The online booking portal will also specialise in customised Umrah travel
An online travel agency dedicated to halal content has launched in Dubai and is currently in the process of a Series A round of investment with crowdfunding platform Eureeca based in the Gulf city.
Rihaala.com, which was created by the team behind UK-based platforms Serendipity Tailormade and Luxury Halal Travel, helps Muslim travellers customise all aspects of their halal-friendly trips, including flights, hotels, excursions and transfers.
Rihaala, which means ‘journey’ in Arabic, targets Muslim millennials who “want the freedom to curate their own journey and to be inspired by a content-rich experience.”
The website offers more than 1,500 properties in over 40 destinations around the world.
“Rihaala meets the demands and expectations of modern Muslim consumers who not only want to create their own travel packages online, but to be inspired by like-minded travellers through rich visual content on social feeds that paints a true picture of a destination,” said Nabeel Shariff, the founder of Rihaala.com, Serendipity Tailormade and Luxury Halal Travel.
“In today’s digital age, consumers’ travel purchasing decisions are often strongly influenced by dynamic videos and photos on social channels in real-time, rather than glossy destination images of the past. Visitors to Rihaala.com are guided by the visual experiences of other Muslim travellers posted on its ‘Wall of Inspiration’, providing them with true-to-life content to experience for themselves,” he added.
Rihaala also provides halal dining options, privacy enhancements, alcohol-free environments, prayer facilities, family-friendly experiences, as well as a lifestyle-led blogs to help Muslim travellers select products and services that meet their faith-based requirements.
The platform has been launched in English, though an Arabic-language version will follow soon, Shariff said.
He said a travel agent portal will also be available to partners, allowing them to create halal-friendly travel packages.
In the UK, the company will provide a ‘Do-it-yourself Umrah’ feature that enables travellers to book their flights, accommodation and visa application online.
“As travel technology has moved on, so have pilgrims, and we’re listening to consumers and how they want to book and experience travel in the future,” Shariff said.