OYO to add 200 Syariah-compliant hotels in Malaysia by 2028 to boost Muslim-friendly tourism

OYO plans to add more Syariah-compliant hotels in Malaysia, in line with the government’s Muslim-Friendly Hospitality Assurance (MFAR) programme.

The Global hospitality technology company will have 50 such hotels nationwide this year, and aims to have 200 Muslim-friendly hotels by 2028.

OYO recently launched its first Syariah hotel in Sepang to kick-start the programme. Most of these hotels will be in states such as Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, and Perlis.

The MFAR programme, initiated by the Islamic Tourism Centre, is working towards establishing Malaysia as a regional ‘Umrah Hub’. It aims to provide welcoming, and culturally-sensitive accommodation options for Muslim travellers, contributing to the growth of Islamic tourism in Malaysia.

OYO’s Syariah-compliant hotels will adhere to Islamic principles, ensuring that facilities and services comply with religious laws within the premises.

Akshay Rathod, OYO Malaysia country head, said the Syariah hotels reaffirm the company’s commitment to partner with the government in its key tourism promotion initiatives, here.

“OYO is collaborating closely with hotel partners to implement and uphold Syariah principles in designated properties. We have already launched a similar programme in Indonesia and will leverage those valuable insights to enhance and refine our offerings in Malaysia,” Akshay added.

The Malaysian government has been actively promoting Islamic tourism as part of its broader strategy to boost tourism. It is promoting Islamic attractions and heritage sites, such as Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah in Shah Alam, the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, and the Kapitan Keling Mosque in Penang.

Malaysia is expecting more than 1.5 million Muslim tourists in 2024 after easing visa policies for tourists from India and China. The country is also preparing for Visit Malaysia Year 2026.

According to the World Islamic Economy Situation Report 2019, the value of Muslim-friendly travel was estimated at US$189 billion in 2018 and is estimated to reach US$274 billion by 2024.

Malaysia’s premier position in catering to Muslim travellers was affirmed once again in 2023 when it secured the top spot in the Global Muslim Travel Index for the eighth consecutive year.