Updated: Oct 14, 2021
Muslim Friendly Podcasts To Make The Most Out of Your Time
by Muhtar Emirguliyev
As Muslim travelers, we may think that it’s hard to shuffle work and individual life and also monitor our Islamic education at the same time.
WELL, here is a simple solution. Islamic podcasts are a great way for you to deepen your knowledge about Islam without having to physically attend classes or seminars. You can just listen to these podcasts while you are on your way to work or traveling in another country. You’ll be able to find out about Islamic history and gain new perspectives on life as a Muslim traveler.
1. The Good Life Podcast – Mizi Wahid and Nur Adam
2. Living the Quran Through Living The Quran – QAIM Institute
3. Be Unshakeable with Aiman Azlan – Aiman Azlan
4. A Muslim Mom – Farhat Amin
5. Coffee with Karim – Karim Serageldin
6. The Islamic History Podcast – Al Ismael
7. Salam Girl! – Nicole Queen and Monica Traverzo
8. The Aida Azlin Show – Aida Azlin
9. Hijabi Diaries
10 . Radio Ahmadiyya - The Real Voice of Islam
To make your life and travel easier, we’ve rounded up a few of the most popular and most important podcasts that specifically cater to Muslim groups of onlookers, in the hope that we can help get people thinking about some of the most important issues of our world nowadays.
Airports to Set Up Cleaning Robots & Disinfection Booths
Written by Haifa Hussein
Allah SWT has named himself Al Badee, the originator who commences, invents and creates all that exists, without any model or material. Allah SWT also saw it fit to reward those who innovate. Unlike Allah’s innovation, what humans create has a limited life span.
Covid-19 has shaken up all the acceptable ways of doing things and innovation has become the name of the game.
Airports, Hotels, Airlines, and others associated with the Travel Industry are rushing to implement the next big thing that they hope will allow them to overcome all the losses they have experienced and fly the skies or navigate the waters again.
One such innovation is CLeanTech, a full-body sanitizing machine. A passenger’s temperature is checked and the machine instantly sprays sanitizer all over a person in a process that lasts 40 seconds.
The effectiveness of this innovation is of course still in the testing phase with Hong Kong International Airport being the first to implement it.
TIME Hotels Targets International Expansion in Republic of Tatarstan
by Muhtar Emirguliyev
TIME Hotels, the UAE-headquartered hospitality company and hotel operator, is targeting investment opportunities in the Republic of Tatarstan as it continues its international expansion of the TIME Hotels’ brand.
Mohamed Awadalla, CEO of TIME Hotels, was invited by the State Committee on Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan to meet and discuss potential hospitality investments in the region’s capital city of Kazan. After meeting the President, Awadalla then met with Kamil Hazrat Samigullin, Mufti of Tatarstan to discuss the promotion of halal tourism as well as potential hospitality investments in the Republic of Tatarstan.
With a focus on further developing their halal tourism industry, the Mufti of Tatarstan highlighted TIME Hotels as the ideal hospitality brand to help with this mission, with over eight years of managing and operating halal friendly hotels in the UAE and across the Middle East.
“With more than one million visitors per year and rising, the Republic of Tatarstan is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in Russia and is an ideal location to continue our international expansion of the TIME Hotels brand,” said Mohamed Awadalla, CEO, TIME Hotels.
Travel Bubbles: Our New Reality
by Haifa Hussein
Travel bubbles are basically safe spaces that people can travel to and from without needing to go into quarantine.
New Zealand and Australia have been hailed as nations that took quick and decisive actions in the initial stages of the Covid-19 outbreak and consequently managed to contain the pandemic swiftly. They have now forged an agreement called “the trans - Tasman travel bubble” that is basically seen as a road map that will set the stage for our new “normal”. Their citizens will be allowed to travel freely between the two countries once it is deemed safe.
New Zealand and Australia have expressed their openness to add more countries to their bubble once they have tested the effectiveness of their partnership. PacificIsland Nations, Canada, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea are countries that may be allowed to join this bloc.
In their footsteps, Baltic states like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have also set up a “travel bubble” that will ease restrictions for their respective citizens only. Poland and Finland are also set to be allowed to join the Baltic bloc. Austria, Greece, Norway, Czech Republic and Israel are also in talks to set up a bubble.
The main criteria for setting up these bubbles seem to be how well has the pandemic been contained within an area. It is indeed good news for the travel and tourism sectors of these countries but it leaves one to wonder whatever will happen to the worst hit countries like Italy, Spain, the United States and the United Kingdom or for that matter the rest of the world?
Source: Reuters, BBC, CNN, HospitalityNet
International Travel: A Comeback or an Illusion
by Haifa Hussein
Join us as we monitor the responses by the different Airlines and Airports on how they attempt to tackle their new scenario of parked aircrafts and empty terminals.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is encouraging the mandatory use of face coverings for both passengers and cabin crew. Interestingly, IATA doesn’t support blocking the middle seat to maintain social distancing to avoid exaggerated airfare prices.
IATA is citing studies that show minimal risk of transmission of Covid-19 on board. Blocking the middle seats will reduce the number of seats an airline can sell and ultimately affect their profit margins.
Instead, IATA proposes the following:
Temperature screening of passengers, airport crew and support staff
Providing hand sanitizer dispensers
Automated boarding, security and disembarking procedures that reduce interaction
Limiting movement during the flight
Intensive cleaning of aircrafts and airports
Catering that also reduces interaction
Just like the hotel and accommodations sector, different airlines and airports are implementing varied new procedures to handle future travel needs and concerns.
Some are as follows:
1) Emirates Airlines are conducting on site Covid -19 tests for passengers and issuing them with test certificates. The “customer is king” motto is making a major comeback with waiver policies, travel vouchers and full refunds. Checkin is maintained at 3 hours but you need to bring your own face mask and hand gloves and maintain social distancing at Dubai International Airport. Laptops, handbags, briefcase and baby items are the only things that can be checked in. Food and non alcoholic beverages will be offered in new packaging specifications that minimise contact.
2) Qatar Airways are offering greater flexibility with ticket validity, unlimited changes, travel vouchers, ticket swaps for miles and full refunds if necessary. Incidentally, Qatar airways is giving away 100,000 free tickets to Health care workers. A smart marketing tool to prove to other travellers that Qatar airways planes are indeed safe to fly in. Aircrafts are equipped with industrial size HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters that remove virus and bacteria from recirculated air. Aircrafts, lounges, blankets, cutlery and headsets are undergoing intensive sanitisation. Passengers are screened for Covid - 19 symptoms at Hamad International Airport.
3) Lufthansa are requesting travelers to wear face coverings before reaching the airport, at the airport and throughout their entire flight. Social distancing reminders will be set up throughout Frankfurt Airport. Any additional hand luggage will be checked in free of charge. Contactless boarding using Quick Boarding Gates system will be utilised in addition to thorough cleaning and disinfection procedures of all aircrafts.
4) Air New Zealand is allowing customers to check in prior to arrival at the airport using their mobile app. High touch surfaces will be cleaned more frequently with staff ready to help. Social distancing markers will be set up throughout the airport as a constant reminder. Boarding will be done by zones to maintain social distancing while managing the seating arrangements which will be spaced out. Aircrafts will be sanitised and have hospital grade air filtration systems. Hand sanitizer will be more readily available. Upon arrival, you will be requested to remain seated until it is your turn to disembark.
5) Air Canada have come up with a comprehensive endto-end program called CleanCare+ which includes the following:
• Face coverings for travelers and employees
• Sanitizing counters, kiosks and other high touch areas frequently
• Infrared temperature checks
• Cabins and overhead bins sanitized using electrostatic sprayer
• HEPA air filtration systems on board the aircrafts
• Complimentary mask, gloves, sanitizer and disinfectant wipes
• Pre-packaged meals
• Adjacent seats blocked in economy class
6) Turkish Airlines are committing to a thorough cleaning of the inflight cabin, tray tables, armrests, seat belt buckles, inflight entertainment screen and other shared spaces. Head sets and blankets are replaced with new sets for each flight. Flights from high risk areas undergo a disinfectant fogging that has proven effective.
HEPA filtration systems have been implemented. Medical disinfectants are readily available on board and crew have been trained to handle any emergencies.
7) Southwest Airlines have developed a comprehensive plan called the “Southwest Promise” that covers the whole process from check-in to deplaning. • Electrostatic disinfectant and anti-microbial spray applied on every surface on board that acts as a shield for 30 days.
• Disinfecting commonly used and high touch areas before every flight
• Deep clean each plane every night
• Plexiglas is installed at gates and ticket areas.
• Employees have to use face coverings when interacting with customers
• Gate areas, ticket counters and baggage claim areas cleaned more often
• Hand sanitizer available at the airport and wipes are available on board
• HEPA air filters
• Limiting the number of people on board so the middle seat is left unoccupied
• Customers can pick onboard the aircrafts their seat but the first two to three and last two to three rows will be blocked
• Boarding in groups of 10 and boarding from only one side
• Travelers encouraged to wear face coverings
• Download the mobile boarding pass before getting to the airport to reduce interaction
• Arrive earlier to have enough time to complete all the necessary procedures
• Maintain social distancing at the airport and on board
• Floor markers to remind travelers about physical distancing
• Snacks and beverages are not offered
Travelers are presented with amazing deals to lure them to travel again.
Travelers will definitely experience a better clean when they travel with more orderly and disciplined procedures being put in place but will this translate into more confidence to travel as often as we used to prior to the pandemic is something that we will have to watch closely.
Sources: IATA, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa, Air New Zealand, Air Canada, Turkish Airlines, Southwest Airlines