With the global market for halal commodities currently valued at $2 trillion alone, the slice of that market commanded by halal personal care products in the Middle East is currently estimated to be valued at $560m. Currently the market for beauty and grooming products as a whole in the Middle East is growing at 12 per cent per annum, and is valued at $2.1bn - growth that is being mirrored by the demand for halal personal care products, according to Messe Frankfurt, a company that organizes beauty industry exhibitions throughout the region Specific demand for halal personal care products is in turn being driven by increased consumer knowledge of the ingredients used in the formulation of such products and they way they are produced. Halal cosmetics can contain animal-derived ingredients, but these have to be prepared according to Islamic codes dictating procedures for killing and preparing animals. Although the trend for halal cosmetic products spells opportunity for producers worldwide, Messe Frankfurt believes that in particular it is Dubai that is well placed to serve the burgeoning halal cosmetic market, particularly in view of its position as a regional hub for the distribution of halal commodities. "There has been a common misconception up until now about what constitutes halal, with many people assuming that it relates purely to foodstuffs," said Heather Nix, Mess Frankfurt group exhibitions manager of Messe Frankfurt. "Others who have had a better understanding of the rulings have simply been unaware that some cosmetics contain ingredients that they should avoid. Recently, however, more people have become aware about the nature of beauty products and are choosing to spend money on make-up and lotions that fit in with their religious and cultural requirements", she added. Dubai currently handles an estimated $150m worth of halal merchandise each year, a significant proportion is said to be accounted for by personal care products. One development in particular that has helped to boost this situation is the addition of a marketing centre in Dubai for the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia, which is said to have seen the addition of a significant number of halal personal care products being traded throughout the region. "There is clearly an increased demand for halal related cosmetics. We have received more trade enquiries this year wanting to find out about exhibitors at our event who will be showcasing halal products at Beautyworld", said Nix.