convention facility offering world-class services to an international clientele in a country where Islam is the official religion, the Centre has always been cognisant of the importance of complying with Islamic guidelines, especially in its food preparation. Towards this end, the Centre underwent stringent procedures and detailed analysis related to the halal process; from the sourcing of ingredients to the preparation and storage of food items and based on the Malaysian Standards MS1500:2009, to have its Chinese, Western, Cold, Pastry and Malay kitchens certified halal by JAKIM last year (2011).

“In addition, the bilateral ties between Malaysia and the Middle East provide significant opportunities to further grow the Centre’s Middle Eastern client base, especially in areas such as Islamic banking, Islamic arts and science, halal food industry and Islamic education,” said Datuk Peter Brokenshire, General Manager, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre,

The Centre’s halal certification is in line with Malaysia’s endeavour to become the world’s premier halal hub offering a complete range of products and services.

As a purpose-built, technologically-advanced facility, the seven-year old Centre has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 2005 and is fast becoming a benchmark for emerging convention centres in the region and worldwide. From the Middle East, the Qatar National Convention Centre and the upcoming Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre have paid familiarisation visits to garner and share knowledge and observe the Centre’s day-to-day operations, and how a convention centre can positively contribute towards a nation’s economic growth.

The Centre also attributes its increasing popularity among Middle Eastern clients to the successful execution of many high profile events, excellent track record, Malaysia’s strong appeal as a modern country that offers excellent value for money, political, social and economic stability and a conducive environment for meetings. This year, the Centre will host the 7th edition of World Halal Forum from 2-3 April for the third consecutive year.

For 2011, the Centre generated more than RM657 million (AED 798 million) in economic impact contribution to Kuala Lumpur city and Malaysia from 1,346 events which brought in 1.7 million delegates and visitors. This brings the number of events held at the Centre since commencing operations in June 2005 to 5,203, with over 12 million delegates in attendance and a total economic impact contribution of RM3.7 billion (AED 4.5 billion).

The Centre’s reputation as Malaysia’s premier convention facility has also been reinforced with the receipt of more industry awards. It recently clinched the Best Convention Centre in Asia award in The Annual MICE Report Awards 2012. It became the first convention centre in Malaysia to bring home the ‘Best Convention & Exhibition Centre’ award at the 22nd Annual TTG Travel Awards 2011 and the Business Destinations Travel Awards 2011 ‘Best Congress & Convention Centre, Asia’. They added to a 2011 roster that includes the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) Awards 2011 ‘Best MICE Venue’, the Meeting Industry Marketing Awards (MIMA) 2011’s ‘Best Use of Budget (Bronze)’ for its PlenaryOnCall offering, the National Occupational Safety and Health (NOSH) Excellence Award 2011 in the Business Services category, and one of five recipients of the BrandLaureate Country Branding Award 2010-2011.