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Sat 1 Oct 2016 10:39 AM

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Spending on UAE halal tourism forecast to rise by 4.4% in 2016

New report also says outbound family travel expenditure of Emirati citizens is set to increase by 3.6%

Spending on UAE halal tourism forecast to rise by 4.4% in 2016

Total spending on halal tourism in the UAE is projected to increase by 4.4 percent this year, according to a study conducted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The report also predicted that the outbound family travel expenditure of Emirati citizens is set to rise by 3.6 percent in 2016.

The study comes ahead of the third Global Islamic Economy Summit, which will be held in Dubai on October 11 and 12 and tackles family tourism as one of a spectrum of subjects under the Islamic economy label.

The UAE is considered both a top origin and top destination country for family tourism – an umbrella term used to refer to the body of Shariah-compliant, halal travel offerings.

The Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) for 2016 ranked the UAE second in the world in terms of Muslim travel friendliness behind Malaysia, a rise on one place on the previous year.

The report said industry experts expect GCC families who seek cultural experience and Muslim-friendly facilities to increasingly target the UAE, Morocco, and Asian destinations such as Malaysia, Indonesia, India and the Philippines in 2016, while visits to Turkey are expected to drop, dragged down by the recent instability. 

Singapore-based halal travel specialists CrescentRating predicted spending in the global Muslim travel segment to hit $200 billion by 2020, driven by the growth in the number of Muslim travellers from the current 117 million to an estimated 168 million travellers worldwide by 2020.

The Chamber’s study identified four key factors driving this growth in family travel, ranging from the above-average population growth in predominantly Muslim countries, and the healthy economic performance of Muslim communities, to the increasing access to travel information, and increasing availability of Muslim-friendly travel services and facilities.

The report also revealed that five countries in the Middle East – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Iran, and Qatar – stand behind 40 percent of total Muslim expenditure on travel.

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