Islamic Lifestyle

Aug news wrap: Spain unveils travel guide; Saudi rolls out visa waiver for British nationals; & others

Here's a roundup of key developments across the Islamic lifestyle ecosystem during the month of August

Editor's note: Saudi Arabia once again, dominates this month's Islamic lifestyle news wrap, with the kingdom looking to uplift the experience of pilgrims visiting the Two Holy Mosques, rolling out a visa waiver for British nationals, and as well as beckoning applicants to work in its cities of Mecca and Medina. 

In the European neck of the woods, Spain has rolled out its new tourist travel guide, rostering halal-friendly spots in its southern region. Much to look forward to. 

Company News

Singapore's Qalbox to offer Muslim-focused content in Malaysia
Singapore-based entertainment streaming service, Qalbox by Muslim Pro, has teamed up with Malaysia's pay-TV giant, Astro, to exclusively offer Muslim-centric content in Malaysia.

As part of Muslim Pro's ambition to be the digital hub for Muslim-oriented content, this partnership heralds a significant shift in Malaysia's entertainment sector

Moreover, Qalbox will be accessible as an add-on for all Astro Ultra and Ulti Box users, further broadening content choices for the Muslim audience(Technode Global)

South Africa
TMACC and Halaal Hopper driving inclusive tourism for a thriving economy
Recognising its pivotal role in local tourism, TMACC has launched a development programme to bolster the tourism industry, aiming for regional economic upliftment.

Cape Town's Halaal Hopper, a venture by tourism veteran Fayrouz Holliday-October, stands as a testament to this initiative. Despite her 27 years in the industry, Holliday-October's firm is just five years old, reflecting her enduring passion for promoting South Africa's allure to visitors worldwide. (IOL)

Trade Developments

DTI, BARMM sign agreement on tourism promotion in Lanao Sur
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has partnered with the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to further promote Lanao del Sur's halal industry and tourism.

The 26 million peso initiative, signed on August 10, is geared towards the rehabilitation of Marawi City. (Minda News)

Spain unveils new tourism travel guide for Muslim travellers
Catering to the needs of Muslim tourists, Spain has unveiled 'Andalusia for Muslim Travelers' - a comprehensive guide highlighting halal-friendly spots in its southern region.

The guide, spotlighting the area's deep Islamic history, covers accommodation, dining, and must-visit locations. The initiative aims to increase awareness in Southeast Asia, where the region's halal offerings remain relatively unknown.(TTG Asia)

Saudi Arabia / Pakistan
Saudi official embarks on Pakistan, Bangladesh visit
Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Hajj and Umrah, is on an official visit to Pakistan and Bangladesh, seeking to improve Umrah systems and enhance the experience for pilgrims visiting the Two Holy Mosques.

The visit aims to streamline procedures for South Asian pilgrims and aligns with the kingdom’s Vision 2030 objectives. This initiative underscores Saudi Arabia's commitment to serving Muslims globally(Middle East Monitor)

Operational Developments

Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia announces job vacancies for Hajj and Umrah services
The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah is offering contractual employment opportunities in Mecca and Medina, spanning roles across cyber security, IT, engineering, and research.

Applications are to be submitted via the Jadarat portal. The wide array of roles and the significance of the sacred cities are likely to attract numerous domestic and international applicants. (Samaa English)


Saudi Arabia / UK
British nationals can now perform Umrah without a visa
Saudi Arabia has rolled out an electronic visa waiver (EVW) for British nationals, eliminating the need for advance visit visas.

Now, UK citizens can stay for up to six months on a single entry, with the liberty to visit for business, tourism, study, or treatment.

The waiver also permits visits to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina for Umrah(British Muslim Magazine)


Read more: OIC news wrap for August: Bahrain signs deal for largest solar power project; Pakistan eyes $5bn trade with Iran; & others


Saudi Arabia
United Kingdom
Great Mosque of Mecca
Masjid Al-Haram
South Africa