Malaysia top halal tourism destination
SINGAPORE - Agence France-Presse
Shoppers walk on the Istiklal Street in Istanbul, a rising star in Islamic holidays.Malaysia has been rated the world’s top Muslim-friendly holiday destination in a survey released yesterday that listed Egypt, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Singapore as runners-up.
The study by Singapore-based Muslim travel consultancy Crescentrating ranked countries on how well they cater to the growing number of Muslim holidaymakers seeking halal, or Islam-compliant, food and services.
It used criteria including the level of safety in a country, the ease of access to halal food and prayer facilities, and whether hotels cater to the needs of Muslim guests.
Survey in 50 nations
On a scale of one to 10 in which 10 is the best score, Malaysia came out number one with a grade of 8.3 among 50 nations surveyed.
Egypt was in second place with 6.7, followed by the United Arab Emirates and Turkey both with 6.6. Saudi Arabia was in fourth place with a score of 6.4 and Singapore was fifth with 6.3.
Indonesia, Morocco and Jordan scored 6.1 to tie in sixth place, trailed by seventh-place Brunei, Qatar, Tunisia and Oman, all with a score of 6.0.
Shopping in Istanbul
Crescentrating chief executive Fazal Bahardeen said the survey was taken from the point of view of the traveller, meaning that it measured the ease of access by Muslim tourists -- not locals -- to halal food and facilities.
“Malaysia is one of the few countries where you can find a prayer place in almost every location -- be it a shopping mall or the airport,” Fazal told AFP.
He said that while Malaysian authorities have been focusing on the market for several years, Indonesia - the world’s most populous Muslim nation - has not done as well.
Istanbul, Jeddah, Singapore, Cairo, Abu Dhabi, New Delhi, London and Doha completed the top-10 shopping destinations.