DUBAI-BASED hospi-tality group Almulla has launched the ‘world’s first Sharia compliant hotel brand’ portfolio under three core brand names of Cliftonwood, Adham and Wings.
The group’s strategic plan envisages 30 properties by the end of 2008 and 150 hotels by 2013, with expected total investment of over $2 billion.
All properties oper-ating under these brands will respect and abide by the principles of Sharia and will not sell alcohol and only serve halal prepared food, as inter-preted by the Sharia law.
“There are plenty of individual Sharia-comp-liant hotels throughout the world. However their positioning is usually dictated by the owner, either as an independent hotel, one within a chain or due to the Sharia law of the country where they are sited,” said Abdulla M Almulla, chairman of Almulla Hospitality.
“Our brand proposit-ion is so distinct that guests will be confident our brand values have universal consistency.”
Almulla Hospitality targets the GCC travellers who spend over $12 billion annually on leisure travel alone.
According to the WTO, Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest outbound travel markets in terms of average spend with Saudi tourists spending $6.7 billion annually on overseas travel.
UAE travellers are close behind at more than $4.9 million, an average of $1,700 per trip, or $500 higher than the European average.
The Muslim traveller market is increasing around the world due to the increasing wealth in their communities com-bined with conscious life-style living which repre-sent 10 per cent of the world tourism market, and is one of the fastest growing segments. Their average spend is 10 to 50 per cent higher than that of the average leisure or business traveller.