Singapore named most Muslim-friendly destination among non-Muslim countries

Arab Street in Kampong Glam is a hive of activity, attracting both locals and tourists alike. -- PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN FILE
Arab Street in Kampong Glam is a hive of activity, attracting both locals and tourists alike. -- PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore has been named the friendliest destination for Muslim travellers among non-Muslim countries for the third successive year.

The Global Muslim Travel Index, released on Wednesday, gave Singapore high scores for its safe travel environment, ease of access to prayer spaces and number of halal dining options.

The index ranked 100 destinations based on nine criteria, such as family friendliness and accommodation options.

Singapore, which welcomed 3.2 million Muslim visitors last year, placed ninth on the overall list.

The top five spots were dominated by members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation - Malaysia came in first, followed by Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

According to the study, there were 108 million Muslim travellers last year, who spent $145 billion. This represents 10 per cent of the global travel economy.

By 2020, the number of Muslim travellers is expected to reach 150 million and have a $200 billion market value.

The Index was developed by payment company MasterCard and Muslim travel industry consultancy CrescentRating.