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With Muslims tourists accounting for a large junk of the global tourism market, ‘halal’ destinations have grown exponentially. Today, destinations with Sharia-certified hotels, halal food and private beaches are a dime a dozen. Here are 8 of them to visit this 2017, according to holiday planner HolidayME:
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\nMuslim population: Approx. 60%
\nOne of the most halal-friendly destinations in the world, Malaysia offers Muslim tourists South-east Asian gastronomy, historic heritage, multicultural/multi-ethnic population and expertise in Halal hospitality. Its many island resorts and lush green tropical landscapes also make it one of the most beloved destinations for family holidays.
\nPlaces to visit in Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Borneo, Penang, Taman Negara, Cameron Highlands, Malacca, and Langkawi are some of the major attractions of Malaysia.
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\nMuslim population: Approx. 98%
\nCulturally dynamic, Turkey is a great halal destination with both a Muslim and European feel. It boasts world heritage sites and glorious remains of vast empires from the bygone eras as well as traditional Muslim Turkish culture.
\nPlaces to visit in Turkey: Topkapi Palace, the Bosporus strait, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Cappadocia, and Anatolia are a few of the most-visited attractions in Turkey.
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\nMuslim population: Approx. 87.2%
\nNatural wonders, historic attractions and an abundance of halal facilities make Indonesia one of the best places for Muslim families on vacation. It has the largest archipelago in the world comprising of 17,500 tropical islands brimming with white-sand beaches, turquoise waters and diverse landscapes.
\nPlaces to visit in Indonesia: Most-visited towns of Indonesia include Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya.
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\nMuslim population: Approx. 99%
\nRenowned for its unique culture where modernity meets traditional Islam, halal food, mosques, and friendly locals, Morocco is becoming a mecca for Muslims and non-Muslim tourists alike. As its population is mostly Muslim, it boasts delicious halal food and relaxing stays at halal holiday resorts and hotels.
\nPlaces to visit in Morocco: Marrakech has some of the most luxurious halal resorts. Attractions like the Hassan II Mosque, the second-largest mosque in the world located in Casablanca, is also a must-see.
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\nMuslim population: Approx. 97.2%
\nJordan can be a great halal destination if you go the right places. It features dramatic red sands, towering cliffs, vast stony plains of volcanic basalt, rolling hills rich with olive trees and magnificent ruins of historic sites Petra and Jerash.
\nPlaces to visit in Jordan: Aqaba, Amman, Irbid, Jerash and Ajlun are among Jordan’s most-visited areas, while the buoyant waters of the Dead Sea and the vast desert of Wadi Rum offer great activities.
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\nMuslim population: Approx. 94.7%
\nEgypt is another North African country that is popular when it comes to halal tourism. Apart from its immense cultural and historical heritage, it offers a wide range of halal restaurants and activities such as short camel treks and dinner cruises along the Nile River.
\nPlaces to visit in Egypt: The Pyramids and Sphinx in Cairo and the temples and tombs in Luxor are must-sees.
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\nMuslim Population: Approximately 50%
\nHome to a large Muslim population, Spain is full of halal restaurants, hotels and attractions. The European country features Islamic monuments such as the Madrid Central Mosque, otherwise known as the Abu-Bakr Mosque, as well as the ancient Alhambra Palace.
\nPlaces to visit in Spain: Visit the Great Mosque of Cordoba for its bold architecture, the Alcazar Royal Palace for its grandeur, the Viana Palace for its heritage and the Madinat Al Zahra for its rich history.
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\nMuslim population: Approximately 2%
\nDespite having an almost non-existing population of Muslims, Malta is one of the most popular halal destinations in Europe. It features plenty of halal restaurants and entertainment joints. The small island country in the Mediterranean also makes a great getaway for a summer vacation.
\nPlaces to visit in Malta: Valetta, Malta’s capital and the fortress city, Old MDina, Golden Bay and Blue Lagoon beaches and Islamic Centre of Malta.