PUTRAJAYA, 1 JUNE 2021: In the past few years, The Pearl Kuala Lumpur embarked on an aggressive rebranding campaign to enhance its public image and service delivery to celebrate more than two decades of great hospitality. Part of the rebranding process was to focus on the emerging Muslim tourist market, which is why The Pearl Kuala Lumpur pursued — and was awarded — the Gold award of the Muslim-Friendly Accommodation Recognition (MFAR) programme from Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC).
The MFAR programme initiated by ITC, an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, is just one of the ways that it is helping to strengthen growth of tourism industry players and develop the Muslim-friendly tourism and hospitality space in Malaysia.
Dato’ Dr. Mohmed Razip Hasan, Director General of ITC says: “With the growth in Muslim-friendly travel as well as global Muslim spend on travel hitting USD194 billion pre-pandemic, we believe that this is the market area that will help to boost the tourism industry recovery once borders re-open for travel. The Pearl Kuala Lumpur has shown great interest in capturing the Muslim tourist market, and we believe their strategic decision will enhance their hospitality growth.”
Nora Ismail, Marketing and Communications Manager, concurs: “Applying for the Muslim-Friendly Accommodation Recognition certification was an important trademark for The Pearl Kuala Lumpur so that we are known as a Muslim-friendly hotel that provides a wide range of facilities and amenities to help our Muslim customers in meeting their specific faith-based needs. Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world, and we are confident that Muslim tourists will become a key customer base of hotels, which is the reason for us to provide hospitality services and facilities that are current and relevant to them.”
She adds: “As an industry in the tourism and hospitality business, we need to seize the opportunities and must be prepared to offer our Muslim clientele assurance and Islamic values in our services. It is advisable to implement Muslim-Friendly Accommodation Recognition as it would facilitate hotel owners and operators to generate potential income from interstate and overseas Muslim travelers beyond Covid-19.”
Pivoting to the Muslim tourist market wasn’t a particularly big challenge for The Pearl Kuala Lumpur as it had been implementing the concept of Muslim-friendly hospitality and services for several years now. “The Pearl Kuala Lumpur was already identified as Best Muslim-Friendly Hotel by Asia Halal Awards for two years in a row. Therefore, the transformation we went through now was only to further enhance what we were already providing to our guests. Furthermore, the process of applying for the Muslim-Friendly Accommodation Recognition with Islamic Tourism Centre was clear, simple, and smooth,” Ms. Nora adds.
Catering to guests’ needs for a clean and safe environment, particularly to address concerns arising from the pandemic, The Pearl Kuala Lumpur also became the first one in Malaysia to be certified “Clean & Safe” by the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH).
Its kitchen is certified Halal by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia — JAKIM), and this will cater to the soon-to-open Halal restaurant by the end of the year. The hotel also provides complete prayer facilities including a musolla in its public space while the hotel rooms have qibla direction and washrooms equipped with bidet. Prayer attire, prayer mat, and Qurans are also available upon request from the hotel.
The Pearl Kuala Lumpur’s rebranding efforts also included refreshing its facade and landscaping, refurbishing the Phoenix Ballroom and 14 functions rooms, and upgrading the look and feel of its 480 guest rooms, particularly the premier and suite rooms.
However, The Pearl Kuala Lumpur will not stop there. The hotel has plans to expand its Muslim-friendly hospitality by hiring a certified Halal Executive to ensure compliance towards Malaysia’s halal standards, employ 90% Muslim staff in operations and management, schedule special time slots for Muslim women to use the gym and swimming pool, maintain their halal certification, and train up staff on Muslim-friendly hospitality, the latter being an area of ITC’s special focus.
Ms. Nora says the Muslim-friendly branding of the hotel has opened up more marketing opportunities for the hotel and they’ve received good feedback and the trust of their clientele. Her marketing team has used the MFAR logo and branding across its point-of-sale materials (online and on the ground) for room and food promotions, in its LED boards in the hotel and facade, on the hotel’s website and social media pages, buntings, and trade show posters.
With its key location between Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya, the 4-star hotel is easily accessible via highways as well as major airports. Nearby attractions include KLCC Suria, Petronas Twin Tower, Mid Valley Megamall, Axiata Arena and National Sports Complex (Bukit Jalil), Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Pearl Shopping Gallery and Pearl Point Shopping Mall.
The Pearl Kuala Lumpur
Muslim-Friendly Accommodation Recognition – Gold
Certified On: 4 September 2020
The Pearl Kuala Lumpur | Facebook
About Islamic Tourism Centre’s (ITC) Muslim-Friendly Accommodation Recognition (MFAR) initiative
Hotels with the Muslim-friendly Accommodation Recognition (MFAR) certificate provided by Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) are hotels that have made it a point to ease the doubts of Muslim tourists. That means Muslim tourists can be sure that their halal kitchens and dining facilities have been certified by Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia / Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM). What’s more, these hotels ensure the availability of Muslim prayer facilities so Muslim guests may perform their religious duties with ease and comfort. Best of all, you never have to worry because these hotels have been registered by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture under the Tourism Industry Act 1992 (Act 482).
However, just because they’re labelled “Muslim-friendly” doesn’t mean that they’re only for Muslim visitors. Guests from all walks of life and religious beliefs are welcomed to stay at these hotels. The services and facilities of the hotels are extended to one and all so you get to enjoy the best stay possible regardless of your race or religion.
To learn more about the Muslim-friendly Accommodation Recognition issued by Islamic Tourism Centre, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org