Muslims from across UK gather at NEC Birmingham for Halal Food Festival

UK: One of the world’s largest halal food festivals returned to Birmingham for the Bank Holiday weekend, showcasing a mouthwatering array of culinary cuisine and tasty treats at the NEC.

The family-friendly foodie heaven was brimming with stalls, food experiences, live cooking demonstrations, big trends, radio stars and social media influencers.

Among them Shahrukh Farrukh, famous for his online Halal Munchies Reviews which have garnered over 12.6m views on YouTube, 76K Instagram followers and 55K followers on Instagram.

“I’ve run a page for nine, almost ten years now and I think the Halal Food Festival is a fantastic opportunity to for all of content creators to get together, meet some of our followers and just really celebrate halal food because in the media right now unfortunately, the world halal is a bit scary to people but it’s kind of our responsibility as Muslims, content creators, people who represent the faith, to kind of talk about ‘halal’ and this is a fantastic celebration.”

Shahrukh is a seasoned connoisseur when it comes to fast food and was excited to be back in the city to sample more offerings.

“Food-wise I think there’s a fantastic variety, you’ve got for example Dairy King over there with the most crunchy, juiciest chicken tenders, pitmaster always run the show, you’ve got Malik Butchers, you\ve got Beardus Burger, there’s a variety of food here so yeah man, my belly’s gonna be pretty full after this weekend!”

TikTok sensations Mr Tee’s Ice Cream Van who has 241,000 followers and Danzy who has 2.4 million followers were inundated with fans wanting selfies at the expo, where they both chose to spend some time at a charity bake sale stall to raise money for Gaza.

Sampling tasty treats at the ISRA-UK stand, Mr Tee (real name Imran Ashiq) said: “We’re at the Halal Food Festival over at the NEC in Birmingham and it’s been absolutely amazing!

“I was just walking past this stall, and I’ve just seen these beautiful blessed sisters and they’ve got a cake stall with various bits and pieces, they’ve got flapjacks, doughnuts, carrot cake, cream cake, jam sponges and everything; and everything they’re selling, masha’Allah, is getting donated 100% to our brothers and sisters afflicted by atrocities over in Palestine and in Gaza.

“May Allah bless these sisters, they’re from a charity called ISRA, I’m sure many of you Brummies will be aware of that, it’s based on Ladypool Road and masha’Allah, they’re doing a fantastic job!”

Also billed to attend the event were Smash Bengali from Radio 1 and Kan D Man from BBC Asian Network as well as famous TikTok stars such as Anisa Karolia (Anisagrams), ZaynahsBakes, and YouTuber PulwashaCooksOfficial with almost half a million subscribers.

Traders included Malik Butchers – known for their legendary Halal Artisan Hot Dog which recently made its TV debut on the Channel 4 show Aldi’s Next Big Thing – alongside vendors such as Samosa Boy, Edgbaston’s Culture Cooking (Caribbean Cuisine), Kiran Corndogs from London and Eat & Meat from Wolverhampton.

The event is the brainchild of a team of young British Muslims with a vision to create an experience that celebrates their culture, whilst also producing an opportunity for Muslim entrepreneurs to come face to face with their target market.

Bilal Khan, CEO of The Halal Family Group said: “The aim is to bring Halal cuisines from across the globe together for a weekend of live entertainment and special guest appearances.

“We are looking to showcase Halal cuisines from all across the globe, including Asia, Africa, the Middle East and from Turkey and the Western region too. Expect street food vendors, special guest chefs, influencers, your favourite Halal brands, live cooking demonstrations and entertainment for all ages.”

The Halal Food Festival has previously been launched in Leicester and Manchester and arrived in Birmingham for the first time last year with over 15,000 visitors at the NEC.

The success of these exhibitions has highlighted the popular demand for Halal food and festivals that showcase Islamic culture, with events such as these not having always been accessible in the past.

“This is a huge scale event that gives the Muslim community a chance to bring their friends and family and share their lifestyles and heritage through delicious food and entertainment,” added Bilal.

Charity ISRA-UK is currently accepting donations ahead of Eid al-Adha for anyone wishing to fulfill Qurbani in Kashmir, Pakistan, Yemen, Uganda and Gaza. You can find out more here:

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