MARBELLA’s Hotel Alanda has received recognition for its efforts to cater for Arab guests by becoming Spain’s first ever certified ‘Halal-friendly’ hotel.
By offering services and products which fall in line with the Quran’s halal guidelines, Hotel Alanda has cemented Marbella’s position as a market leader in appealing to the Middle Eastern tourists.
Easy access to halal products is often top of a practising Muslim’s list of priorities when choosing a holiday destination and up until now, Spain – with its love of all things jamón ibérico – has not always been an easy place to find a wide variety of food and drink for those with strict dietary requirements.
Recently, however, ‘Halal Tourism’ has become a profitable business model for many hoteliers to follow in Spain, and with the country’s first ever ‘International Halal Tourism’ congress held in Granada earlier this month, Hotel Alanda’s ‘halal certified’ status has put Marbella firmly on the Muslim tourist’s map.
The hotel was bought a year ago by the Saudi corporation Fawaz al Hokair, and located right on the Golden Mile, just 60 metres from the King Fahd Mosque. It is an ideal focal point for Islamic tourism.
The hotel’s director Fernando Portal maintains that the hotel remains patronised predominately by British and Spanish clients, despite the fact that alcohol and pork are no longer served in any of its restaurants.
The ‘Halal friendly’ hotel is, without any doubt, a novel concept on the Costa del Sol, but with Islamic tourism injecting an estimated €300 million into Andalucia every year, it could certainly prove to be a lucrative business model.