Oman among top ten travel destinations for Muslims
May 8, 2017 | 1:10 PM
by Staff Reporter

Muscat: Oman, for the second year in a row, made it to the top 10 countries in the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) issued by MasterCard and Crescentrating.

Ranked 9th in a list of 130 countries outperforming nations like Egypt, Jordan, Maldives and Kuwait, Oman scored very high on safe travel, airport facilities, ease of access to prayer spaces, and dining options with an overall score of 67.9.

GMTI 2017 is the latest release of the annual Mastercard-Crescentrating Global Muslim Travel Index, containing new and updated insights on the Halal travel and tourism market. The Index covers a total of 130 countries to benchmark destinations in the Muslim Travel Market.

Malaysia topped the charts as the best Muslim travel destination in the world, taking the number one position for the third time in a row.

Each country is given points based on criteria, such as air connectivity, airport facilities, visa, ease of communication, ease to access of prayer spaces and Muslim travel needs awareness.

The Index showed a number of non-Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) destinations in Asia move up the rankings, a result of the concerted effort to adapt their services to cater to and attract the Muslim travel market.

Research shows that with the increasing number of young Muslim travellers, the Muslim travel market is projected to grow at a fast pace with the sector estimated to reach US$220 billion in 2020, with major drivers being easy access to travel information, more Muslim friendly amenities, a growing middle class with a disposable income and Muslim millennials who seek authentic experiences.

It was also revealed that in 2016, there were an estimated 121 million Muslim visitor arrivals globally, and this is forecasted to grow to 156 million visitors by 2020 contributing significantly to the travel industry.

Colombia ranked last in the list.

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