‘Halal tourism’ for Gulf citizens on rise

recent years, the tourism industry has increasingly begun to
accommodate the needs of more conservative families in the Gulf region,
launching a trend that has come to be known as “Halal tourism.”

trend was set in Malaysia, which has been marketing itself as the
perfect destination for conservative Gulf families that seek touristic
entertainment and scenic locations without worrying about violating
Muslim teachings and traditions.

Turkey soon followed suit, shedding
light on the more conservative parts of the country such as the
Anatolia, where hotels do not serve alcohol and have separate swimming
pools and spa facilities for men and women.

Many more countries are now
trying to attract tourists from Muslim countries for economic gains,
and thus have come to show more respect for religious beliefs of these

The “Halal tourism” industry is now flying planes where no
alcohol or pork products are served, and prayer time is announced,
alongside the broadcast of religious programs and segments as part of
the entertainment program on board.

recent study by Euro Monitor
had predicted that several carriers may
take on these policies in an attempt to attract more tourists from the
Gulf. Today, many international hotels serve “Halal” food that is
slaughtered in accordance with Muslim teachings and is free of pork
products, and more assistants of Arab origin are being employed to help
in translation and other matters.

The concept of Islamic hotels is
increasingly on the rise as well, first in the UAE, and then spreading
through a chain that was set up by the Gulf state’s investors.

Emirates Investment Group plans to build 150 hotels around the world by
2013, beginning in Egypt, the UAE and Malaysia, then moving on to
Europe, the US and China.