The South African tourism industry is catering to Muslim travellers’ needs. Picture: Pexels.

Halaal tourism is slowly picking up in South Africa. More travellers are choosing Halaal-friendly options than ever before. According to the MasterCardCrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015, the Muslim travel market is recognised as a prominent growing sector and will be worth around $200billion (nearly R3trillion) by 2020. 

A recent study revealed that in 2015 the estimated total Muslim visitor arrivals were 117 million – close to 10% of the entire travel economy. South Africa is also one of the five most popular Organisation of Islamic Co-operation destinations in the global Muslim travel market. Tapping into the market, Cape Town Tourism developed a programme to incorporate Muslim travellers’ needs at various establishments and attractions in the city. 

The chief executive of Cape Town Tourism, Enver Duminy, said the programme was now in its second year. They are working with GMTI, which assists destinations in providing relevant experiences to the Muslim travel market. “The sheer size of the growing Muslim travel market makes it common sense to ensure that we’re ready to welcome visitors from this market. Whether those visitors come from the Middle East, North Africa, Asia or even from our traditional source markets such as Germany or the UK, we must provide top-notch travel experiences to the Muslim market,” he said.

 Ameer Dien of Halal Tourism South Africa said Muslim travellers were different: some did not mind alcohol being served at certain establishments while others preferred an all-inclusive halaal experience. “South Africa has much to offer Muslim travellers, from awardwinning accommodation to eateries and tourist attractions. It feels great to see the country catering for these kinds of travellers,” he said. 

Dien said travellers who opted for halaal tourism wanted immersive experiences. They wanted to experience everything a particular destination had to offer – from its key tourist attractions to its beaches, its cuisine and its hidden gems. “Cape Town, for instance, has many scenic routes, adventure activities and delicious food. “Travellers who book with us normally request to see everything the city has to offer, while others opt for religious and cultural tours,” said Dien. Halal Tourism of South Africa shares some halaal-friendly places to visit in these three major cities. 


Halal Tourism South Africa shares some halaal friendly places to visit in these three major cities:


Johannesburg


Where to stay:


Palm Continental Hotel: This four-star hotel is close to the OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton City. Located at  9 Church St, Mayfair, Johannesburg. Call 087 805 7256.

Alcazaba Lodge: The 4-star lodge is located in the historical town of Fordsburg with Newtown, Braamfontein and Mayfair within walking distance. Located at 208 Albertina Sisulu Road, Fordsburg. Call 011 492 1756.

Where to eat:

Pizza del Forno: Located at 4, Glenanda Village Shopping Centre, Glen Ave & Vorster Avenue. Call 011 432 6119.     

Durban:

Where to stay:

St James on Venice: This boutique hotel has 15 modern rooms with an onsite restaurant. Located at 100 Venice Road in Morningside. Call 031 312 9488

Al Hamra Boutique Hotel: The three-star-hotel has 16 rooms, perfect for travellers who want some privacy. Located at 143 Villa Road, Brickfield, Durban. Call 031 811 6737


Where to eat:


Casablanca: Located at 411/413 Lilian Ngoyi Road, Morningside. Call 031 312 4647.


Canvas Grill. Located at Shop R21 Park square parkway, Umhlanga. Call 031 201 3096


The Fig & Koi: Located at 100 Venice Road, Morningside. Call 031 312 9488.

Cape Town:


Where to stay


The Capetonian: The Capetonian hotel is a four-star hotel with an onsite restaurant and club room. Their gym is under renovation. Located at Pier Place, Heerengracht Street in Foreshore. Call 021 405 5670

District Six Guesthouse: The three-star guesthouse is close to shopping centres, restaurant and a 5-minute drive to the V&A Waterfront. Located at 2 Chester Rd, Walmer Estate, Cape Town. Call 021 447 0902.

Where to eat

Bo-Kaap Kombuis: Located at 7 August St, Schotsche Kloof, Cape Town. Call 021 422 5446.


Syriana Restaurant: Located at  307 Mount Curtis, main road, Sea Point. Call 021 434 1020.


126 Cape Kitchen & Cafe: Located at Buitengracht Street, Cape Town City Centre. Call  021 481 3700.