How have people responded to the platform?
The response has been very welcoming—we have people signing up and listing their homes from all over the world. We currently have about 3,000 subscribers and 130 listings, with homes in Switzerland, France, Italy, London, Malaysia and Australia—from a villa in Italy to a high-end apartment complex in London. We still have a long way to go to market, but our audience has been excited for the possibility of a travel option that caters to them.
What are the key elements that make a home Muslim-friendly?
First of all, the host has to be welcoming to Muslims and our values. Once you enter the home, there are some amenities that we have to use, such as prayer rugs, Qurans, halal food, or pots and pans that are sanitary according to our dietary restrictions. There’s layers to it—if you’re a Muslim woman, you may want to be able to stay with other women, and if you’re a man, you may want to be able to stay with other men and feel safe in both of those regards. Our worship and religious practices should be accommodated, but we don’t put a very strict guideline on what makes a home Muslim, because there are one billion Muslims and we all practice differently. Some people like to be more conservative and others are more open—it all depends on what that person prefers.
How have you designed Muzbnb to cater to different types of observance?
We’ve created different search filters which include halal food in the home, no smoking and no alcohol in the home, so we can be as transparent as possible. Right now, our top search filters are Qurans in the home and alcohol-free homes. We also let guests and hosts create bios and share more about themselves. We have a messaging feature on our platform where a guest can contact their host before they book, and say, for example, “I would like to book your home. You said that you have halal food—can you please give me more details about what you mean by that?”