There are two things that worry almost every patient from Islamic countries who come to Indian hospitals: the meat they eat and the direction of Mecca. With more than 75% of the medical tourists being from the Middle East, hospitals are eyeing ‘halal’ certification to make them feel at home.

On Monday, Chennai-based Global Health City said it has became the first in the country to receive the ‘halal’ certification from the Halal Development Authority. The certification would mean they get ‘halal’ meat in food and have ‘quiblah’ (the direction of Mecca) signs in every room and prayer hall. Muslims offer prayers facing ‘quiblah.’

At least five leading hospital groups in the country including Apollo Hospitals and Fortis are in talks with the authority, said Halal India general manager Mohamed Noman Lateef. In Chennai, Mehta Hospitals and Lifeline Hospitals have also sent applications for the certification.