The move comes in the wake of Crescent Rating, the world’s leading authority on halal-friendly travel, announcing that four Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have secured a spot in the 10 top destinations for Muslim travelers.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the highest ranked, coming in third after Turkey and Malaysia on the
MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index 2015. Saudi Arabia, which sees more than 2 million visitors a year for the four-day Hajj pilgrimage alone, topped the list of Muslim arrivals at 10.2 million. Qatar and Oman completed the quartet at fourth and seventh place.
In 2014, the Muslim travel market was worth $145 million and was 10 percent of the total global tourism industry, according to Crescent Rating's 2015 travel index. Those figures have sprouted Muslim-based products including hotels, booking agencies and even rating companies.
Jawhara Group is one such product, launched by Lootah Hotel Management in Dubai. The firm is licensed to manage hotels up to five stars, and lease and franchise property.
The Al Jawhara brand is the only hotel to have received the highest ranking with Crescent Rating, meaning the hotel takes into consideration most of the needs of a Muslim traveler. It doesn't serve alcohol or pork, and only halal-slaughtered meat is used. Only married couples are allowed to stay in rooms together, and there are separate recreation and sport facilities for men and women.
The hotel also offers Muslim-specific amenities such as prayer rugs in the room and a dial pointing toward Mecca. The staff easily direct guests to nearby Halal restaurants and to the closest mosque. And management reminds staff to follow Sharia law.
But, according to Khaled Kamal, general manager of Jawhara Group, it’s about much more than just what you can and cannot serve.
“According to Islamic teachings, guests deserve the utmost attention, care and help,” he said. “Islam deals with the principles of hospitality with utmost of importance. Thus, Al Jawhara hospitality is the reflection of this philosophy.”
Kamal quotes Jawhara Founder and Chairman Haj. Saeed Ahmed Lootah who said, “Business exists fundamentally to serve people.”
Shariah-Compliant Hotels in the Gulf Region
|Al Jawhara Gardens||Lootah Hotel Management||Dubai||UAE|
|R Hotels Palm Jumeriah||R Hotels||Dubai||UAE|
|Retaj Al Rayyan||Retaj||Doha||Qatar|
|Retaj Royale Doha||Retaj||Doha||Qatar|
|Retaj Royale Istanbul||Retaj||Istanbul||Turkey|
|Retaj Thermal Hotel & Spa||Retaj||Termal||Turkey|
|Retaj Moroni?||Retaj||Moroni||Comoro Islands|
|Muscat Grand Millennium||Millennium & Copthorne||Muscat||Oman|
|Tamani Marina||KM Properties||Dubai?||UAE|