By: Mobin Mathew Blesson
Source: Times of Oman
Thailand’s first halal hotel welcomed more than 100 Omani tourists during its first six months of operation, according to the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Al Meroz Hotel.
“We have catered to more than 100 visitors from Oman and most of them are happy with the facilities available in our hotel,” CEO Rausak Mulsap said.
The Al Meroz Hotel was opened at the beginning of 2016.
“Omani tourists, who visited here, share their living experience in our hotel with their friends back in Oman, who are planning to visit Thailand and many have booked their rooms because of this word of mouth publicity,” he added.
They are expecting more Omani tourists at their hotel in the near future as Thailand is considered one of the major destinations for Omani tourists, he added.
Non-Muslim tourists are also welcome at the hotel, he asserted.
Most of the tourists visit Thailand for healthcare and leisure, according to Mulsap. “Our hotel provides all convenient things to our customers, such as a bus service to go to downtown Bangkok,” he said.
Hotel accommodations, dining and leisure facilities have been specially created to ensure the comfort and well-being of the Muslim and non-Muslim guests.
“All meals in our restaurants are halal certified and the hotel is non-alcoholic,” Mulsap said.
The property features 242 rooms and suites, three restaurants, a large outdoor swimming pool, gymnasium and meeting rooms.
Speaking about the reason to open such a hotel in Thailand, he said “There isn’t any halal-friendly hotel to cater to Muslim travellers in Thailand, so we do not want to miss out on a huge opportunity in the halal tourism market.”
The hotel has been certified by the Dubai-based Gulf Halal organisation, ensuring that halal standards are maintained.
“We are targeting high-end Muslim markets and non-Muslim markets in Asia, Middle East and Europe,” Mulsap said.
The 100 per cent halal hotel concept at Al Meroz means more than offering food and gaining a halal certification; it also provides a Muslim-friendly environment, catering to the community’s religious needs, safety, trustworthiness and hygiene, he added.
“We hope this new concept will attract tourists, who looking for new experiences in their vacation too,” Mulsap stated. The hotel is located with an easy access to the Suvarnabhumi Airport and downtown Bangkok. A choice of luxurious rooms and suites are offered, with one floor reserved exclusively for female guests.
“All rooms are facing in the direction of Mecca, and contain a prayer mat and a copy of Al Quran,” he said.
The staff members are respectful and trained, and are attired in the Muslim tradition, while retaining the warmth and hospitality for which Thailand is renowned.
Most of the Arab tourists are from the United Arab Emirates, but Muslim tourists from countries, such as Malaysia and Indonesia, are also regulars.