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Makani Homes: A Trailblazer in Personalized Muslim Travel

January 15, 2024
Photo Source: Makani Homes

In a world where travel has become increasingly impersonal, Makani Homes emerges as a beacon of connection, empowerment, and authentic experiences for Muslim travelers. Founded by Nourin Abubaker and Yara Ourfali, Makani Homes is a groundbreaking home swap platform designed exclusively for Muslim homeowners and hosts worldwide. With its unique “give-to-get” model and commitment to fostering genuine connections, the platform aims to transform the way Muslim travelers explore the world. 

The Founders

The founders of Makani Homes, Nourin Abubaker and Yara Ourfali, are not only passionate entrepreneurs but also avid travelers themselves. Nourin’s personal experiences exploring 19 countries and Yara’s life journey, living in six different countries, have shaped their vision for Makani Homes. They believe in the power of travel to inspire personal growth and are dedicated to providing tailored and affordable travel experiences for the Muslim community.

Photo: Founder Yara Ourfali

Looking ahead, Makani Homes aims to transform the future of travel for Muslims worldwide. By facilitating connections, embracing the spirit of adventure, and leveraging the power of community, Makani Homes is redefining travel for the Muslim community. 

Through their heartfelt mission, Nourin and Yara envision a world where Muslim travelers can explore the globe safely, securely, and with a sense of belonging, while forging lasting connections and creating unforgettable memories.

Photo: Founder Nourin Abubaker

As interest and curiosity for Makani Homes continue to grow worldwide, the founders remain committed to serving the Muslim community and building a product that fulfills their needs. Ultimately, their goal is to empower the next generation of Muslim travelers, providing them with a platform that not only offers quality accommodations but also represents their culture, values, and aspirations.

A Home Swap Experience Like No Other

Unlike traditional rental platforms, Makani Homes goes beyond offering investment properties; it provides an opportunity to experience the real-life spaces of fellow Muslim hosts. Through home swapping, members immerse themselves in local culture, slipping into someone else’s life and gaining authentic insights into their destination. To become part of this exclusive network, interested individuals must apply, list their homes, and, upon approval, begin receiving “swap-opportunity” alerts that match their travel criteria.

Empowering Muslim Travelers

Makani Homes operates on the belief that travel should be accessible, affordable, and empowering for Muslim travelers. To ensure this, the platform charges a membership fee of $500 per year for unlimited swaps, eliminating financial exchanges between hosts and guests. By staying in their own spaces, members contribute to the vibrant community while enjoying the benefits of exploring new destinations through the platform.

Building a Community Rooted in Hospitality

The story of Makani Homes is as inspiring as its mission. Co-founders Nourin Abubaker and Yara Ourfali, both Muslim women, made the bold decision to leave their corporate jobs at prominent firms in New York City and Qatar. Driven by a shared vision of empowering the Muslim community and combating underrepresentation in the Western travel space, they embarked on a journey to create Makani Homes. 

Embracing the Spirit of Adventure

Nourin Abubaker, in addition to her entrepreneurial pursuits, has personally explored 19 countries, further fueling her passion for travel and cross-cultural connections. Her own experiences have inspired her commitment to making Muslim travel more accessible and enriching. With Makani Homes, Nourin and Yara envision a future where Muslim travelers can venture out into the world, embracing new cultures, while feeling a sense of belonging and empowerment.

With Makani Homes, the future of travel for Muslims is set to be an exciting and transformative one, where authentic experiences and connections await in every corner of the globe. This unique approach sets the platform apart from other short-term rental platforms like Airbnb or Vrbo, where many listings are investment properties and come with high hidden fees. 

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