Top travel destinations for Muslims in the Middle East
There are eight countries from the Middle East and Africa in the top 10 destinations in the global Muslim travel market. The MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2016, which covers 130 destinations, ranks countries on criteria including facilities provided, suitability for family holidays, connectivity and visa restrictions.
The study also revealed that in 2015 there were an estimated 117 million Muslim visitor arrivals globally, representing close to 10 percent of the entire travel market. With a forecast that this will grow to 168 million visitors by 2020 with a value exceeding $200 billion, it’s clearly big business. In fact, it is one of the fastest growing segments in the global travel industry.
Commenting on the results, Raghu Malhotra, President, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard, said: “We are pleased to see eight countries from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region occupying top places in the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index 2016. These rankings highlight the MEA region’s strong focus on consistently answering the needs of the fast-growing Muslim travel market, especially since this is one of the key sectors driving greater economic development across the region and is expected to contribute significantly to the long-term tourism growth strategies of these countries.”
Here are the eight Middle East and African countries that ranked in the top 10:
- United Arab Emirates – with a score of 74.7
- Turkey – with a score of 73.9
- Qatar – with a score of 70.5
- Saudi Arabia – with a score of 70.4
- Oman – with a score of 70.3
- Morocco – with a score of 68.3
- Jordan – with a score of 65.4
- Bahrain – with a score of 63.3
Read the July 2016 issue of Business Review Middle East magazine
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