A rating certification which will direct Muslims to Shariah-friendly hotels, worldwide, is on the verge of being launched.
The brainchild of Shaykh Faizul Aqtab Siddiqi, an Islamic scholar and barrister of British law, Go Iman intends to capitalise on the 1.6 billion Muslims across the globe who are seeking products to suit their lifestyle.
"By making a few minor adjustments, thousands of hotels will be in a position to attract millions of Muslim travellers from all over the world," said John Wheeler, a director of Go Iman. "These adjustments provide Muslim travellers with the necessary facilities, making their travel more comfortable, without compromising their faith-based values."
Criteria for the one- to seven-Shariah-star rating system would start with the basic criteria of having a prayer mat and Holy Koran available at reception, with a small area in the dining room where no alcohol is served and the availability of halal or vegetarian food on the menu achieving a higher rating.
"What we seek is not to have any hotel being overtly in favour of any faith, but to allow Muslim travellers to try to keep within their own faith - they don't want to stand out in the crowd, but rather more blend in with everybody else," Wheeler said.
Shariah-friendly and compliant hotels will be promoted through the Go Iman website - www.goiman.com - which is set to launch in the next few months. Wheeler said he hoped to have up to 500 hotels in the UK applying for certification.
By Janet Harmer
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