The kingdom ranked ninth worldwide on the report released on Wednesday at a ceremony in Jakarta, Indonesia.
This year’s Global Muslim Travel Index – a joint effort by MasterCard and CrescentRating – ranked 130 destinations based on several criteria, including the availability of Halal foods, prayer facilities and Ramadan services.
According to the report, there will be a projected 168 million Muslim travelers – spending more than USD 200 billion worldwide – by 2020, up from 117 million in 2015.
A new report ranks Morocco as the “most travel-friendly” country in Africa for Muslims based on the facilities the country provides to make Halal living possible for Muslim travelers.
48 of 130 destinations analyzed were member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). According to the OIC’s official website, the organization – founded in Rabat in 1969 in response to the arson of the Al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem – seeks to be the “collective voice of the Muslim world.”
This year, analysts added two new measurements – airport connectivity and visa restrictions – to the rankings’ rubric.
Malaysia topped the rankings for the second year running. The United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Indonesia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Singapore, Morocco, and Jordan made up the rest of the top 10 countries.
Three Latin American countries – Bolivia, Costa Rica, and El Salvador – trailed at the bottom.
Destinations not covered by the OIC ranked lower on the rankings largely due to the reduced availability of Halal eating options and a lack of prayer services for Muslims.
Founded in 2008, CrescentRating provides information to Muslim-travelers and members of the global tourism industry on enjoying and creating an environment for Halal-friendly travel.
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