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Malaysia No. 1 for Muslim travelers

AFP-JIJI

Malaysia has been rated the world’s top Muslim-friendly holiday destination in a survey that listed Egypt, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Singapore as runners-up.

The study released Wednesday by Singapore-based travel consultancy Crescentrating used criteria including the safety levels, the ease of access to halal food and prayer facilities, and whether hotels cater to the needs of Muslim guests.

On a scale of 1 to 10 — in which 10 was the highest score — Malaysia came out on top with a grade of 8.3 among the 50 nations surveyed. Egypt was ranked second with a score of 6.7, followed by the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, both with 6.6, and Saudi Arabia in fourth with 6.4. Singapore came in fifth with a 6.3 grade, and Indonesia tied for sixth place with 6.1.

In terms of Muslim-friendly shopping destinations, Dubai pipped Kuala Lumpur for the No. 1 spot, according to the survey, which rated the presence of halal food and prayer facilities at shopping malls. Istanbul, Jeddah, Singapore, Cairo, Abu Dhabi, New Delhi, London and Doha completed the top 10.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport were rated among the friendliest for Muslim travelers.