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Abu Dhabi pushing halal tourism

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Abu Dhabi’s Tourism and Culture Authority has launched a unique Halal Tourism drive aimed at positioning the destination as the leading destination for Halal tourism. South Africa’s Muslim travellers will now be able to benefit from a range of holiday packages adhering to Islamic beliefs and practices.

The emirate’s presented opportunities for halal tourism to leading tour operators at the world’s largest travel trade show in Germany. The trade mission, led by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), attended the ITB Berlin from March 4th-8th with a 90-strong portfolio of the emirate’s leading hotels, destination management companies, resorts and tour operators. The global market is estimated to be worth US$140 billion, rising to US$192 billion by 2020, according to Crescent Rating agency.

“Abu Dhabi is firmly rooted in Arabia’s Islamic traditions and we believe our culture, heritage and product base has great appeal with the Muslim traveller,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director Promotions & Overseas Offices, TCA Abu Dhabi.

“We already engage with some of the world’s largest halal travel operators and are discussing this topic with all our stakeholders and encouraging the creation of halal packaging where appropriate.”

Multiple self-guided halal holidays are promoted by TCA Abu Dhabi including tours to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and other culturally important sites across the capital and the heritage heartland of Al Ain.

In total 18 itineraries are being marketed under three sections: Family Friendly Fun, Cultural Enlightenment, and Resorts, Restaurants and Relaxation. The itineraries are outlined in a brochure launched at ITB Berlin and will be distributed worldwide across TCA Abu Dhabi regional offices.

“These itineraries provide essential tips on not-to-be-missed attractions and experiences for holiday-makers seeking to maintain the values and modesty of Muslim travellers. They show how easy it is to explore the emirate, and can be combined to create action-packed, full day itineraries,” added Al Nuaimi.

There are also fully halal compliant tour suggestions for thrill-seekers to experience all the entertainment on Yas Island such as Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and ladies-only acitivities at Yas Waterworld and tours of the family-friendly Yas Marina Circuit.
“Certain hotels and many of our stakeholders already target the halal tourism sector, which is expected to grow by almost 6% per annum – almost double global industry growth ¬– and offer products suitable for the halal tourist,” added Al Nuaimi.

“We are looking at encouraging a greater number of tour operators to explore and promote this sector.”

In October, Abu Dhabi is hosting The World Halal Travel Summit & Exhibition (WITS15) which will focus strongly on the tourism between the 57 members states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) – the second largest inter-governmental organisation after the United Nations with a membership spread over four continents.
WITS15 is expected to draw high profile international attendance from government delegations, tourism associations, market-leading private sector operators and leading financiers funding Islamic tourism projects.

The conference and exhibition will run over two halls at the state-of-the-art Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), and will include an exhibition with over 200 participants plus a 1,000-delegate conference, comprising keynote sessions, panel discussions, a Ministerial debate and 150 presentations from 70 international speakers. VOC

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