Home 2017-05-10T14:40:31+00:00




MLE Connect is the UK’s first dedicated B2B hub for the thriving global Muslim Lifestyle sectors. We empower delegates with valuable knowledge of the lifestyle sectors and provide them with a competitive advantage.

With the continued growth of the Finance, Fashion, Food, Travel, Health and Media industries, global brands and organisations like Wal-Mart, H&M, Tesco and DKNY and countries from across the world are already seeing continued expansion in this lucrative sector. Our conference brings together successful and inspirational figures from across the world of business and Muslim lifestyle for international business professionals

Our seminars and panel discussions will provide you with unique business and sector insights. Delegates attending will have unparalleled networking opportunities and leave with high calibre contact lists.

According to Dinar Standard Muslim consumer spending on food and lifestyle has reached $1.8 trillion in 2014 and is projected to reach $2.6 trillion in 2020.* This means a very significant consumer group is emerging which offers great opportunities for private and public sector businesses and organisations to diversify their customer base and increase revenues. The focus of MLE Connect is to help business professionals understand how to reach this market and share the wealth of opportunities.


MLE Connect Knowledge and Media Partners

Salaam Global Islamic Economy Gateway
Islam Channel Official Muslim Lifestyle Expo Connect partner



“Not only is this a well organised event, but it is also about the calibre of the people attending, and that is very important.”

Naeem RaZA | presenter, fundraising director, HUMAN APPEAL

Human Appeal #empoweringcommunities

6 Reasons To Attend


Topics Include

Brands that have attended MLE Events

ATTEND SEMINARS and panel discussions LED by respected
thought leaders THAT WILL leave you inspired



8:00 am - 9:00 am

Registration and Networking

9:00 am - 9:10 am

Welcome by Host, Navid Akthar, CEO Alchemiya.com

Founder and CEO of Alchemiya.com, Navid Akhtar, welcomes everyone and gives an overview of the day's schedule.

9:10 am - 10:10 am

Keynote Presentation: The role of Muslim Lifestyle and Youth in the Islamic Economy

Keynote speech by Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre

After the keynote address, a panel discussion will take place covering the keynote address details.

Arfah Farooq, Co-Founder MuslimicMakers
Yasmin Waljee OBE, Vice Chair Mosaic
Saeed Mubarak Kharbash, Head of Strategy & Planning DIEDC

Moderator: Nyra Mahmood, MD, Simply Shariah Human Capital

10:10 am - 10:35 am

Seminar - Generation M: Young Muslims Changing the World

Shelina Janmohamed is the Vice President of Ogilvy Noor, the world's first bespoke consultancy for building brands with Muslim audiences.

The Muslim lifestyle market is growing fast. Any business that is serious about engaging with this audience must learn about their nuances, deep insights and how to grow their business in the most effective way.

10:35 am - 11:00 am


A chance to relax, review and network with fellow delegates.

11:00 am - 11:35 am

Seminar: Engagement of Global Muslims Through Telecom Networks

Dr Mohammad Nazir, OBE
Launching the first global mobile App Network for the Ummah.

Presentation Details:
Globalisation of mobile App network.

Mobile technology has captured the imagination of everyone. Most people access their mobile phones over 200 times a day, from simple messaging and constant news feeds to keeping in touch with things that matter to them most. Technology companies have invested effort to target the Muslim user to meet their demands. The Muslim user is one of the youngest and most tech savvy communities in the world. Dr. Muhammad will give you a "sneak preview" of the features of Ummah Mobile app. From communications, money remittances to Muslim lifestyle. Launching the first Ummah Mobile brand of choice, giving the user control over most aspects of their fast paced lifestyle in a Halal way like no other mobile network.

11:35 am - 12:15 pm

PANEL SESSION: Halal Products - From Farm To Fridge

- Phil Hadley, Head of Global Supply Chain Development, AHDB
- Shazia Saleem, Founder/CEO, ieat Foods
- Wilf Lewis, Commercial Director at Lewis Pie & Pasty Company
- Musadiq Jivraj, Senior Buyer at ASDA
- Chaired by Abdalhamid Evans

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm


Take some lunch and network with fellow delegates.

1:15 pm - 1:50 pm

PANEL SESSION: The Growth of the Modest Fashion Industry

- Zukreat
- Rommana Bint Abubakker
- Altaf Alim
- Chaired by Shelina Janmohamed

1:50 pm - 2:15 pm

Seminar: Business and Charitable Giving

Rehan Salim, Head of Programme Partnerships for Human Appeal

In this seminar Rehan Salim discusses why it is important for Muslim businesses to support charitable projects and why such support is an investment.

2:15 pm - 2:40 pm

Seminar: Raising Investment for Beginners - Turning An Idea Into Reality

Great startups can fail quickly if they don't plan for fund raising. Get a beginners guide to raising capital.

Imran Kausar, MD and co-founder of Haloodies.

2:40 pm - 3:05 pm

Seminar: Investing into SMEs: An Investor's Perspective

Faizal Karbani, Founder & CEO, Simply Ethical Financial Services Ltd

In this seminar, Faizal will focus on what investors look for when investing into a Small to Medium Enterprise; this seminar will highlight the key areas SMEs need to think about when pitching for investment and will help them get “investor ready” so as to give them the best chance of attracting investment.

3:05 pm - 3:30 pm


Another chance to relax, review and network with fellow delegates.

3:30 pm - 3:50 pm

Seminar: ‘Halal – a Very British Opportunity'

Abdalhamid Evans,
Founder, HalalFocus & Imarat Consultants UK

Presentation Details:

Abdalhamid talks about the uncertainties of Brexit and how UK businesses will be shifting their focus away from traditional European markets towards the rest of the world – much of which is Muslim. This will create a new range of opportunities across all sectors of the emerging Islamic economy, and is likely to be led by the Halal food sector. A review of UK trade with OIC countries reveals a tangible opportunity for growth, and this coincides with a surge in home-grown entrepreneurial creativity that has the potential to have a positive impact on the UK economy.

3:50 pm - 4:25 pm

Panel Session: International Trade

- Department of International Trade
- Ross Hunter, Exec Dir, UK-ASEAN Business Council
- Aytug Goksu, Turkish Embassy - Commercial Counsellor
- Sheikh Bilal Khan, Co-Chairman and Partner, Dome Advisory

4:25 pm - 4:50 pm

Seminar: Marketing 101 for Muslims by Muslims

Maruf Yusupov (Denmark)
CEO, Halal.ad

4:50 pm - 5:15 pm

Seminar: Islam-inspired Creativity, Strategy, & Design

Subhi Bora (Australia)- Associate / Studio Director at Gould.Sydney

At the heart of the connection between strategy and design for purpose-driven brands is your team, your audience, and your actions. Based on our work with some of the leading brands within the Islamic Economy, we'll explore examples of what it looks like when design meets strategy, and share some of our creative projects with faith-guided aspirations.

5:15 pm - 5:30 pm

Closing Remarks & MLE 2017 (Manchester) Overview


Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar
Abdulla Mohammed Al AwarCEO of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre
Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar is the CEO of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre. In this capacity, he oversees the Centre’s work and collaborates closely with DIEDC’s multiple stakeholders to implement the ‘Dubai: Capital of Islamic Economy’ strategy through enabling private and public sector organisations to innovate and promote sharia-compliant economic products and services ranging from Islamic finance to halal food and lifestyle, among others.
Shelina Janmohamed
Shelina JanmohamedVice President, Ogilvy Noor part of Ogilvy & Mather
Shelina Janmohamed is the Vice President of Ogilvy Noor, the world’s first bespoke consultancy for building brands with Muslim audiences. She is the bestselling author of Love in a Headscarf and recently published “Generation M: Young Muslims Changing the World. She was named by the Times as one of the UK’s 100 most influential Muslim women, and by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising as one Britain’s Future Female Leaders of Advertising.
Navid Akhtar
Navid AkhtarCEO, Alchemiya.com
Navid is the Founder and CEO of Alchemiya.com, a global SVOD platform that showcases the best films docs and lifestyle content from across the Muslim world. He is an award winning Producer and Broadcast journalist, with over 20 years of experience in mainstream UK television and radio. During his time at the BBC he worked in both the arts and history departments, and advised senior management on diversity issues.
Romanna Bint-Abubaker
Romanna Bint-AbubakerCEO and Founder at Haute Elan and Modlist
The founder of global Modest fashion platforms Haute-Elan.com and MODLIST.co, Romanna is recognised as a pioneer in the global Islamic economy having been featured across Forbes, Bloomberg, The Times and global media. Launching global offices in Malaysia, India and Headquarted in the UK, Romanna combines best practice with a deep insight of Muslim markets and Islamic business principles.
Dr. Mohammad Nazir, OBE
Dr. Mohammad Nazir, OBEChairman of Ummah Group of Companies
Dr Mohammad Nazir OBE is Chairman of Ummah Group of Companies and a leading businessman who has successfully established businesses across many sectors, such as mobile technology, software solutions, mobile apps, supply chain and logistics, SMART manufacturing and many more. He has been a inspiration to budding entrepreneurs and has helped them take ideas from concept to globalisation.
ZukreatFounder, Artist of Makeup - Zukreat Cosmetics
Zukreat Nazar, is a celebrity makeup artist known to bring her artistic flair and creativity to the makeup world. She has been an artist of makeup for 16 years mainly catering for bridal clients on their most special day as well as Hollywood and Business celebrities. However she is more than an artist, she is a YouTube sensation and an entrepreneur who has a vision. Zukreat has worked tirelessly over a number of years to design, manufacture and establish a product range that allows every user to become a professional.
Shazia Saleem
Shazia SaleemFounder and CEO ieat foods Ltd.
Shazia is a serial entrepreneur who previously worked for BBC Dragon Peter Jones. She built and ran Cambodia’s first eco-resort and has two European patents to her name. Her love of food resulted in her most recent business, ieat foods. ieat is the UK’s first brand of quality HMC halal prepared meals and snacks sold in over 300 mainstream supermarkets nationally. ieat foods have recently launched in Europe and the Middle East too. A big fan of MLE, Shazia is looking forward to talking about her journey so far and sharing her experiences on the entrepreneurial path.
Imran Kausar
Imran KausarCo-Founder and CEO Haloodies
Imran founded the Halal Food Festival and went onto co-found Haloodies, the most promising halal food brand in the UK. He also sits on the board of Alchemiya, a promising SVOD startup. He has a background in medicine and pharmaceuticals working from startup to sale of a California based biotech. Imran was born in Scotland and lives in London.
Abdalhamid David Evans
Abdalhamid David EvansFounder, HalalFocus & Imarat Consultants UK
Abdalhamid is the Senior Strategist at Imarat Consultants, and is the founder of HalalFocus, now the largest online archive of Halal sector news with around 5,000 articles in 60 searchable categories. He was co-Founder of the World Halal Forum in 2006, and has organised Halal sector conferences, training workshops and seminars in Malaysia, Brunei, Australia, the UAE, UK, USA, Canada and Europe.
Altaf Alim
Altaf AlimCommercial Director at Aab
Altaf is a fashion-tech entrepreneur and currently Commercial Director at London based Modest Fashion Brand ‘Aab’. Under his stewardship, Aab has transformed into an internationally recognised fashion label as well as being the first Modest Fashion brand to launch a successful retail strategy with the opening of the first dedicated modest fashion store in a mainstream setting.
Wilf Lewis
Wilf LewisManaging Director, Lewis Pie & Pasty Company
Having had a successful career in a start-up technology company, Wilf came into the family business in 2014. A high-energy individual, which he needs to be with three young children, Wilf has been, and continues to be, a key driver for change at Lewis Pies, bringing innovation, business transformation and continuous improvement. Wilf has focused on the growth of the halal side of the business and believes that this is an area of continued and rapid growth.
Faizal Karbani
Faizal KarbaniFounder & CEO, Simply Ethical Financial Services Ltd
Faizal is the CEO & Founder of Simply Ethical Financial Services Ltd – a FCA regulated entity dedicated to the provision of financial advice and products that are Sharia Compliant and Ethical. He has established himself as a well known and respected figure within the Islamic Finance industry and recently wrote a book entitled “Mastering Islamic Finance” published by Pearson. He is also an Approved Training Provider (ATP) for the Islamic Finance Qualification (IFQ) through the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment (CISI).
Subhi Bora
Subhi BoraAssociate / Studio Director at Gould.Sydney
Subhi is an associate and studio director at Gould.Sydney, a strategic branding agency that specialises in Islamic brands and design. Her background in psychology adds depth of understanding to the research behind our branding. She channels her interest in fashion to The Modest Bride, a digital platform curating and creating photoshoots for all things bridal.
Rehan Salim
Rehan Salim Head of Programme Partnerships for Human Appeal
Rehan Salim is an International Development postgraduate from the University of Manchester and has previously worked for organisations such as Ernst & Young and SEDCO. Rehan is currently pursuing a qualification in Islamic Law from the Imam Muhammad University and is keen on trying to ensure Islamic principles are embedded within the NGO development discourse.
Aytug Goksu
Aytug GoksuCommercial Counsellor at Turkish Embassy
Aytug Goksu, Commercial Counsellor at the Turkish Embassy in London. In 2005, he joined the Turkish Ministry of Economy where he initially worked closely with the EU Commission and the WTO, covering some key sectors including telecoms. He was appointed as Chief of Cabinet in 2011, assisting the Undersecretary in various bilateral and multilateral meetings and negotiations. Aytug works on strengthening trade and investment relations between Turkey and the UK since August 2014.
Maruf Yusupov
Maruf YusupovCEO, Halal.ad
Maruf Yusupov is a serial entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of Halal.Ad – a 360 marketing agency and ad network for Muslim Market.
Yasmin Waljee OBE
Yasmin Waljee OBEVice Chair Mosaic
Yasmin Waljee is a solicitor and full time Pro Bono Manager at international law firm Hogan Lovells LLP. Yasmin’s appointment in 1997 was the first of its kind by a City law firm. In May 2005 Yasmin was short listed for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards and in April 2000 Yasmin was awarded The Times Woman Solicitor of the Year.
Musadiq Jivraj
Musadiq JivrajSenior Buying Manager at Asda Walmart
<b?Musadiq joined ASDA as a Senior Buying Manager in April 2014. Having previously worked at Tesco. Musadiq has 12 years experience in retail running his own frozen distribution business and later working as a consultant for Tesco World Foods. He currently oversees 5 categories for ASDA within the World Foods Team (Chilled, Frozen, Fresh, (Halal Pre Pack) Bakery, Halal and Polish Counters.
Dr. Phil Hadley
Dr. Phil HadleyHead of Global Supply Chain Development, AHDB
Phil is responsible for the Halal sector related activity of AHDB, with a specific focus on the trade in sheep meat and the opportunity for market growth in the halal sector both domestically and internationally.
Saeed Mubarak Kharbash Al Marri
Saeed Mubarak Kharbash Al Marri Head of Strategy & Planning, Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre
Saeed holds more than 10 years of experience in diverse financial disciplines and strategy gained from working with leading national entities in the energy and finance industries. is Head of Strategy and Planning at DIEDC and is mandated to oversee the development and execution of the initiatives and strategies related to the Dubai.
Nyra Mahmood
Nyra MahmoodManaging Director Simply Sharia Human Capital Panel Moderator
Nyra is responsible for the overall management, commercial awareness and performance of the UK’s first Islamic finance recruitment and knowledge portal.
Sheikh Bilal Khan
Sheikh Bilal KhanCo-Chairman of Dome Advisory
Sheikh Bilal Khan is Co-Chairman and Partner at Dome Advisory, a leading Islamic finance and Shari’ah advisory firm headquartered in London. Sheikh Bilal serves both as Adviser to the Shari’ah Standards Review Committee of the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and as Takaful Panel Member of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF).
Arfah Farooq
Arfah FarooqCo-Founder MuslamicMakers
Arfah is a passionate techhead and has her fingers in many pies. She co-founded MuslmaicMakers a meetup for Muslims working in tech and is super passionate about representation in the tech industry.
Ross Hunter
Ross HunterExecutive Director, UK-ASEAN Business Council

There are currently 2 billion Muslim millennials in the world, with 86% living in emerging markets, and they will form 50% of the entire workforce in 2020.


The Islamic Economy is growing rapidly – by 2021, the forecast is for it reach $3tn. (8% CAGR growth)


The Halal Food sector’s growth shows no sign of slowing down as Muslim food and beverage expenditure is set to grow to $1.9 trillion by 2021.


Muslim populations globally have spent a total of $151 billion on travel in 2015 (excluding Hajj and Umrah). This is a growth of 4.9% from the previous year.


Muslim millenials are more technologically oriented than previous generations, are more brand loyal, and generally expect instant access to information among other attributes.


Muslim consumer spending on clothing is estimated at $243 billion in 2015, 11% of the global market spend.


Exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities

Promote your brand to decision makers and businesses at this highly anticipated event. Boost your commercial awareness and advantage over competitors in this growing market by using our sponsorship opportunities that are guaranteed to bring you higher visibility in front of your target audience. Limited slots are available for exhibitors. Get in touch now!

Take a look at our exclusive opportunities:

  • MLE Connect Headline sponsorship
  • Gold package sponsorship
  • Panel discussion sponsorship
  • Exhibitor spaces (Limited spaces available)


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