Thursday, 9 September 2021

Croatia Cooperates With Iran to Improve Halal Industry and Tourism

September 10, 2021 - The head of Croatia’s Halal Industries Center, together with the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has agreed to increase the cooperation between the two countries in boosting the halal industry including food, medical, and tourism in the country. 

Halal tourism in Croatia has increased significantly over the years with an observed 40% growth in the number of visitors coming from the Middle East, Persian Gulf, and North Africa this year. Due to this, Croatia continues to strive in keeping up with the international halal standards. 

According to Islamic Republic News Agency, Ambassador Parviz Esmaili and Aldine Dogonić reached an agreement last Wednesday to co-sponsor the 2nd Iran-Croatia Halal Industry to be conducted in Tehran this year. Further details on the upcoming 2021 Zagreb Halal Industry Seminar were also discussed which included the introduction of Iranian firms and their possible collaboration with Croatia's Halal Industries Center.

As specified by Croatian National Tourist Board, the growth of Islamic tourists in Croatia proves the importance and relevance of improving halal tourism in the country. According to them, Islamic visitors should be able to enjoy their stay as much as possible without neglecting their religious beliefs, practices, and commitments. Halal tourism does not only include halal food and preparation but also requires Halal-certified hotels to provide Quran, prayer rugs, and minibars that do not contain any alcoholic beverages. 

The Halal Industries Center of Croatia has reported over 200 Croatian companies including food and medicine production, as well as tourism, which have products that are in compliance with the international halal standards. Currently, there are 21 hotels and 7 tourist agencies throughout Croatia which are halal certified and the number of applications for certification is predicted to continuously increase for the next 5 years as Croatia attempts to be the new halal-friendly destination. 

For more on halal, visit Croatia's Center for Halal Qualification Certification.

For more on lifestyle, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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Friday, 30 April 2021

Croatian Genox Products Gain Huge Interest, Company Building New Plant

April the 30th, 2021 - Croatian Genox products have gained a lot of attention both on the domestic and the international scene over the last year or so despite their 20 years of business, with a particular emphasis being placed on their importance as the coronavirus pandemic emerged.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, after two years of effort and testing, Croatian Genox, a company which deals with the development of environmentally friendly disinfectants and cleaners, has gained recognition in the form of a halal certificate.

On Wednesday, a certificate ceremony was held at the company's headquarters in Velika Gorica near Zagreb, and as their business during the pandemic increased dramatically, did demand, Genox will soon start working on a new plant in Pleternica, the hometown of the company's founder - Marijana Cisko.

Genox is otherwise the largest Croatian manufacturer of ecological disinfectants and cleaners, they have been producing them for almost 20 years, and their users are households, shops, factories, farms, hospitals, the police, and those workig in civil protection. As previously mentioned, the disinfectant business has exploded ever since the coronavirus pandemic struck, and now the Croatian Genox company is hoping for more exports to countries where halal certification is required.

“Genox meets all the rigorous criteria for being declared a halal product, starting with the fact that it doesn't contain a single molecule of alcohol. We simply don't use it and that's our biggest advantage. There are many benefits, our products are safe, they aren't explosive, nor are they flammable, they don't evaporate so they don't need special protection measures in handling,'' pointed out molecular biology engineer Marijana Cisko who runs this family business in Velika Gorica.

Genox disinfectant is produced with a special, protected Aquagen technology and undertakes thirteen steps of physico-chemical procedures based on activated water ions, and the founder and director are responsible for this entirely Croatian piece of innovation.

Croatian Genox disinfectant successfully destroys microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, fungi, molds, algae, spores and biofilm, and due to its harmlessness and efficiency it was used by divers during the tragic floods in Slavonia back in 2014, with many taking showers in Genox after emerging from flood water which likely contained harmful pathogens.

Earlier on, all these benefits were noticed by buyers from Muslim countries, and their interest rose sharply during the coronavirus pandemic.

"I believe that this certificate will open many doors for us that will remain inaccessible to the vast majority whose disinfectants are mostly alcoholic. We expect increased exports to the markets of the region, primarily Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also to some more remote one,'' stated the director of the company.

The certificate was handed over to the company by Aldin Dugonjic, who heads the Centre for Halal Quality Certification at the Islamic Community in Croatia, and the chief supervisor of halal quality, Muhamed Mandzic.

"According to the latest research, companies in Croatia increase the export of their products by up to 50 percent after obtaining a halal certificate. Taking into account the rapid growth and development of the halal market, our expectations for Croatian Genox products are high, but they clearly depend on sales and marketing activities in the market,'' said Aldin Dugonjic.

He stated that in the decade of the Centres existence, they have issued more than 150 certificates, and in the database of companies with a halal certificate, the food industry is the most represented, followed by caterers and then the chemical industry.

It's also worth mentioning that the TLK Group, which also includes Genox as a company, has started building a new factory in the Pleternica Business Zone, in which they plan to invest around 40 million kuna. The factory will be built in two to three years and will employ about 30 people. In the first phase, the factory itself will be built, which is an investment worth 25 million kuna, then a research laboratory and finally an administrative building will follow.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

From Nahla's Kitchen: First Halal Cookbook Presented in Croatia

The women of Sisak have presented the first halal cookbook to Croatia. 

Monday, 27 November 2017

Croatia Regional Leader in Halal Certification

Croatian companies took part in the World Halal Summit in Istanbul.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Biograd na Moru Tourist Company Becomes Halal Certified

Thirty hotel and catering establishments and six travel agencies are halal certified in Croatia today. 

Friday, 17 February 2017

First Croatian Spa Hotel Receives Halal Certification

The Center for Halal Quality Certification has awarded the LifeClass Terme Sveti Martin hotel with halal certification, thus positioning Sveti Martin as the first Croatian spa hotel with a halal certificate.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Milenij Hotels in Opatija Awarded Halal Certificate

After successfully completing the certification process, Opatija hotel group Milenij Hotels has been awarded the Halal certificate, confirming their implementation of halal standards in the process of preparing, serving and storing food, and preparing rooms for guests of the Islamic faith.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Croatia Fighting for Halal Tourist Market

There are more and more places in Croatia where you can buy and eat halal food.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Halal Restaurants, American Bars, Swinger Tours: Is Split Finally Becoming an International City?

After twelve consecutive winters full-time in tranquil Jelsa on the island of Hvar, I spent most of January in Munich, starting initial research and contacts for our latest project, Total Munich (you can follow us on Facebook here - the project starts in earnest on March 4 with my return flight to Bavaria).  

It was quite a culture shock to live for a few weeks in a place with 1.5 million people when I had become used to a community of 1,500, and I revelled in the international choice of cuisine, culture and company, while marvelling at how technology had passed me by with a decade of living on an idyllic Adriatic island. 

Split, lovely Split, I had not spent much time in for weeks, due to other commitments, and I planned a full day of meetings one day last week, 12 in all. 

And as I went through my day ahead on the 06:00 catamaran from Jelsa, it struck me just what an international component there was to the day, both with confirmed meetings and ones I had hoped to squeeze in. A meeting on behalf of Munich investors with a Croatian businessman with a patent on a rather cool invention; coffee with the Danish marketing manager of the first truly pan-Mediterranean restaurant in Split, opened by a Montenegrin; lunch with the owners of Croatia's first halal restaurant; a beer with the sales manager of the first scheduled seaplane service in modern Europe; a beer at one of Split's liveliest new bars, run by an American and a Honduran; and if there was time, a catch up with a Canadian running two successful accommodation businesses, an Aussie operating no less than four successful hospitality businesses in the palace, and perhaps a coffee with the Swiss Consul, whose other interests included running the only hotel in the city to make TripAdvisor's top ten for 2015. 

And as my day progressed, the thought struck me at how much progress Split has made in recent years - for better or for worse depending on your point of view - on its road to becoming an international city. It was only ten years ago that the first hostel opened in Split (by those Australians), and there were no wine bars just three years ago. Now the palace and surrounding areas are teeming with both.

International cuisine has never been a strong offer in Split. Coming from England, it would be hard for me to be patriotic about my national cuisine, and while I realise that Dalmatians are understandably proud of their cuisine, I have never understood why many people think it should be the only food served in restaurants. The travel experience is about choice, and it has been heartening to see the first Turkish, Japanese, a truly pan-Mediterranean and the first brasserie open in the city in the last 18 months. Next it would be nice to see Croatian's celebrate the wonderful quality and diversity of their regional cuisine - why not an Istrian and Slavonian restaurant as well? 

The thought of Split emerging as an international city struck me hardest during the day with a meeting with a group of local Split business people, who have just launched the country's first agency with separate cruise options for gay, swinging and naturist tourists. An idea conceived in Split and run by locals who have an international perspective on the tourism scene. Given that Dalmatia is not known as the most liberal place on Earth, the ideas of Open Mind Holidays were truly groundbreaking, and I am sure they will have their conservative critics, but I for one congratulate them for their bold initiative. Check out the Open Mind Holidays website for more. 

And so the day progressed, with some meetings more mundane than others, before an evening catch up over a cold one with European Coastal Airlines, finding out their latest plans (exciting!). It is less than six months since Split Airport made modern European aviation history with the first scheduled seaplane flight to my adopted home town of Jelsa. Of all the places in Europe, the emerging international city of Split was the one. One hopes that the bureaucracy can soon be overcome to bring a sea port to downtown Split, so that the city and islands can be truly connected, for the benefits of tourists and locals alike. ECA is just one new airline to operate in and out of Split these days, and the 18 destinations from easyJet and the decision by Aeroflot to switch its Moscow summer business from Dubrovnik to Split is more proof of Split's growing international appeal.  

Meetings, meetings. I decided to round off a busy day with a drink at To Je To, a relatively new bar off Marmontova, which was opened last year by a lovely couple from America and Honduras. Croatia has been a graveyard for foreign investors in recent years, and so it was heartening to drop into what is clearly one of the Split hospitality success stories of 2014. To Je To was packed, with live music playing, just as the rest of the palace had gone to sleep. The clientele was a delightful mix of local, expat and visiting tourists, all mingling freely. 

The final stop in a very international tour. Once known as the Gateway to the Islands, Split is maintaining its Dalmatian identity, but adding a welcome touch of international flair. Come and discover it!