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In recent years, Facebook has become more than just a means of keeping in touch with loved ones. It is now bringing together people from all around the world who share similar interests, in this case, cooking. The Facebook pages and websites that took part in this year’s competition all have one thing in common; they all share incredible, easy-to-follow, Halal recipes; to the world.  They owe their popularity to their fans and ever so faithful followers who have nothing but great things to say about each and every one of them. Even though most of these Facebook pages and websites are really popular and well known, our aim is to bring even more awareness to them. We want to make them even stronger by spreading their passion for food and cooking.

Released on 18th February 2014

Crescentrating's Halal Friendly Travel (CRaHFT) Ranking 2014

Top Halal Friendly Holiday Destinations for 2014

For the 4th year, we are excited to announce Crescentrating's 2014 Ranking of Halal friendly holiday destinations. As it has been for the last 4 years, the destinations ranked in two categories; OIC and non-OIC destinations.

The main criteria taken into account in the ranking includes its suitability as a family holiday destination, the level of services and facilities it provides for Muslim travelers and the marketing initiatives of the destination targeting this segment.    

Voting for the best Halal Food recipe Facebook pages and websites 2014 - 4.2 out of 5 based on 52 votes

Voting for your favourite Halal Food recipe Facebook pages and Websites for Crescentrating's Halal Friendly Travel (CRaHFT) Ranking 2014 is now open! Apart from the participants during the last two year, we hope to see new entrants as well. Voting ends on the 28th of February 2014. So hurry up and vote for your popular Halal Food Facebook Page or Website. If it is currently not listed on the voting list, you can add it as well.

 Press Release

January 9th 2014

Singapore – Grand BlueWave Hotel Shah Alam (GBWHSA), a five star hotel located in Selangor, Malaysia has been granted the highest Halal Friendly Hotel rating of 7 by Crescentrating. It is the first hotel to get the highest rating in Malaysia and the region.

Muslim travelers can now enjoy the services of this luxury hotel with a peace of mind knowing that their needs will be fully catered for by the hotel.

The Grand BlueWave provides guests with halal-certified food from 4 different restaurants offering local delights and a good variety of international food to savor the taste buds of the savvy traveler. Other halal-friendly facilities include availability of the Quran, in-room Qiblah signage, prayer mats and a women-only level located on the 17th floor of the hotel.

Being a Hotel with a CrescentRating of 7, it is alcohol-free and provides recreational facilities like swimming pools and gyms with timings for female only use. In addition, the hotel also has separate prayer rooms for males and females as well as separate spa facilities.

Located about 25 kilometers (16 miles) west of the Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur and a short 40-minute drive from the international airport, Shah Alam has a lot to offer, including a visit to the water theme park called Wet World Shah Alam, State Museum and Library. Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah or better known as the Blue Mosque is a 5-minute walk from the hotel. It’s magnificent architectural design befits its reputation as one of Southeast Asia’s largest mosques.

Grand BlueWave Shah Alam features 341 luxurious rooms including 280 deluxe rooms, 58 suites, 2 special care rooms and a Presidential Suite offers the perfect accommodation that you would expect in a hotel of its standard.

“This award gives us a golden opportunity to serve international and local travelers who prefer Muslim-friendly hospitality. The Muslim travel segment is identified as the largest consumer segment and the fastest growing consumer market, hence this gives us the potential for new business opportunities.” said then. Hj. Mohd Ghazali Sayed Ibrahim, the Hotel Manager of Grand BlueWave Hotel Shah Alam.

“We are delighted to welcome Grand BlueWave as a member of Crescentrated Hotels. This shows the growing demand for such services in the hospitality sector. The family friendly facilities offered by the Hotel will not just cater to the needs of the Muslim travelers, but also to a wider segment who are looking for such services.” said Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of Crescentrating.

Visit www.crescentrating.com for a full list of facilities and services offered by Grand BlueWave Hotel Shah Alam.

About Crescentrating

Crescentrating Pte Ltd, a Singapore based company, is the pioneer and world leader in Halal Friendly Travel. It’s vision is to enable Muslim travelers to explore the world with peace of mind by leading the growth of “Halal Travel” segment to benefit travelers, travel service providers and the community as a whole. Crescentrating.com, HalalTrip.com and its mobile application Crescent Trips bring a full portfolio of world leading products to ensure a hassle free “Halal travel” experience, whether you are travelling for leisure or business

About Grand BlueWave Hotel Shah Alam

Grand BlueWave Hotel Shah Alam is a 5-star hotel that offers Halal food in all its restaurants with an endorsement from JAKIM (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia) and JAIS (Selangor Islamic Religious Department). All restaurants do not sell liquor and alcohol beverages.

Royale Songket Restaurant serves Malaysian and International cuisine and has a well-deserved reputation for its extensive buffet high-tea. For the best in Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine, Tung Yuen Chinese Restaurant is an excellent choice in this hotel. Enjoy an exquisite meal prepared by their Chinese Chef. Agehan Japanese Restaurant features an exotic array of Japanese cuisine; specializing in sushi, sashimi and tempura. This restaurant also has become Malaysia's First Halal Japanese Restaurant in a 5-star Hotel. Borak-Borak serves light meals, pre-dinner or relaxing mocktails, perfect for informal meetings or a coffee with a friend.

For further information or discussion, please contact:

Crescentrating Pte Ltd Mr. Sam Samsudi Manager – Business Development
Tel.: +65 6255 2896,
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.crescentrating.com | www.halaltrip.com

Grand BlueWave Hotel Shah Alam
Mr. Achiek Sidek Manager – Public Relations
Tel.: +603 5519 0689,
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.bluewavehotels.com

 
HalalTrip.com will help Muslim travelers in planning and booking their trips. This user-friendly site makes it easy for Muslim Travelers to match their lifestyle with hotels, flights and tour packages.

SINGAPORE, December 18, 2013, The travel industry has been lacking a dedicated travel booking site catering to the needs of Muslims. All that is changed with the acquisition of HalalTrip.com by Crescentrating, the world’s leading authority on Halal Travel. It is now re-launching HalalTrip.com as the world’s first full-fledged travel booking site that specializes in the needs of the Muslim traveler.

HalalTrip.com features over 380,000 Booking.com hotels and other accommodations to choose from. A global directory of Halal restaurants, mosques and other Halal friendly amenities near the hotel and surrounding neighborhood will allow the travelers to make educated choices. Crescentrated Hotels will also be featured with information regarding their verified and audited Halal friendly facilities and amenities. HalalTrip.com has partnered with Booking.com to provide its customers with one of the world’s largest inventories of hotel and holiday travel accommodations.

Flight booking will be powered by Wego.com’s meta-search engine producing the best prices for flights while booking travel arrangements. During a recent interview, Ross Veitch, Wego CEO & Founder, had this to say: “Wego is delighted to be providing flight search technology for HalalTrip.com. We congratulate Crescentrating on their innovative ratings system they are bringing to the market to enable Islamic travellers to make better lifestyle and travel decisions".

Tour packages tailor made for Muslim travelers will soon be available on HalalTrip.com and via accredited travel agents. These tour packages have been developed in partnership with Kuoni Group Travel Experts, one of the world’s largest wholesale tour operators. Olivier Moeschler, Kuoni Group Travel Expert’s Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing Asia Pacific & the Americas, commented: “With a rising population exceeding 1.6 billion people, Muslims are increasingly choosing travel options that combine their wish to see the best of leading destinations with more specialised needs such as Halal food, Salaath facilities or services during Ramadan. Our partnership with Crescentrating and HalalTrip.com will help us exceed their expectations as we further expand our range of Halal friendly travel destinations, accommodation and experiences.”

Dany Bolduc, Chief Operating Officer for Crescentrating, had this to say: “We are most proud of the HalalTrip.com website and are aiming to be the leader in the online travel booking market for Halal Travel. We have very ambitious plans with an ever growing database and additional features to create a hassle-free travel experience for Muslim travellers.” Other features will be added progressively including Arabic and other language interfaces.

Muslim traveler’s expenditure is estimated to reach USD 200 billion by 2020. Along with the increasing penetration of internet and smart phones in the Middle East and other Muslim majority markets, online travel booking is set to grow rapidly in these regions.

For complete information, please visit: HalalTrip.com

About CrescentratingPte Ltd:

CrescentratingPte Ltd, a Singapore based company, is the pioneer and world leader in Halal Friendly Travel. It’s vision is to enable Muslim travelers to explore the world with peace of mind by leading the growth of “Halal Travel” segment to benefit travelers, travel service providers and the community as a whole. Crescentrating.com, HalalTrip.com and it’s mobile application Crescent Trips brings a full portfolio of world leading products to ensure a hassle free “Halal travel” experience, whether you are travelling for leisure or business

About Booking.com

Booking.com is the world leader in booking hotel and other accommodations online. It guarantees the best prices for any type of property – from small independents to five-star luxury. Guests can access the Booking.com website anytime, anywhere from their desktops, mobile phones and tablet devices, and they don’t pay booking fees – ever. The Booking.com website is available in 42 languages, offers over 380,000 hotels and accommodations in 193 countries, features over 24 million reviews written by guests after their stay, and attracts online visitors from both leisure and business markets around the globe. With over 16 years of experience and a team of over 6,400 dedicated employees in 115+ offices worldwide, Booking.com operates its own in-house customer service team, which is available 24/7 to assist guests in their native languages and ensure an exceptional customer experience. Established in 1996, Booking.com B.V. owns and operates Booking.com™, and is part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN). Follow us on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, like us on Facebook, or learn more at http://www.booking.com

About Kuoni Group Travel Experts

Kuoni Group Travel Experts is the world’s leading group travel provider. Reliable and flexible with a wealth of destination knowledge, we create and deliver 45,000 tailor-made tours and programmes every year. Part of Kuoni Global Travel Services, a division of Kuoni, our international network takes care of the hard work, saving our partners time and money. We learn their business and deliver excellence, sharing our understanding with colleagues who cultivate long-standing local partnerships that matter. The warmth and sincerity of our people drives our destination expertise, delivering unparalleled local knowledge and value-adding content. The courage that drives our innovation in shaping the future of group travel leads us to develop solutions through cutting-edge technology, making us easier to work with. The passion and excitement that drives our growth ensures we capture the attention of inexperienced travellers with assured, quality trips, while finding new options for seasoned travellers. www.kuonigrouptravel.com

About Wego.com

Wego.com is the leading travel search site in the Asia Pacific and Middle East, headquartered in Singapore, with regional offices in Jakarta, Bangalore and Dubai. Available in more than 50 localised country sites and 30 languages, Wego searches hundreds of global travel websites including airlines, hotel chains and online travel agents, using powerful yet simple to use technology. Wego presents an unbiased and channel neutral view of travel prices, providing users with the choice of booking direct with a hotel or airline, or via an OTA or aggregator site.

 

Crescent Trips is the world’s first iPhone/iPad in-flight prayer time and direction calculator for Muslim travelers. It has quickly become one of the top travel apps in the Middle East.

SINGAPORE, November 20, 2013, Crescentrating, the world’s leading authority on Halal Travel, has announced the long awaited launch of an updated Arabic and English version of Crescent Trips. This new app has made history by being the world’s first iPhone/iPad Mobile App that works in-flight to calculate prayer times and direction, and has been downloaded by users in more than 90 countries. It will be made available for the Android Platform within the next couple of months.

Crescentrating reports that based on the departure airport/time and arrival airport/time, the in-flight prayer calculator allows Muslim travelers the ability to calculate the prayer times and prayer direction along the flight path of their journey. Users can also use the Crescent Trips App as a travel planner, and organize their trips and flights according to the destination and access the prayer times and prayer direction in offline mode while in the air. Also featured is a collection of Islamic travel duas in Arabic text and audio playback along with its English translation.

Fazal Bahardeen, CEO and Founder of Crescentrating, had this to say at a recent press conference: “With more than 40 % of downloads coming from Arabic countries, we decided that this was the next most important feature to enable a better user experience.”

Crescentrating has a very clear vision: To enable Muslims to explore the world with peace of mind by leading the growth of “Halal Friendly Travel” to benefit Travelers, Travel Service Providers and the community as a whole. Crescentrating has devised a set of rating standards that is recognized internationally in the travel industry. Crescentrating.com, HalalTrip.com and mobile application Crescent Trips now brings a full portfolio of world leading products to ensure a hassle free “Halal travel” experience, whether you are travelling for leisure or business.

For complete information, please visit: Crescentrating.com

Media Contact:

Crescentrating Pte Ltd.
1003 Bukit Merah Central, #07-14
Singapore 159836
Telephone: +65 6255 2896
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.crescentrating.com
  • Partnership launched at the Global Islamic Economy Summit in Dubai
  • Marketing halal friendly group travel arrangements and packages for Muslim families, leisure and MICE groupsto better serve the needs of this growing US $130 billion segment
  • Ensuring that Muslims enjoy popular travel itineraries with the added reassurance of halal friendly experiences.
  • The companies’ first brochure – aimed at businesses selling travel to Muslim clients – will be launched in Asia next month
  • Reaching 1.6 billion in 2010, the world’s Muslim population is expected to increase by about 35% in the next 20 years
  • Source markets with the largest Muslim populations have seen a rise in the number of room nights booked by group travellers: bookings out of Indonesia and India are enjoying double digit increases year on year, while Bangladesh has quadrupled

Crescentrating, the world’s leading authority on halal travel, and the world's leading group travel provider Kuoni Group Travel Experts, have announced a global partnership that will enable Kuoni Group Travel Experts to market Crescentrated halal friendly group travel arrangements. It will see Muslim families, leisure and MICE groups enjoy better travel experiences around the world thanks to a network of Crescentrating accredited travel agents in Asia.

The partnership launched at the Global Islamic Economy Summit in Dubai (25-26 November). FazalBahardeen, Crescentrating’s CEO, spoke at the event alongside several of Kuoni’s hotel partners, to highlight the value of the global Islamic economy andlatest trends within halal industries such as food, travel and lifestyle.

Reaching 1.6 billion people in 2010, the world’s Muslim population is expected to increase by about 35% in the next 20 years. 72 countries today have a million or more Muslim inhabitants and the majority (about 60%) live in the Asia-Pacific region. Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh have the largest Muslim populations.1

As well as launching their first brochure – aimed at businesses selling travel to Muslim clients – in Asia next month, Kuoni Group Travel Experts and Crescentrating will also work together to develop new group travel products and enhanced travel booking and management services for the Muslim travel market. Crescentrating reports that the new partnership will be of enormous benefit to the travel segment of the world’s Muslim population. Dominating the group travel market and organising around 45,000 leisure tours every year, Kuoni Group Travel Experts create and deliver tailor-made programs for communities of travellers and MICE organisers with similar interests, be they social, cultural, religious or demographic.

Olivier Moeschler, Kuoni Group Travel Expert’s Senior Vice President forSales and Marketing Asia Pacific & the Americas, comments: “We look forward to developing our partnership with Crescentrating as we further expand our range of halal friendly travel destinations, accommodation and experiences. Muslim families and travel groups can be assured of enjoying their travel with accommodation and service providers rated by Crescentrating, whose credibility is beyond question.”

Dany Bolduc, Chief Operating Officer for Crescentrating says: “Crescentrating, together with Kuoni Group Travel Experts, is committed to establishing a leadership position in Muslim group travel, a huge and underserved market worth US $130 billion in 2013. By combining our strengths and knowledge of this market, we can offer unique and curated group travel packages that are tailor-made for Muslim travellers, attentively managed by Crescentrated accredited travel agents.”

Reto Kaufmann, Kuoni Group Travel Expert’s Head of MICE Sales Asia, adds: “Last year, we saw room nights booked by group travellers from these four countries rise: particularly Indonesia and India – enjoying double digit increases– while Bangladesh quadrupled.And it’s not just leisure travel, more and more of Asia’s businesses rely on Kuoni Group Travel Experts to ensure the seamlessproject management of their meetings, incentives, congresses and events from the moment they land to their point of departure. Many of them have large numbers of Muslim delegates with specific halal or religious requirements.”

In Asia, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand also offer significant numbers of potential Muslim travellers. For example China, with a Muslim population numbering 23 million, saw room nights booked with Kuoni Group Travel Experts rise 6% last year.

Crescentrating has a very clear vision: to enable Muslims to explore the world with peace of mind by leading the growth of ‘halal friendly travel’ to benefit travellers, travel service providers and the community as a whole. Crescentrating has devised a set of rating standards that is recognised internationally in the travel industry. It allows hotels and service providers to be rated based on the services and facilities that they provide for the needs of halal-conscious travellers. Their rating system is separated into areas such as halal food andSalaath (prayer) facilities, services during Ramadan and the level of non-halal activities in the hotel. In order for an establishment to be Crescentrated, they must provide at least the minimum level of service in each area.

Notes to Editors
1 source: Pew Research Center’s Forum http://www.pewforum.org/2011/01/27/future-of-the-global-muslim-population-regional-middle-east/, 27 January 2011

Standing at an altitude of 2,850 m Ecuador was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city. The city was the first to be named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Quito is also a wonderful base for exploring the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon. The historic centre of the city is one of the best preserved historic areas in South America.

One of the most significant water ports in Costa Rica, Puntarenas is located in the province of Puntarenas along the Pacific Coast. The city finds location on a long and narrow peninsula jutting out into the Nicoya Gulf. A number of visitors make Puntarenas a stopover from San Jose to the Nicoya Peninsula; however, it is also a popular travel destination among both locals as well as foreigners.

There are no masjids or halal restaurants in Puntarenas. There are some restaurants that serve vegetarian and seafood options.

The main pier is excellent to walk around during the evening time. Visit the pier for viewing stars and lights in the distance. There is a public park at the end of the peninsula. Enjoy a walk along the south beach to reach this park. The park has playgrounds, basketball courts and also benches for people to relax.

The south beach also offers visitors with the opportunities of swimming and enjoying a banana boat ride. Towards the northern end of the peninsula is an estuary that has Mangrove Forests. Explore this forest area and spot crocodiles, herons, and red snappers. From any pier on the northern side of the city you can request fishermen to take you for a boat ride towards the forest area.

Puntarenas also has a marine park that has manta rays and fishes from the Pacific Ocean. There is also a splash pool and a snack stall at the park. Pay a visit to the Museo Historico Marino that tells visitors about the history of the area. If you are interested in art, then visit the La Casa de La Cultura, a wonderful art gallery in the city.

The Paseo de los Turistas is good to walk around. Here you can find a number of vibrant shopping opportunities and cafes.

Travelling around the city is easy with the help of local buses. Taxis are available in the city and can easily be stopped to take a ride. You can also find bike rentals or walk around the city.

Trinidad is a small village in Paraguay known for its Jesuit ruins. These ruins are known as Santisima Trinidad de Parana. The ruins are open every day from 7 am to 7 pm in the summer months and from 7 am to 5.30 pm during the winters.

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UAE Info

ADMINISTRATIVE CAPITAL: Abu Dhabi

COMMERCIAL CAPITAL: Dubai

GEOGRAPHY

The United Arab Emirates, sometimes simply called the Emirates or UAE, is a country situated in Southwest Asia, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, between Oman and Saudi Arabia. The largest emirate, Abu Dhabi, accounts for 87% of the UAE’s total area (67,340 square kilometres) while Ajman, the smallest emirate, covers an area of only 259 square kilometres.

DEMOGRAPHY

A population of close to 5.4 million. Muslims account for about 76% of the entire population.

CLIMATE

Tropical and warm. On the coastal plain average maximum temperatures reach above 48 °C (118.4 °F) during July and August. Average minimum temperatures in January and February are between 10 and 14 °C (50 and 57.2 °F).

LANGUAGES SPOKEN

Arabic and English are two commonly spoken languages in the UAE.

LOCAL TIME

GMT+4 hrs throughout the year

BUSINESS HOURS

Government: 8 AM to 3 PM
General: 9 AM to 5 PM
(Sunday to Thursday are the working days of the week. Friday & Saturday are considered as weekends)

HOLIDAYS
Independence Day: December 2nd
New Year's Day: January 1st

Muslim Festivals (Based on the lunar calendar):
Milad-un-Nabi
Islamc New Year
Id-ul-Fitr
Id-ul-Adha

CURRENCY

UAE Dirham

IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS

Police/ Emergencies: 999
Tourist Security: 800-4888
Medical: 998
Fire: 997

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