OYO to Introduce 200 Syariah Hotels in Malaysia by 2028

The global hospitality technology company OYO has revealed plans to incorporate 200 Syariah-compliant hotels in Malaysia within the next four years. As part of this endeavor, OYO intends to inaugurate an additional 50 such hotels nationwide in 2024. The inauguration of its initial Syariah hotel in Sepang marks the commencement of this initiative, with a significant number of these hotels slated for establishment in cities like Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, and Perlis.

This initiative aligns with the Malaysian government’s Muslim Friendly Hospitality Assurance (MFAR) program, spearheaded by the Islamic Tourism Center. The overarching goal of this program is to position Malaysia as a pivotal ‘Umrah Hub’ within the region. By offering culturally sensitive and hospitable accommodation options, OYO aims to cater to the needs of Muslim travelers, thereby bolstering Islamic tourism in Malaysia. Adhering to Islamic principles, OYO’s Syariah-compliant hotels will ensure facilities and services that comply with Syariah law, including separate prayer spaces for men and women within the premises, along with provisions such as Qibla direction and prayer mats in guest rooms.

The Malaysian government has been actively endorsing Islamic tourism as part of its broader strategy to enhance tourism activities within the country. Efforts include the promotion of Islamic attractions and heritage sites such as The Blue Mosque in Shah Alam, the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) in Kuala Lumpur, and the Islamic Museum and Kapitan Keling Mosque in Penang, catering to the rising influx of Muslim tourists. With the relaxation of visa policies for tourists from India and China, Malaysia anticipates welcoming over 1.5 million Muslim tourists in 2024.

Akshay Rathod, the Country Head of OYO Malaysia, expressed enthusiasm about this initiative, stating, “Syariah hotels reaffirm our commitment to collaborate with the government in its key tourism promotion endeavors in Malaysia.” Rathod highlighted OYO’s close collaboration with hotel partners to integrate and uphold Syariah principles in designated properties. Drawing from its experience in implementing a similar program in Indonesia, OYO aims to refine its offerings in Malaysia, leveraging valuable insights gained from past ventures.

The Muslim-friendly travel sector underscores the significance of initiatives like OYO’s endeavor, with the World Islamic Economy Situation Report 2019 estimating its value at US$189 billion in 2018, projected to reach US$274 billion by 2024. Malaysia’s commendable track record in catering to Muslim travelers was underscored in 2023 when it secured the top position in the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) for the eighth consecutive year.