Malaysia: Online booking site launches ‘Halal’ hotel search option

949f13c1df30a468b76afab5b994011b_SKUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — A Malaysia-based online travel site has launched a booking option that aims to help Muslim travellers find “halal-friendly” accommodations. says it’s launched the world’s first meta search engine that will help Muslim travellers identify halal hotels — accommodations which are rated based on their capacity to meet Muslim needs. The site is partnered with major sites such as Expedia,, and

It is the latest development in a niche but ever-growing market — that of affluent Muslim travellers — that is twice the size of China’s and bigger than that of the US.

Muslim holiday-makers are estimated to spend more than US$126 billion (RM390 billion) annually on tourism.

For the “halal” hotel search engine, has partnered with, a directory of 20,000 properties around the world which have been listed and rated based on the services and facilities which meet Muslim needs.

To look for a “halal” hotel, users need only check off the HalalStars box. Aside from meeting dietary requirements, catering to Muslim travel needs could range from offering prayer rooms, prayer rugs, pre-sunrise breakfast services during Ramadan, family-friendly, alcohol-free hotels with separate wellness areas for women.

Meanwhile, forward-thinking tourism offices and hotel chains have already started to cater to their Muslim visitors and guests, by offering listings of “halal” hotels and restaurants or offering special Muslim-oriented travel products.

Queensland Tourism in Australia, for instance, set up a special website dedicated to halal travel, while Surfers Paradise Marriott Courtyard, also in Queensland, sets up a Ramadan Lounge where Muslim guests can break their fast with dates, snack and coffee. offers a similar service for finding Muslim-friendly accommodations, while also positions itself as a “halal” tourism specialist. is an exclusive site for ‘Halal Friendly Travel’, which also rates the hotels that is lists with their own unique rating system for the Muslim traveler.

— AFP/Relaxnews