South Korea’s Yongsan-gu district of Seoul announced on Tuesday, plans for the construction of a street dedicated to halal food in the Itwan neighborhood.
The neighborhood, which is famous for its international dishes, is in close distance of the Seoul Central Mosque, built in 1974 and opened its doors on May 21st, 1976.
According to Yonhap, a South Korean news agency, the construction operations will cost over half a million dollars and will include road maintenance, paving, expansion of the pedestrian pavement and more.
Itaewon neighborhood is Seoul’s most cosmopolitan neighborhood and is home to Seoul’s Muslim community, in addition to the headquarters of the US military forces stationed in the Asian country.
The number of Muslims in South Korea reportedly stands at roughly 200,000, or about 0.4 percent of the population. They are mostly migrants and some locals who converted. .
The region’s governor, Song Jang-hyun, said the halal food street will provide relief for Muslim and local tourists who want to indulge in new experiences, according to Yonhap.
Two copies of a map detailing halal restaurants in Korean – English, and English – Arabic, was made available in 2018 by conducting a full survey in the region.
Tourists numbers, however, fell dramatically earlier this year due to the global health emergency posed by the Coronavirus. A blow to the country which expected over one million Muslim visitors in 2019 on the back of rising interest in Korean culture and tourist attractions, the state-run tourism agency stated last year.
South Korea was one of the first nation’s hit by the novel COVID-19 virus, which caused a state of stall around the world. Nevertheless, it is praised for its response strategy based on nation wide testing registering over ten thousands cases, with only 247 deaths (30th of April), according to Worldometer.