Established property, lifestyle, and hospitality brand, Sunway Hotels & Resorts, was among the first to apply for Islamic Tourism Centre’s (ITC) Muslim-friendly Accommodation Recognition (MFAR) programme in 2020. Today, three of its properties in Sunway City Kuala Lumpur, namely Sunway Resort, Sunway Pyramid Hotel, and Sunway Clio Hotel, have each received their Muslim-friendly recognition.

Alex Castaldi, Senior General Manager of Hotels in Sunway City Kuala Lumpur, says the group is aware that Muslim-friendly tourism is a growing market segment worth tapping into. Currently, the group is seeing a 25% share of Middle East tourists in its total hotel business at the three MFAR properties. 

“Indonesia is also a big market for us. With medical tourism in Malaysia for Indonesians on the rise, we hope to capture a larger market share being so close to Sunway Medical Centre,” he says.

Besides international tourists, the group also caters to a huge volume of domestic tourists. In 2019, domestic tourism made up 64% of the hotels’ total room nights, giving more reason for the group to provide travel comforts and conveniences that cater to the local Muslims’ faith-based needs.

The journey towards becoming a Muslim-friendly accommodation was smooth for the group. “Being a Muslim country, Malaysia has always placed great emphasis on the comfort and convenience of its Muslim residents and guests. The group has always catered to our Muslim travellers by providing Muslim-friendly facilities and services, and we will continue to do so while improving and enhancing our offerings as we move along.”

What moved them to get the recognition, then? Castaldi says: “Partnering with Islamic Tourism Centre, we realised that the MFAR programme would bring great value to us by further enhancing the Sunway City destination as a preferred choice for Muslim travellers from all over the world who are looking for Muslim-friendly hotels and holiday destinations.”

He says: “Given the huge potential of this sector, it’s important for the hospitality industry to adapt to the halal requirements to meet the needs of Muslim tourists. A destination is then seen as increasingly attractive for Muslim travellers when such facilities and services are in place. By having this MFAR recognition by ITC, it gives the hotel an extra edge from the rest and will directly drive more arrivals to the hotel.”

He notes that partners and clientele are “definitely more confident in the Sunway brand, knowing that our Muslim-friendly facilities and services are now recognised and acknowledged.”

The Muslim-friendly recognised hotels offer the following Muslim-friendly facilities and services:

  • Qibla direction indicator, bidets, and prayer mats in all guest rooms
  • Separate prayer rooms for males and females in public areas
  • Halal certification by JAKIM for their kitchen
  • Arabic guest relations officers
  • Arabic guest cards and brochures
  • During the summer holidays when there is a surge of Middle East tourists, additional facilities are provided such as special food and beverage menus, a guide in Arabic listing nearby attractions that are also Muslim-friendly, and an Arabic lounge with Arabic cuisines and snacks

Castaldi says they will continue to enhance their products and services to better serve the Muslim travel market. Initiatives to do so include providing Arabic communication training to their front office staff. 

They intend to highlight the MFAR programme to their current and new partners to instil confidence to existing and new groups of Muslim travellers to the destination. “We also wish to work closely with ITC to further drive and promote Muslim-friendly tourism and hospitality,” he adds.


Sunway Resort, Sunway Pyramid Hotel, and Sunway Clio Hotel
Sunway City Kuala Lumpur
Muslim-friendly Accommodation Recognition — Silver
Certified on: 7 September 2020


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

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