“Travel through the earth and observe how Allah originated creation.” [29:20]
The rapid social and technological change in recent years presents new opportunities to the generation of young, educated and internet savvy Muslim professionals, with disposable income and a passion to travel.
Halal food, non-alcoholic drinks, segregated pools and spa facilities for ladies as well as children-friendly entertainment programmes are some of the services designed to meet the needs of Muslim holidaymakers.
But it is not only practising Muslims who are looking beyond the boundaries of conventional holiday experience, says Ufuk Secgin from HalalBooking.com, a London-HQed online platform that offers holidays to Muslims without compromising the values of their beliefs.
Mr Secgin says most of his customers are moderate Muslim professionals who want “a leisure holiday with morals” and family-oriented facilities to cater for their needs while respecting their privacy. This is especially the case for HalalBooking.com’s beach resorts, which is one of the four categories in addition to city hotels, thermal resorts and private villas.
Activities are geared towards maintaining the values and modesty of people who want to travel throughout the world to see and experience God’s creation and magnificence.
The rapid growth in Halal Tourism, accounting for the staggering £137bn in 2012, which represents 12% of the global tourism market, has helped many Muslims to enjoy the family-friendly holiday experience.
While writing this article, I decided to share the halal holiday concept with some non-Muslim friends…Their faces were rather bewildered to say the least. It is another way to describe Muslim-friendly, I explained.
However, the amusement of my fellow friends goes to prove once again that that people generally perceive Islam and Muslims through the stereotypes portrayed by the media.
Yes, our beautiful faith is a set of principles that gives purpose and direction to every aspect of human life – travelling being an essential part of it.
The rate of growth in Halal tourism is rising faster than the rest of the tourism industry worldwide, a recent Muslim travel report, released by the consultancy DinarStandard revealed.
Overall annual spending for international Muslim tourism is expected to reach US $192 billion by 2020 and these figures do not include Hajj and Umrah expenditures.
Investment into suitable hotel and villa properties is increasing rapidly, which can be seen by the number of new hotels catering for Muslim travellers needs opening this season.
Muslim Holidaymakers long for the time they can go abroad just like any other holidaymakers in order to leave their busy and demanding work lives behind and completely escape their stressful and hectic city lives. Halal holidays cater for this well-deserved occasion without compromising basic Muslim values.