almulla launches world’s first international sharia compliant hotel chain
Hospitality group launches three new brands to accommodate demand from Muslim and non Muslim travellers
Dubai-based hospitality group Almulla, today launched the world’s first Sharia compliant hotel brand portfolio under three core brand names of Cliftonwood, Adham and Wings.
The hotel group strategic plan calls for 30 properties by the end of 2008.
“There are plenty of individual Sharia compliant 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 country where they are situated,” commented Abdulla M Almulla, Chairman of Almulla Hospitality. “Our brand proposition is so distinct that guests will be confident that our brand values have universal consistency.”
The business case for Almulla Hospitality is to capture the GCC travellers who contribute over US$ 12 billion annually on leisure travel alone. According to the World Tourism Organization, Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest outbound travel markets in terms of average spend with tourists from the Kingdom spending US$ 6.7 billion annually on overseas travel. The UAE travellers are close behind at more than US$ 4.9 million, an average of US$ 1,700 per trip, which is US$ 500 higher than the European average.
The Muslim traveller market is increasing around the world due to the increasing wealth in their communities combined with conscious lifestyle living which represent ten per cent of the world tourism market, and is one of the fastest growing segments. Their average spend is ten to fifty per cent higher than that of the average leisure or business traveller. The bottom line is that conscious lifestyle tourism is expected to grow at a rate of twenty per cent per annum, five times more than the average traditional market segment.
The specific destinations targeted are Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Malaysia and Thailand. Beyond this first wave, Almulla Hospitality is looking forward to set operation in Europe with 15 deluxe hotels to be followed by 25 business hotels in “the second European wave”.
Overall strategy of the hotel group is to reach 150 hotels by 2013 with expected total investment of over $2 billion. Abdulla Almulla said that institutional investors and high net worth individuals (HNWI) will be the back bone for such growth drive.
All properties operating under these brands will respect and abide by the principles of Sharia and will not sell alcohol and only serve Halal prepared food, as interpreted by the Sharia law and the Sharia supervisory board. But, will go beyond that to create a socially responsible culture in all of its’ hotels, which will create a unique environment to our guests resulting in a high repeat guests.
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