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An increasing number of new internet ventures are looking to focus on the global Muslim market in a wide range of areas including food, tourism, fashion and credit cards. By doing so, they hope to cater to growing number of Muslims who wish to ensure that more areas of their consumption are religiously permissible.

This trend is believed to appear partly due to the rise in income in majority-Muslim areas of the Gulf and southeast Asia, as well as to expanding choices for consumers.

For the full article and more information, please visit: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/16/islam-consumers-idUSL6N0SX06G20141216

Participation Finance/Banking (Rushdi Siddiqui) / 14 December 2014
Innovation is key for MasterCard in developing best-in-class Islamic payment products and solutions

An informative conversation with the man behind MasterCard’s burgeoning presence in the Muslim lifestyle market, Safdar Khan, group country manager for Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei; and group head of Islamic payments for Southeast Asia at MasterCard.

How did you become MasterCard’s group country manager for Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei; and group head of Islamic payments for Southeast Asia?

The eight years in MasterCard involved developing, positioning and strengthening relationships with financial institutions and merchants with businesses in South Asia, Middle East and Africa regions. In mid-2013, I was tasked to head operations in Malaysia and Brunei. With the expansion of my role in October this year, I will be responsible for leading MasterCard’s advancement in Islamic payments at a crucial time ahead of the establishment of the Asean Economic Community in 2015.

With Muslim-friendly tourism on the rise in Europe, Halal-conscious travellers are now looking beyond Muslim countries for travel options. France has become the most-sought-after destination in Europe, followed by England and Italy.

The United Kingdom has been named the best Halal-friendly destination by CrescentRating and many hotels across Europe are now starting to catch up with large chains like U.K.-based Millennium & Copthorne Hotels in order to cater to Muslim travellers. Germany and Switzerland are the chosen destinations for business or medical trips, while the island of Gozo in Malta is one of the most popular European beach destinations.

Sonesta Hotel El Olivar: Peru's Luxury Muslim-friendly Hotel - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

 

Peru's first ever hotel to be awarded Muslim-friendly accreditation by CrescentRating - Sonesta Hotel El Olivar - is a five-star luxury hotel in Lima - the vibrant capital of the country. Given a rating of 5 by CrescentRating based on the facilities and services it provides Muslim guests, Sonesta Hotel El Olivar is an excellent Muslim-friendly hotel for travellers in Lima.

A sales transaction of RM 500,000 has been recorded at the Johor Halal Tourism Fair 2014, held at Plaza Angsana in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The three-day Halal Tourism Fair held on the 28th, 29th and 30th of November saw the participation of 45 tourist agencies and received a total of over 60,000 domestic and foreign visitors.

Industry experts expect to see a continuous increase in the expansion of the state's Halal tourism industry and the state government is looking to intensify its efforts to attract more Muslim tourists to Johor - particularly from Indonesia, China, Dubai and India.

For the full article and more information, please visit: http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v7/ge/newsgeneral.php?id=1089669

Why Muslim-friendly Spas are a Hit Amongst Muslim Travellers - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Though spas and wellness treatments are a favourite component of travel amongst many leisure travellers, most Muslim travellers are unable to experience spa treatments since a majority of spas and wellness centres around the world do not meet Islamic values and requirements. However, following the boom in Muslim-friendly travel, this is changing and many wellness centres as well as hotels with spa services are adapting their facilities in order to cater to Muslim travellers.

Such spas and wellness centres that do meet Islamic requirements are popularly known as Muslim-Friendly Spas or Islamic Spas and are specifically designed to offer Muslim travellers a transformational spa experience. They have gained immense popularity amongst Muslim travellers during the recent past and offer rich spiritual guidance in addition to its numerous treatments and therapies , while adhering to Islamic requirements at the same time.

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