Islamic Lifestyle

Islamic lifestyle wrap: Iranians head to Saudi for first Umrah in nine years

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

Editor's note: In the run-up to the annual Hajj pilgrimage, countries are stepping up to ensure a smooth journey for their residents. Nigeria's hajj commission has inked agreements with local carriers to facilitate travel, Pakistan has commenced Hajj training, while Indonesia is securing banknotes to offer allowance to this year's pilgrims. 

Meanwhile, a group of Iranian nationals made their way to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah after a nine-year hiatus, following an agreement between the two countries. Iran is also keen to step up cultural and tourism collaboration with neighbour Oman. 



Company News

Sri Lanka

Kirsche Capital unveils modest collection

Colombo's fashion landscape welcomes Kirsche Capital, a valuable addition introducing its latest collection, blending affordability, trendiness, and modesty in contemporary fashion.


Kirsche Capital is the brainchild of CEO and co-founder Dr. Sarah Fazy, a fashion enthusiast committed to merging fashion with pioneering designs. (Newswire)


United Kingdom

Bradford Bulls become first UK rugby club to sign up as Muslim Friendly Employers

Bradford Bulls has become the first rugby league in the UK to sign up as Muslim Friendly Employers.


In a statement on April 3, the club affirmed its commitment to fostering an environment of inclusivity, where everyone feels valued and respected.


Humayun Islam BEM BCAc, CEO of Muslim Friendly Employers, praised the Bulls' initiative, emphasizing genuine inclusion over mere tolerance. (Telegraph & Argus)



Qalbox to enrich Islamic learning for children

Qalbox, an initiative by the creators of Muslim Pro, has collaborated with NoorKids and Durioo+ to enrich educational resources for Muslim children globally.


This partnership integrates education and entertainment, catering to the unique needs of young Muslim audiences.


NoorKids, recognized for its captivating Islamic educational content, and Durioo+, acclaimed for its Islamic cartoons and animations, have joined Qalbox to enhance the quality and availability of Islamic educational materials. (Global Newswire)



Trade Developments


Hajj 2024: NAHCON signs contract with air carriers

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has inked agreements with Nigerian carriers Max Air and Air Peace to transport Hajj pilgrims to and from Saudi Arabia this year.


NAHCON chairman, Malama Jalal Arabi urged the airlines to deliver excellent services to Nigerian Muslim pilgrims. (Leadership)



Russia seeks to attract medical tourists from Islamic nations

The 15th International Economic Summit, themed "Russia-Islamic World: Kazan Forum," is set to commence on May 25 in Kazan, with a significant focus on health tourism.


Russia aims to attract tourists from Islamic nations for medical purposes, marking a strategic move. Halal medical tourism, previously launched in Russia, is now under development. (Nour News)


Oman / Iran

Tehran, Muscat to step up cultural, tourism collaboration

Iran’s minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts met with Oman’s Minister of Social Development, emphasizing the need to enhance tourism and cultural ties between the nations.


Ezzatollah Zarghami highlighted the importance of strengthening bilateral relations, especially in tourism, given the shared maritime boundary, which offers opportunities for social cohesion. (Tehran Times)




Saudi Arabia / Iran

Iranians head to Saudi for first Umrah pilgrimage in nine years

Iranian pilgrims embarked on their first Umrah pilgrimage in nine years, traveling from Iran to Saudi Arabia through Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport.


The journey follows a recent agreement between Tehran and Riyadh to restore diplomatic ties brokered by China.


While Iranians were permitted to participate in the Hajj pilgrimage last year, Umrah had been inaccessible until now. (Al Arabiya News)





Pakistan launches second phase of Hajj training nationwide

The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony in Pakistan has initiated the second phase of Hajj trainings nationwide in preparation for the annual pilgrimage, scheduled for June this year.


Saudi Arabia reinstated Pakistan's pre-pandemic Hajj quota of 179,210 pilgrims last year, lifting the age limit of 65 years. (Arab News)





Govt procures $41m banknotes for Hajj pilgrims' allowance

The Indonesian Hajj Fund Management Agency (BPKH) has allocated more than 159 million Saudi riyals (US$40.96 million) in Saudi riyal banknotes to support the living expenses of more than 200,000 Hajj pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia this year.


Each pilgrim under the regular program will receive 750 riyals ($199) in cash at their final embarkation or transit point before departure.


BPKH official Sulistyowati expressed hope that this support would enhance the comfort and safety of the pilgrims' Hajj journey. (Antara News)


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