'Dry Mice' destinations in demand across ME

Shariah-compliant hotels tipped to capitalise on Islamic travel trends

This year's GIBTM will highlight the growth of the Sharia-compliant market.
This year's GIBTM will highlight the growth of the Sharia-compliant market.

Demand for Shariah-compliant MICE destinations is on the rise, group and business travellers increasingly looking for meetings facilities that embrace Islamic culture and comply with Islamic law, according to GIBTM.

Two seminar sessions at this year's Gulf Incentives, Business Travel and Meetings Expo, (GIBTM), will highlight the growth of the Sharia-compliant market, with Sharjah being highlighted as an example of an ideal location for Shariah-compliant MICE business.

Lois Hall, exhibition manager of GIBTM commented: “In terms of Shariah-compliant hospitality, it’s not just banning alcohol and pork. It’s applying different swimming pool timings for men, women and children, all food and beverage has to be Halal, with modest dress codes throughout for staff and indeed guests.”

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Recognised as a regional meeting hub for Islamic groups, many more meeting planners are now looking at Sharjah – a destination that has all of the credentials required to host a Shariah-compliant event. Sharjah already appeals to a global community of Islamic business travellers, especially those from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait, as well as the UAE’s corporate community.

“Sharjah proudly retains its Islamic culture and heritage. It has an abundance of museums, art galleries, mosques and other buildings which are considered fine examples of Islamic architecture,” explained Hall.

This year’s GIBTM will take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) on 24-26 March 2014. The event will provide a forum for Shariah-compliant meetings destinations and facilities to meet with the 300 influential Hosted Buyers attending.

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