Indonesia is very serious about the development of its halal tourism. The government has made some of the early infrastructures to further improve the quality of halal tourism here. Banyuwangi started their part by opening sharia beach on Pulau Santen Beach.
As of now, the concept is rather simple. The beach is divided into two part; the male and female sections. Essentially, there are men an women sections in this beach. However, this beach has much more stories than just that. Here is what you need to know about sharia beach in Banyuwangi.
The Sharia Beach
Sharia beach is located Karangrejo, Banyuwangi District, Banyuwangi Regency, East Java. The beach itself has a long stretch of black sand. The beach is located on a small yet long island that is completely separated from the mainland. Right at the back of the beach, you can find many trees for shades during hot days. The trees also serve as a drape that isolates this beach from outside.
Used to be a prostitution center
Pulau Santen used to be a popular prostitution area. This beach has a negative image as a haven for people who want to conduct sex business. Then the Regent of Banyuwangi, Abdullah Azwar Anas, had an idea to completely rebrand the area by stamping down prostitution and use the beach as a halal tourism destination. In addition, the local communities completely support the idea and now the beach is a popular destination.
To accelerate the growth of tourism here, they do some restorations. The most visible improvement is the umbrellas and beanbags. Once you enter the women section of the beach, you can see colorful umbrellas and beanbags lining up along the beach. This is where you can relax and enjoy the beach. After all, the beach here is completely secluded because the entry point is very limited.
Sharia Beach Meaning
To conclude, the tourism concept here is very simple. Men and women are completely separated. That’s all. Everyone from any religion can come here because this is not a Muslim-exclusive destination. Here, you can enjoy the serenity and exclusivity. Also, You have to bring your own bag to keep your trash and dispose of them in the designated place.
Halal tourism is the big idea behind the creation of this sharia beach. To support and fully complement the beach, there will be halal food stalls, praying time reminder, wudu (cleansing) area, and prayer room.