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A new phone app, Halal Advisor, has been introduced to the Australian market, helping Australian Muslims to search for Halal food in more than 3,000 restaurants and cafes around the country.
For Muslim Australians looking to dine out in Australia while keeping it halal, it can be tricky to know what their options are.
"With friends and family we found it quite difficult to find halal restaurants without actually calling the restaurant and asking if they served halal food," app developer Aladdin Moukhallalati tells SBS Arabic 24.
Clearly there was a gap in the market. "So I came with an app idea that allowed us to jump on to the app and see if there is any certified halal restaurants near our location," says Moukhallalati.
"We are a very multicultural society, and doing an app like this is obviously going to help the Muslim community a lot."
Taking into account the multicultural face of the Australian community, Mr. Moukhallalati believed that this application would work perfectly in the Australian marketplace.
"We are a very multicultural society, and doing an app like this is obviously going to help the Muslim community a lot," says Moukhallalati.
The Muslim community is the second largest community after Christianity. As the latest 2016 Census data showed, 2.6% of Australian identified themselves as Muslim.
Mr. Moukhallalati was keen on providing an app that is easy to use and available to all members for free.
Away from the technical side of creating an app, the main challenge that Mr. Moukhallalati found was the negativity he faced from people in Australia.
"In Australia, there are many people who are against halal certification, so we have come across a lot of negativity when building this app," he says.
"But it is only because the Australian public are not 100% educated on what Halal certificate is."
After collecting the data, Mr.Moukhallalati created a database for the list of restaurants and cafes serve Halal food in Australia. The second stage was calling the restaurants and check if they still open to the public and still serving Halal food in their branches.
Arab Community Reactions
The app has been live for a couple of months now, and Mr.Moukhallalati believes it is going “very well" with no complaints received yet.
He is trying to get as much feedback as possible to improve the app and make the experience a more user-friendly one.
Nahla Baqqal, an Arab Muslim, expressed her interest in the app.
“It is an interesting app especially when visiting new places," Ms Baqqal tells SBS Arabic 24. She adds, "the app makes me feel at ease to eat anywhere that is halal certified."
Salah Taraman, an Arab Muslim chef, says "this app will make it easier for Muslim families to find halal restaurants."
You can download the free app now from Google play and Android.