Here's a roundup of key developments across the Islamic lifestyle ecosystem during the month of October
Editor's note: Let's be honest. Did we ever imagine seeing words 'Islam'and 'artifical intelligence' in one sentence? That is the beauty of frontier technologies - making the seemingly impossible, routinely possible. Oxford University is set to host an event to educate pupil about AI and the potential insights Islam could offer.
Meanwhile, cross-border alliances continue to flourish, with Saudi partnering with Vietnam to boost tourism and Indonesia targeting key East Asian markets for modest fashion.
The famed IHG Hotels & Resorts also entered the lucrative Saudi market to expand its presence in the kingdom.
Umrahme announces launch of fully digitalized umrah booking platform
Traveazy Group announces the launch of Umrahme's digitalized B2C booking platform with a $7 million investment from Certares and Global Ventures.
Previously a prominent player in the Umrah B2B market, Umrahme now expands into the B2C sector to offer convenience to pilgrims in the Middle East. (Zawya)
IHG Hotels & Resorts establishes Saudi headquarters
IHG Hotels & Resorts has established its headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, signaling a significant boost to the country's hospitality sector.
The company aims to expand its presence in the kingdom, with 50% of its development in the Middle East region focused on the country. (Arab News)
“imo” introduces Umrah guide feature for Muslims
Imo, an instant messaging platform, has integrated an Umrah guide feature into its app, aiming to simplify the Umrah process for Muslims worldwide.
This addition includes sub-features such as Umrah tips, location-based services, communication options for pilgrims, and more, geared towards assisting and providing information to pilgrims. (PR Newswire)
Saudi Hajj and Umrah Minister kicks off official visit to Morocco, Tunisia
Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, has embarked on an official visit to Morocco and Tunisia.
During his visit, Dr. Al-Rabiah will engage in discussions with officials and relevant authorities from both countries to explore means of streamlining arrival procedures for Moroccan and Tunisian pilgrims and visitors to Saudi Arabia. (English Aaswat)
Partnerships strengthen Asia Islamic Tourism collaboration
The Malaysian Tourism Agencies Association, the main organizer of the Asia Islamic Tourism Expo 2023, has signed two significant memorandums of understanding.
These agreements were inked between Dr. Mohd Khalid Harun, President of MATA, and H Firman M Nur, President of the Muslim Association of Hajj, as well as with the Umrah Organizers of the Republic of Indonesia. (Travel and Tour World)
Vietnam / Saudi Arabia
Vietnam, Saudi Arabia sign action program to boost tourism
The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Vietnam and Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Tourism have signed an action program to enhance tourism cooperation between the two countries.
The initiative, agreed upon during Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's visit to Saudi Arabia, includes measures to increase information exchange, share statistics on the halal market, develop tourism human resources, promote events, and explore tourism investment opportunities in both countries. (Vietnam Plus)
Indonesia targets Japan, South Korea as modest fashion markets
Indonesia is aiming to tap into modest fashion markets of Japan and South Korea, according to deputy trade minister Jerry Sambuaga.
He emphasized that countries with small Muslim populations are showing a keen interest in modest fashion, and promoting it effectively will be crucial. (Antara News)
Saudi Arabia launches company to develop Abha Valley project
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated Ardara, a company responsible for developing the Al Wadi project within the Abha Valley in the Asir region.
Covering an expansive area of 2.5 million square meters, the project will prioritize sustainability standards to enhance quality of life. This initiative is aligned with Saudi Arabia's National Tourism Strategy, aimed at establishing the kingdom as a global tourism hub by 2030. (Arab News)
UAE announces registration details for Hajj 2024
The UAE has announced registration dates for the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage. The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments has set a registration window from December 5 to 21.
The annual pilgrimage falls during Dhu Al Hijja, the final month of the Islamic calendar, with the 2024 Hajj expected to commence in mid-June. (The National News)
Oxford Muslim network hosts AI event
Oxford University is set to host an event that aims to educate students about artificial intelligence (AI) and delve into challenging questions in AI research.
Organized by the Muslims Researchers' Network and co-hosted by the Oxford University Islamic Society, the event will feature speakers from Google Deepmind, Imperial College London, and X-Chem. The event will explore how AI research is shaping the world and what insights Islam can offer in this field. (About Islam)