Islamic Lifestyle

Islamic lifestyle wrap: Saudi begins issuing visas for Hajj 2024

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

Editor's note: Another Hajj season is round the corner, as evident from news that Saudi has begun issuing visas for the annual pilgrimage. To facilitate the pilgrims, it has also introduced an initiative by offering tailored packages via approved service providers. The UAE has also urged pilgrims to get necessary vaccinations ahead of the religious journey. 

Meanwhile, a British e-tailer has unveiled a modest fashion campaign in the holy month of Ramadan, which will be available until the end of April. 

Company News

Saudi Arabia

Almosafer named official flight partner for the Direct Hajj Initiative

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in Saudi Arabia has introduced the Direct Hajj Initiative through its official "Nusuk Hajj" platform to enhance services for pilgrims.


This initiative aims to elevate the pilgrimage experience by offering tailored packages via approved service providers, such as Almosafer.


This move underscores the government's commitment to enriching the journey for pilgrims visiting the holy cities of Saudi Arabia. (Zawya)


United Kingdom

British e-tailer unveils modest fashion for Ramadan by global designers

Farfetch launches a Ramadan modest-wear fashion campaign featuring designs from 30 regional and international designers, available until April end.


The collections encompass ready-to-wear apparel, fine jewellery, footwear, and homeware.


Participating brands include Bambah, Baruni, and Dina Melwani from Dubai, as well as international labels like Brunello Cucinelli, Chopard, and Missoni, reflecting a diverse array of styles and influences. (Arab News)


United Kingdom

Sweaty Betty launches new sports hijab for International Women's Day

Sweaty Betty introduces its highly anticipated Power Pro range and upgraded Gaia yoga collection, earning praise from the Women's Health team.


The launch has been a joint effort between the UK sports brand and the Sweaty Betty Foundation. All profits from the sales of the sports hijab will be donated to the foundation.  (Women’s Health)



Trade Developments


Tourism department urges Region 8 hotels, restos to seek Muslim-friendly tag

The Department of Tourism (DOT) urges hotels and restaurants in Eastern Visayas to pursue Muslim-friendly status to attract Muslim travellers.


DOT Undersecretary Myra Paz Valderrosa-Abubakar highlights the importance of catering to the needs of Muslim tourists, citing a growing number of foreign Muslim visitors to the country. (PNA)



Ministry, religious body agree to cooperate in halal tourism and creative economy

The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy partnered with the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) to advance halal tourism and the halal creative economy.


Minister Sandiaga Uno emphasized the significance of this collaboration, aiming to seek guidance from MUI as the sectors experience rapid growth.


Both entities will engage in joint initiatives like capacity-building and information exchange to foster halal tourism activities. (Antara News)


Malaysia / Indonesia

Malaysia Tourism Agency Association partners with Indonesia Halal Lifestyle Center for event

The Malaysia Tourism Agency Association and the Indonesia Halal Lifestyle Center are jointly organizing the International Minang Food & Fashion Festival 2024.


Aligned with the Asia Islamic Tourism & Trade Expo, it underscores the robust economic partnership between Malaysia and Indonesia in the halal industry sector. (Travel and Tour World)



Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia starts issuing visas for Hajj 2024

Saudi Arabia has commenced issuing Hajj visas to Muslim pilgrims globally for the upcoming annual Hajj season, with issuance running until April 29.


The Hajj season for this year is scheduled from June 14 to 19.


Saudi authorities have licensed 1,860 buildings in Mecca to accommodate pilgrims, anticipating housing approximately 1.2 million individuals. (Visa Guide)



Sports alliance calls for end to hijab ban in French basketball

The Sport and Rights Alliance has called on France's basketball authorities to reverse the ban on the hijab, advocating for equal access to women.


Over 80 athletes, including US Women’s NBA star Breanna Stewart and Olympic medal-winning fencer Ibitihaj Muhammad, signed a letter released on International Women’s Day, stating that restrictions on religious headwear in France do not align with international standards. (Arab News)



UAE implements new rules for Umrah and Hajj pilgrims

In the United Arab Emirates, influenza vaccination is now mandatory for Umrah and Hajj pilgrims, effective March 26, 2024.


The Ministry of Health and Prevention has emphasized adherence to vaccination protocols and health precautions.


Pilgrims must provide proof of influenza vaccination before embarking on their journey, with the ministry urging pilgrims to visit health centers to receive necessary vaccinations. (Connexionblog)


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