INTERNATIONAL HOTEL BRAND, AMARI JOHOR BAHRU, REALISES POTENTIAL OF THE MUSLIM TOURIST MARKET

Bird’s eye view of Amari Johor Bahru’s swimming pool (Amari Johor Bahru)

PUTRAJAYA, MALAYSIA, 18 MAY 2021: Amari Johor Bahru, located in the capital of Johor, Malaysia, is undoubtedly one of its kind in the country.

The first hotel under Thailand’s Amari brand to open in Malaysia, Amari Johor Bahru is located strategically in Johor Bahru (commonly called JB)’s CBD with the island nation of Singapore just across the Tebrau Strait. Offering 242 guest rooms and suites, this Muslim-friendly Accommodation Recognition (MFAR) hotel certified by Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) provides guests with seamless access to cultural, shopping and family hotspots, and transportation hubs.

Among them include Zenith Mall, Danga City Mall, JB City Square, Johor Premium Outlets, Komtar JBCC, Bazaar Karat Night Market, Persada Convention Centre, Johor Zoo and LEGOLAND Malaysia. The latter is located 25 kilometres away (a 30-minute drive) from downtown JB, in the planned township of Iskandar Puteri.

Recognising Johor as the gateway to Malaysia from Singapore and Indonesia, ITC initiated the MFAR pilot project in Johor to capture the potential tourist market here. There are currently only two MFAR hotels in the southern-most Malaysian state on the continent, Amari being one of them, serving as a Muslim-friendly and family-friendly hotel for tourists looking for a city stay with numerous attractions close by.

Speaking on the importance of tapping into the potential of the niche Muslim travel segment, Ms Rita Abdul Rahim, Sales Director of Amari Johor Bahru, noted that Halal tourism is a booming industry whereby Muslim tourists wish to travel without compromising their faith-based needs for Halal food and praying.

“Amari Johor Bahru has decided to attain the Muslim-Friendly Accommodation Recognition by Islamic Tourism Centre so that we can brand ourselves as the hotel for Muslim tourists based on the facilities and services we provide such as prayer facilities,family-friendly accommodation, Muslim-friendly places of interest in the vicinity, besides the special services provided during the month of Ramadan,” she added.

“We are the only five-star hotel that has been certified as a Muslim-friendly hotel in Johor. We are glad to have gotten the opportunity to work with Islamic Tourism Centre to position ourselves as an inclusive hotel with all the facilities to cater to the Muslim tourist market, especially with Johor Bahru being a strategic location with convenient access to many of Johor’s amazing attractions.”

She further shared that the food and beverage outlets in the hotel are certified Halal in compliance with Islamic law and Malaysian Halal standards: “Our hotel has two main eateries, Amaya Food Gallery and Amaya Cafe. The former serves as the hotel’s signature all-day dine-in restaurant featuring live cooking stations serving Asian and international cuisine. The cafe, on the other hand, gives guests space to relax and savour light snacks with tea or coffee. Both eateries are Halal-certified and approved by the state’s religious department (Jabatan Agama Islam Negeri Johor — JAINJ). Kids below the age of eight who dine in from the children’s menu also get to enjoy our cuisine free of charge, subject to certain terms and conditions.”

Islam advocates cleanliness and safety, and to that, Amari Johor Bahru knows that riding on those elements are pivotal to its sustainability. “Our brand has become more known in the domestic market ever since we were recognised as MFAR and this injects more confidence in travellers and tourists to choose our services, be it for business events or accommodation,” Ms Rita posited.

Amari, a Thai-born chain, also has hotels carrying the brand across several countries in Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Indian subcontinent such as Maldives, Laos, Sri Lanka and China. The chain prides itself in celebrating aspects of life such as food, arts, wellness, festivals and fun. It is planning the opening of two more branches in Malaysia, one each in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, the latter to be branded as Amari SPICE.

Amari Johor Bahru’s strategic location has many plus points. Connectivity hubs such as Senai International Airport, which serves the JB urban area, is up north, less than an hour away from the hotel whilst Johor Bahru Sentral is a stone’s throw, five minutes, away.

Cultural points of interest near the hotel include the Grand Palace of Johor and Royal Abu Bakar Museum, both of which are located in Grand Palace Park. Grand Palace Park also houses Johor Zoo, with the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque located across the street from the latter. This mosque, interestingly, also serves as the state mosque and is identified by its distinctive feature, namely, Victorian and Moorish architecture.

For scenic views of the Tebrau Strait and neighbouring Singapore, tourists can head to Danga Bay, which is also a 10-minute drive away. The state’s present royal dwelling, Istana Bukit Serene is also located in the same locality.

Johor is the fifth largest state in Malaysia, and Tanjung Piai (tanjung being Malay for cape), located in Pontian District, in southwestern Johor, is the southernmost point of the Eurasian supercontinent.

Amari Johor Bahru

Muslim-friendly Accommodation Recognition — Silver
Certified on: 3 September 2020
https://www.amari.com/johor-bahru
Amari Johor Bahru | 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).

But 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.

Each MFAR hotel is rated as either Silver, Gold, or Platinum depending on the depth and breadth of their services and facilities catered to Muslims.

To learn more about the Muslim-friendly Accommodation Recognition issued by Islamic Tourism Centre, please contact salaam@itc.gov.my

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Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) is an entity under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia tasked to develop the Islamic tourism (IT) segment for Malaysia. It advocates for Muslim-friendly tourism (MFT) by offering research and market intelligence, training, industry development consultation, Muslim-friendly tourism and hospitality (MFTH) services standards and certification, and information exchange.

In 2021, ITC was named the recipient of the Strategic Business Alliance Award at The BrandLaureate World Halal Best Brand E-Branding Awards 2021. It is a recognition of ITC’s efforts and endeavours in formulating new strategies to meet the new normal of the business environment to ensure business continuity and sustainability, notwithstanding its role to develop and grow the IT segment in Malaysia.

In addition, Malaysia was named top country in the region in the MFT sector by the State of the Global Islamic Economy (SGIE) Report 2020/21. 

Both recognitions are added motivation for ITC to continue to strengthen its efforts in being a prime mover and leading institution to ensure Malaysia is at the forefront of MFTH.

For further details, kindly contact:
Islamic Tourism Centre,
Level 13, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia
No. 2 Tower 1, Jalan P5/6,
Precinct 5, 62200 Putrajaya, Malaysia
Tel: 03-8891 7177 or via email itc@itc.gov.my

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