Complex Made Simple

Is the sleep business a real opportunity to make money?

What happens when we sleep?

We dream. We dream of things that most often don’t make sense.

But somebody figured a way to make a lot of money from us sleeping.

Welcome to sleep pods. They are everywhere.

Businesses usually capitalize on our daily activities, but this new trend of allowing us to snooze while shopping or more recently while performing Hajj, is capitalizing on our inactivity.

Read: Elon Musk and the case of the sleep-deprived CEO

Our prayers answered

Hajj is a spiritual journey but one that takes a toll on the human body.

As 2 billion pilgrims headed for Hajj this season, Saudi made a relatively small investment buying anywhere from 18 to 24 small sleep pods made in Japan, as a goodwill gesture that might prove lucrative in the future for private businesses, should they see the trend evolving.

Pilgrims who cannot afford to book hotels but need a quick rest during Hajj can access these pods for three hours for free.

The pods are reported by Gulf News to have cost $1,114 each. Putting the cost of all the pods between $20,052 and $26,736.

Read: $1bn healthcare fund separated: The source of Abraaj’s problems resolved?

On Cloud 9

Being a frequent or a long distance traveler can cause a few problems such as jet lag. To prevent and fix this, Airbus and Zodiac, the manufacturer of the sleeping pods, are working with airlines to add them to the airplanes in 2020.

Christophe Bernardini, head of Zodiac’s aerospace cabin division, said: “An improved passenger experience, today, is a key element of differentiation for airlines.”

He said it would be up to airlines that buy the modular cabins to decide how much they will charge their passengers but Zodiac sees the space as an add-on to a regular ticket but expects fares to fall between economy and premium economy prices.

No purchase costs or user fees have yet been announced.

Pods are already in malls, but are they a good idea?

Read: The path to Vision 2030: Saudi tourism sector going strong

Take a nap in the mall

Whether you want a power nap or just a short break to relax, you can rent a pod starting at $10 per hour with an extra $2 for a pillow at Dubai Mall, according to Emirates Women.

The sleeping pods are each equipped with adapters and USB ports to charge your phone. Currently, there are around 12 of them. Here’s how much a nap will cost you: 1h is $11 (AED 40), 2h is $20 (AED 75), and 3h is $26 (AED 95) and additional hours will cost you $5.

The cost of these pods is not specified.