With the coming of Ramadan, many people from Muslim countries are planning vacations and while expats from UAE are heading home, others will be flying to the most popular travel destinations for Ramadan. But according to travel agents, one of the most active groups of travelers is now those observing Ramadan. Their number is increasing and this year Malaysia, the UAE and Turkey are the most popular destinations for vacations during Ramadan.
Typically, the end-of-the-year period for students is a busy season for the travel and tourism sectors. And this year, the beginning of Ramadan is just a little after the school break for primary schools starts in the UAE. So, travel agencies, airlines and hotels are expecting even more tourists, although traditionally Muslims prefer the comfort of home while fasting. However, some countries are offering halal products and services to their customers, so spending the Holy Month in Asia or Europe is now easier than ever. Official data shows that the Muslim travel market was worth $140 billion in 2013, which was approximately 13 percent of all global travel. And nearly 40 percent of it originated from GCC travelers. By 2020, this segment is expected to rise to $200 billion or even more.
Among the top halal destinations are Malaysia, the UAE, and Turkey. If you are wondering where to go for your vacation, you should consider those countries, which offer beautiful landscapes, historical and cultural sites, shopping opportunities, beaches and nightlife, exotic delicacies, and of course, a few extras, specifically designed for Muslim travelers.
Malaysia continues to be the most popular place for trips during Ramadan for several reasons. More and more hotel restaurants have halal certification, while prayer facilities are provided for the specific needs of Muslim travelers. Compared to European countries and other northern destinations, Malaysia has fewer daylight hours during this time of the year, which will be great for those fasting from dawn till sunset. There are nightly Ramadan bazaars with traditional food and exotic meals for breaking the fast. The best website to book affordable flights is here.
The United Arab Emirates
As a Muslim country with Arabic and English languages spoken everywhere, the UAE is a great destination for Ramadan. The high temperatures in the desert are easily compensated by air-conditioned hotels, amusement parks, shopping malls, restaurants and cafes. Of course, the country is home to some of the most luxurious hotels in the world, as well as must-see sites such as Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Mosque or Sharjah’s Museum of Islamic Civilization. From closely observed Arabic customs to ultra-modern skyscraper skylines, the UAE is extremely diverse and halal-friendly.
Visiting Turkey is a great opportunity to explore the rich historical and cultural heritage of this country, while observing Ramadan with your family. It has some of the most beautiful resorts on the Mediterranean, delicious local cuisine, archeological sites dating back from Roman times, and many others. The absolute must-see is the capital city of Istanbul, which stuns with its beauty, architectural style, and the vivid Kapali Carsi. Here you will also find one of the best Roman ruins in the world – the ancient city of Ephesus, as well as the legendary city of Troy. Tried and tasted, we recommend the hotel you can book here.
The list of popular halal-friendly destinations is also populated by Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia, and Egypt. In addition to these countries in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the survey also ranks top 10 non-OIC destinations – Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, United Kingdom, Bosnia & Herzegovina, India, Hong Kong, Germany, Australia, and Tanzania.