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UAE top draw for halal travel.

UAE came third in the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015, behind Turkey and Malaysia, for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) destinations. It was, however, the highest ranked from the Middle East, which had five destinations in the list of the top 10.

WHTS 2015 Abu Dhabi is poised to become a leading destination for halal tourism, a fast emerging concept in the tourism industry that offers a range of holiday packages adhering to Islamic beliefs and practices, with TCA Abu Dhabi already adopting a halal travel strategy. In October, Abu Dhabi is hosting The World Halal Travel Summit & Exhibition (WHTS 2015), which will focus strongly on the tourism between the 57 members states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) -- the second largest inter-governmental organisation after the United Nations with a membership spread over four continents. WHTS 2015 is expected to draw high-profile international attendance from government delegations, tourism associations, market-leading private sector operators and leading financiers funding Islamic tourism projects. The conference and exhibition will run over two halls at the state-of-the-art Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec), and will include an exhibition with over 200 participants plus a 1,000-delegate conference, comprising keynote sessions, panel discussions, a ministerial debate and 150 presentations from 70 international speakers.

THE STUDY

Singapore came first for the non-OIC destinations, which also saw Thailand, UK, South Africa and France make the top five.

The GMTI looks at in-depth data covering 100 destinations, creating an overall index, based on a number of criteria. This is the first time such thorough insights have been provided into one of the fastest-growing tourism sectors in the world today.

The study also revealed that in 2014, this segment was worth $145 billion with 108 million Muslim travellers representing 10 per cent of the entire travel economy. The UAE saw 2.9 million Muslim visitors in that period, which accounts for 27 per cent of the total arrivals to the Gulf destination.

The Muslim travel market is forecasted to grow to 150 million visitors by 2020 and 11 per cent of the entire segment with a value projected to grow to $200 billion.

Not surprisingly, Saudi Arabia saw the highest number of Muslim arrivals into the country in 2014 with 10.2 million followed by Turkey at 7.6 million.

Link to Top 10 OIC destinations

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Publication:Travel & Tourism News
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Mar 31, 2015
Words:410
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