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Press

PR-4: May 02, 2012

Amman 2nd most popular destination among Arab travelers


While Dubai’s towering Burj Khalifa and bustling shopping malls make it the tourist capital of the region, the Jordanian city of Amman has outflanked dozens of others to become the second most popular destination among Arab travelers. This was revealed in the preliminary findings of the Arab Traveler Destination Report 2012 being published by Irhal.com, the world’s leading Islamic travel website.

Irhal.com has a collection of more than 90 city guides with information ranging from tourist attractions and bargain shopping locations to prayer timings and halal restaurants. An analysis of visitor behavior reflecting the preferences of Irhal’s 250,000 monthly visitors ranked Dubai as number 1 in popularity among both Arab and English-speaking travelers from the MENA region. While Amman was ranked second, Beirut came in as a close third, followed by Doha and Abu Dhabi - reflecting the efforts of the tourism promotion activities of Qatar and Abu Dhabi, as both these cities were not among the top 10 last year.

While regional cities remain attractive destinations for both short and long term holidays, London and Geneva came in as the number 6 and number 7 most popular destinations among Muslim travelers from the Middle East. 

London has long been the favorite European city for Arab travelers. Not only does it have a rich cultural heritage which attracts tourists, the abundance of halal restaurants and mosques in the city makes it even more appealing to the Muslim holidaymaker. Hotels in Geneva have also invested in providing culturally sensitive fare such as halal food, women’s only swimming facilities and special Ramadan meals and prayer areas and this has resulted in influencing the selection of Geneva as a holiday destination.

Other popular cities among Muslim travelers are Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Jakarta in the Far East – with Bangkok losing much of its appeal due to political disturbances and flooding during the last 12 months. Istanbul has gained importance due to the popularity of Turkish sitcoms in the Middle East and is now among the top 10 destinations on Irhal.com. Montreal and Chicago are the most visited long haul destinations.

Arab travelers are now exploring Dublin, influenced perhaps by the regional marketing efforts of Tourism Ireland. Seasonal favorites are Makkah and Madinah, which rank number 3 and number 4 during Ramadan and the Hajj season.

Beijing and Shanghai in China are likely to gain favor as recent browsing habits of Irhal visitors show a surge in traffic to these cities.

Special offers, discounted hotel stays, and package deals are popular among Irhal visitors - a reflection of the difficult economic situation in the region. But it is not price alone which attracts travelers. Football is an extremely popular sport in the region and the recent promotion by Etihad Airways, giving away tickets to the classic match between Real Madrid and Barcelona was the most-read news item on Irhal.

Irhal.com is an Arabic/English Islamic travel website which was launched in April 2010 to cater to the needs of outbound travelers from the Middle East. With over 90 city guides in Arabic, it is the largest collection of Arabic travel content on the internet. People visit irhal.com for travel ideas and for planning their next holiday. Besides city guides, the site also has information on Islamic landmarks, travel stories and special offers which help influence the travel plans of the 250,000 unique visitors who come to irhal.com every month.


Most popular cities on Irhal.com during May 2011 to April 2012
1 Dubai
2 Amman
3 Beirut
4 Doha
5 Abu Dhabi
6 London
7 Geneva
8 Singapore
9 Istanbul
10 Dublin
11 Jakarta
12 Montreal
13 Hong Kong
14 Makkah
15 Kuala Lumpur

For details contact:
Irfan Ahmad
Editor-in-Chief
Irhal.com
+97150-5522310
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


 

PR-3: June 15, 2010

Crescentrating.com and Irhal.com announce strategic alliance to boost fast growing Halal Friendly travel market

 

97857-Cr3Crescentrating.com, the world leader in providing “Halal Friendly” rating for travel & tourism services and facilities, and Irhal.com, the leading online Islamic travel portal in the Middle East, today announced a strategic alliance.

 

The agreement initially calls for the listing on irhal.com of all hotels that have been rated by Crescentrating’s Halal Friendly hotel rating, with further collaboration envisaged in the future between the  two companies.

 

With the Halal Friendly travel market emerging as one of the fastest growing segments in the travel industry, this alliance between the Singapore based Crescentrating and Dubai based Irhal will further increase the awareness of Halal Friendly travel facilities and services.

 

Crescentrating’s hotel rating, launched last year, rates hotels on a scale of 1 to 7. Apart from taking into consideration the very specific needs of the Halal conscious travellers such as prayer facilities, Halal food etc, it also takes into account family friendly facilities, environment friendliness etc. As such, according to Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of Crescentrating, it will also be a useful indicator for the travellers who are looking for family friendly hotels.

 

Irhal is the first Islamic travel portal aimed at outbound travellers from the Middle East. Latest special offers from airlines and hotels as well as comprehensive city guides with information on tourist attractions, shopping, prayer timings, mosque locations and halal restaurants in over 70 cities are featured in irhal.com. “We are the world’s most comprehensive Arabic language travel website and our audience is predominantly Muslim. They want assurance about the Halal friendliness of hotels and this collaboration with Crescentrating will Inshallah encourage more hotels to cater to the unique needs of Muslims,” said Irfan Ahmad, CEO of Irhal.com.

 

“We are extremely pleased with this partnership. Our hotel rating will give Irhal’s visitors credible and trusted information to make their travel choices,” added Fazal.

 

About Crescentrating

Crescentrating Pte Ltd. is a Singapore based company focussed on the development of Halal Friendly Travel market segment worldwide. Board of Directors and Board of Advisers come from diverse backgrounds, bringing unique skills and knowledge from Islamic banking industry, Halal Food Industry, Research and Consultancy, Islamic Scholarship and Corporate experience. All of them are well-established individuals with International and pioneering experience in their chosen fields.

 

About Crescentrating for Hotels


A Crescentrating rating of 1 to 3 indicates the Hotel is helpful towards Halal conscious guests;  4 to 5 indicates that the Hotel offers certain level of Halal Friendly services and facilities;  6 to 7 indicates the Hotels is very Halal Friendly and caters to most of the needs  of the Halal conscious travellers and provides a family friendly environment.

 

About Irhal


Irhal.com is the first Islamic travel website launched in Dubai in April 2010. Within two months its user base has crossed 120,000 unique visitors per month – and growing. Irhal.com provides travel related information in both English and Arabic and caters to the needs of outbound travellers from the Middle East. Irhal.com has filled the need for Arabic content in the travel sector. Its comprehensive city guides are helpful in selecting holiday destinations. Information on Muslims in space as well as the travel exploits of ancient Muslim travellers such as Ibn Faldan who toured Scandinavia over 1,000 years ago create an ambience that brings back users to the site. Airlines, hotels and tourism organizations can place their banner ads on the site to reach this niche audience of travellers from the Middle East.

 

For further information or discussions please contact:


Crescentrating
Fazal Bahardeen, CEO,  Phone: +65 6255 2896, E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.crescentrating.com

 

Irhal
Irfan Ahmad, CEO,  Phone:+97150 5522310, E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.Irhal.com


 

PR-2: May 3, 2010
Irhal.com: 107,000+ visitors in the first month

Over 107,000 people visited irhal.com - a website for outbound travelers from the Middle East - in its first month. 37% of users came from Saudi Arabia and 23% from the UAE. To encourage more users to repeatedly visit the site, irhal.com has started an iPad promotion. Those who register during the month of May for receiving regular updates on travel deals will get a chance to win an iPad. Within two days of starting the promotion, 450 people have registered on the site.

Local and international media have interviewed Irfan Ahmad, the CEO of irhal to discuss the innovative new travel website that aims to provide traditional travel related information as well as culturally sensitive details about prayer timings, halal restaurants and mosque locations in more than 70 cities around the world.

To promote the site further, the editorial staff of irhal.com will be visiting the Arabian Travel Market to contact airlines, hotels, travel agencies and tourism organizations to encourage them to promote their special offers through irhal to its large Arab and expat audience.

Irhal.com is based in Dubai Silicon Oasis and is managed by a small team of internet enthusiasts. True to the global and seamless world of cyberspace, irhal relies on a number of outsourced contributors based in many different countries including Thailand, Pakistan and Egypt.

For more information contact:


Naajya Ahmad
Manager
NETWORK ARABIA FZCO
704 IT Plaza Dubai Silicon Oasis
P.O. Box 500015, Dubai, UAE
Phone: 9714-3263364
Fax: 9714-3263365
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 

PR-1: April 19 2010

Irhal.com: new travel website launched

Travelers from the Middle East now have a colorful new website for planning their vacation. An Arabic-English bi-lingual destination guide – www.irhal.com - has been launched to cater to the needs of the outbound traveler. The site is filled with information about tourist attractions, restaurants, hotels and shopping tips. It also has a selection of halal restaurants and lists mosques and prayer timings for most popular destinations visited by tourists from the Middle East like Paris, London, Bangkok, Cape Town, Kuala Lumpur and around 60 other cities.

The name of the site – Irhal –  is an Arabic word which means to go away. The inspiration for this name came from a sign on a travel agency window in Harvard Square which says, “Please Go Away ... Often.”

The timing of Irhal’s launch is perfect for those planning their summer vacation. With the summer sun now raising temperatures across the Middle East, people want to escape; they are planning a break from work and life in general but don’t know where to go. Irhal.com can help channel those wanderlust desires to specific destinations.

Irhal.com is not just your average travel website. It is not limited to tourist attractions and hotels but goes beyond to give you vital advice that you may need during your stay such as emergency numbers, driving tips, tour guides and a section on what to do if you have children in tow – all with different options that are in line with every budget.

There is even a section for the latest package deals by airlines, travel agents and hotels. If there is a 2 days 50% sale on Jazeera Airways tickets, Irhal.com will let you be the first to know. If there’s a new hotel opening that is offering special discounts, Irhal.com will let you know first. The hotel booking engine of Irhal.com allows you to book any hotel in the world at the lowest internet rates available. A separate hostel booking page is ideal for the backpacking student who needs a $10 a night bed space to crash out in.

Travel articles on exotic destinations such as Longyearbyen near the North Pole and Bali are also there to give visitors ideas for their vacations.

Irhal.com is based in Dubai Silicon Oasis and is managed by a small team of internet enthusiasts. True to the global and seamless world of cyberspace, irhal relies on a number of outsourced contributors based in many different countries including Thailand, Pakistan and Egypt.

For more information contact:

Naajya Ahmad
Manager
NETWORK ARABIA FZCO
704 IT Plaza Dubai Silicon Oasis
P.O. Box 500015, Dubai, UAE
Phone: 9714-3263364
Fax: 9714-3263365
Email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About Irhal

Irhal.com is the first Islamic travel website launched in Dubai in April 2010. Within two months its user base has crossed 120,000 unique visitors per month – and growing. Irhal.com provides travel related information in both English and Arabic and caters to the needs of outbound travellers from the Middle East. Irhal.com has filled the need for Arabic content in the travel sector. Its comprehensive city guides are helpful in selecting holiday destinations. Information on Muslims in space as well as the travel exploits of ancient Muslim travellers such as Ibn Faldan who toured Scandinavia over 1,000 years ago create an ambience that brings back users to the site. Airlines, hotels and tourism organizations can place their banner ads on the site to reach this niche audience of travellers from the Middle East.

 

For further information or discussions please contact:

Crescentrating
Fazal Bahardeen, CEO,  Tel.: +65 6255 2896, E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.crescentrating.com

Irhal
Irfan Ahmad, CEO,  Tel:+97150 5522310, E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.Irhal.com