Luxury hotel chain expanding near world's holiest sites
A new luxury hotel brand has opened its first hotel near the holy shrine of Karbala in Iraq.
Unlike the basic, budget accommodation usually associated with the hardship of pilgrimage, the five star resort aims to cater for wealthy Gulf travellers.
With an estimated 300 to 330 million pilgrims visiting religious sites every year, the company is now looking at other holy destinations.
The BBC's Ben Thompson talks to Munaf Ali, chief executive of Range Hospitality, one of the firms behind the new venture and asks if it is a lucrative market to be in.
12 Dec 2010