The rise of the affluent Muslim traveller
Muslims are predicted to make up almost one in three of the world's population by 2025, and increasing numbers of well-heeled, well-educated Muslims are already seeking out goods and services that meet their needs - not only at home, but also when they travel.
An early morning call from Malaysia. It's an old friend enquiring about London's best halal hotel.
Enthused by the coverage of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee, the London Olympics and Mo Farah's double gold wins, he has decided to visit London with his family as soon as Ramadan finishes this month.
He would like to stay in a Muslim-friendly hotel, do I have any suggestions?
I ask a few friends and search some online Muslim websites - only to draw a blank. The closest London can offer is a vegetarian-friendly hotel. But it's not just the assurance of halal food that my friend is hoping for.
He'd like to go somewhere which is considerate of his family's other needs as Muslims, such as guidance on finding the direction of Mecca inside the hotel room for prayer times, alcohol-free dining areas, perhaps separate spa facilities for men and women.
My friend is part of a growing worldwide trend. Global urban Muslims, highly educated, well-travelled, often with families spread across different continents, they are increasingly seeking out goods and services that respect and reflect their needs as Muslims. (...)