Malaysia attracted over 170,000 visitors from the Gulf countries in 2013, and has been rated the world’s top Muslim-friendly holiday destination in a survey released last year.
According to figures, Malaysia received 102,365 tourists from Saudi Arabia in 2012. The total number of tourists from the UAE was 18,233 during this period.
During the first half of 2013 (January to June), Malaysia received over 53,000 visitors from the Kingdom. In addition, the country also received more than 14,500 visitors from Oman, 9,390 from Kuwait and 7,804 from UAE during the same period.
This Asian country with a 60 percent Muslim population mostly attracts Muslim tourists worldwide and has been a front runner with regards to anything halal. The country can be divided into two: Peninsular Malaysia with its amazing cities, forested highlands and fringing islands, and east Malaysia, north of the island of Borneo with its dense rain forests, orangutans and animist tribes. Geographically, Malaysia is almost as diverse as its culture. 11 states and 2 federal territories (Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya) form Peninsular Malaysia which is separated by the South China Sea from East Malaysia which includes the 2 states (Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo) and a third federal territory, the island of Labuan.
Malaysia’s policy for the tourism sector is to ensure a comfortable environment to all Muslims family tourists in line with its Islamic lifestyle. At the same time, the government is careful to prove the country has a halal tourism sector targeting a large number of tourists from Arab Gulf countries.
*This article was originally published on Arab News on 28 May 2014. Read the original article here.