Posted July 31, 2012 by The Blaze
The company, Cairo-based Shouq Travel, actually calls the vacations “halal,” meaning they are acceptable by Islamic law, but the entire concept has been dubbed “sharia tourism” by a number of sites.
The company’s website advertises: “Shouq Travel [provides destinations] to all Muslim families are committed to ‘Sharia,’ and includes hotels [that] do not provide alcohol, [and] all swimming pools, and health facilities [separate] men and women…”
According to Al-Arabiya, female visitors are required to wear modest clothes during their stay, and must be accompanied by a first-degree relative.
The photos are so unusual that it wouldn’t be surprising if they were photoshopped, but the company and the vacations appear to be real. There is a website in English and Arabic, a Facebook page with roughly 20 albums, even a Twitter handle. Therefore, if the photos are photoshopped, it appears to have been done by the company.
Egypt, a country which has witnessed Islamists gain political momentum since the overthrow of the former regime in the 2011 mass uprising, has seen an influx of Islam-inspired projects.
A niqab-only TV channel in Egypt recently launched on the first day of the month of Ramadan earlier in July, employs only women in niqab, even for behind-the-camera jobs.
But the tourism industry has boomed for Muslim travel worldwide. From halal spas to prayer rooms at airport terminals, the global tourism industry is gearing up for a projected boom in Muslim travel over the next decade, experts Spending by Muslim tourists is growing faster than the global rate and is forecast to reach $192 billion a year by 2020, up from $126 billion in 2011, according to a study conducted in 47 countries by Singapore-based halal travel specialist Crescentrating, along with DinarStandard, a U.S.-based firm that tracks the Muslim lifestyle market.say.