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Recent studies have indicated that GCC states are responsible for a large percentage of the world's total travel expenditure. Hotel owners in UAE have noted that a large number of their guests are from GCC states, who visit the destination to enjoy a hassle-free Halal holiday.

The Muslim travel market was worth as much as $130 billion in 2012 - which accounted for more than 12% of the world's entire outbound tourism market. The value of the market is expected to rise to about $200 billion by the year 2020.

For the full article and more information, please visit: http://gulfnews.com/halal-options-1.1404144

MasterCard and CrescentRating Announce a Global Muslim Travel Index

Collaboration aims to meet the needs of the growing Muslim lifestyle segment

Kuala Lumpur – October 29th, 2014 –MasterCard today signed an agreement with CrescentRating, the world's leading authority on Muslim Travel Market, to co-develop the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI). The agreement was signed during the 10th World Islamic Economic Forum in Dubai.

Over the past four years, CrescentRating has released annual rankings of Muslim-friendly holiday destinations. With this agreement, the rankings will be developed into a global index. This will not only help Muslim travelers understand how comfortable they will be at the destinations, but will also help the travel industry and investors understand and keep track of the growth potential each destination has to offer. The Index will be released in January 2015 and will be updated quarterly.

“We are enthusiastic about the growing possibilities and opportunities in the Muslim lifestyle segment. Specifically, travel and tourism have become key components for leading destination cities globally with extensive economic and social benefits.The collaboration with CrescentRating underscores our commitment to cater to the specific needs of Muslim travelers who are looking to travel with peace of mind,” said Safdar Khan, Cluster Head, Malaysia, Brunei & Indonesia and Group Head, Islamic Payments, Southeast Asia, MasterCard.

“Developing our annual ranking into a global index is something we have been extremely keen to achieve. This partnership with MasterCard now allows us to develop GMTI to be the premier Index which will keep track of the growth in this segment. This is another step in CrescentRating’s vision to help all travel industry stakeholders benefit from greater insight into this segment” said Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating and HalalTrip

The partnership provides MasterCard and CrescentRating an opportunity to co-develop various other rankings and indices covering holiday, shopping andisland destinations, among others, for the Muslim Travel segment.With many notable indices previously published by MasterCard, this will further strengthen MasterCard’s thought leadership role, particularly in the travel segment.

“The latest MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index has found that destination cities in the Middle East and Asia are among the top 10 fastest growing in terms of being connected to the rest of the world. This increasing connectivity is expected to drive the growth of visitor arrivals and cross-border spending in the coming years,” added Safdar Khan.

MasterCard and CrescentRating aim to proactively support the Muslim travel and tourism segment as a means to further strengthen their leadership in the development of Muslim lifestyle products.

According to CrescentRating, Muslim travellers are expected to spend USD 140 billion in 2014. This is projected to increase by 42% to USD 200 billion by the year 2020.

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About MasterCard 

MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardAP and @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

About Crescentrating Pte Ltd

Crescentrating Pte Ltd, a Singapore based company, is the pioneer and world’s leading authority on Halal Travel. Its vision is to enable Muslim travellers to explore the world with peace of mind by leading the growth of the Halal Travel segment to benefit travellers, travel service providers and the community as a whole. Crescentrating.com, HalalTrip.com and mobile application Crescent Trips bring a full portfolio of world leading products to ensure a hassle free Halal/Muslim Friendly Travel experience, whether you are travelling for leisure or business.

 

يهدف هذه التعاون إلى تلبية متطلبات نمط حياة شريحة المسلمين المتنامية

 

<لإرسال تغريدة عن هذا الخبر، الرجاء نسخ النص التالي: أول مؤشر للسياحة الإسلامية في العالم من ماستركارد وكرسنت ريتنج<

دبي – 29 أكتوبر 2014 -أبرمت "ماستركارد" اليوم اتفاقية مع "كرسنت ريتينج"، الرائدة عالمياً في سوق السفر الإسلامي، وذلك بهدف إعداد وإصدار مؤشر "ماستركارد - كرسنت ريتنج" للسياحة الإسلامية العالمي. تم توقيع الاتفاقية خلال المنتدى الاقتصادي الإسلامي العالمي العاشر الذي انعقد في دبي.

 

على مدى السنوات الأربع الماضية، أصدرت "كرسنت ريتنج" تصنيفات سنوية حول الوجهات السياحية المفضلة للمسافرين المسلمين. وبهذه الاتفاقية ستتم بلورة هذه التصنيفات على شكل مؤشر عالمي. ومن شأن ذلك أن يساعد المسافرين المسلمين على فهم مزايا الراحة والملاءمة التي سيحظون بها في الوجهات السياحية التي يقصدونها، بالإضافة إلى أنه سيقدم العون للمختصين في قطاع السفر وكذلك المستثمرين لإدراك وتتبع فرص النمو التي تتيحها كل وجهة على حدة. ومن المقرر إصدار المؤشر في شهر يناير من العام 2015 ويتم تحديثه كل ثلاثة أشهر.

 

وقال سافدار خان، رئيس قطاع المدفوعات الإسلامية في جنوب شرق آسيا في "ماستركارد": "نحن متحفزون للاستفادة من الفرص والإمكانات المتنامية لاتجاهات أنماط الحياة في المجتمع الإسلامي، خاصة وأن قطاع السفر والسياحة قد أصبح من المكونات الرئيسية لكبرى المدن المقصودة عالميا وله فوائد اقتصادية واجتماعية واسعة. ويأتي تعاوننا مع "كرسنت ريتينج" تأكيداً على التزامنا بتلبية الاحتياجات المحددة للمسافرين المسلمين الذين يتطلعون إلى الاستمتاع برحلات سفر مع راحة البال."

 

وأشار فضل بهار الدين، الرئيس التنفيذي لـ "كرسنت ريتنج" بقوله: "إن تطوير التصنيفات التي نجريها سنوياً على شكل مؤشر عالمي هي مبادرة لطالما كنا حريصين جداً على تحقيقها. وبفضل هذا التعاون مع "ماستركارد" سنتمكن الآن من إعداد مؤشر السياحة الإسلامي العالمي ليكون الأول الذي يرصد ويتتبع حركة النمو في هذا القطاع. وتعتبر هذه المبادرة بمثابة خطوة أخرى على طريق تحقيق رؤية "كرسنت ريتنج" لمساعدة جميع الأطراف المعنيين في قطاع السفر على الاستفادة من التصورات المستقبلية لفرص الأعمال في هذا القطاع."

ويتيح هذا التعاون ل"ماستركارد" و"كرسنت ريتنج" الفرصة للتعاون فيما بينهما في مجال تطوير مختلف التصنيفات والمؤشرات الأخرى التي تغطي وجهات العطلات والتسوق والسياحة وغيرها في قطاع السفر الإسلامي. وإلى جانب العديد من المؤشرات البارزة التي أصدرتها "ماستركارد" في السابق، فإن هذا المؤشر سيلعب دوراً حيوياً في تعزيز مكانتها الريادية، وخصوصاً في قطاع السفر.

 

وأضاف سافدار خان: "دلت نتائج أحدث مؤشر للمدن العالمية المقصودة من إصدار "ماستركارد" إلى أن المدن المقصودة في الشرق الأوسط وآسيا هي من ضمن أكبر الوجهات العشر الأسرع نموا من حيث كونها متصلة بباقي مناطق العالم. ويتوقع لهذا الاتصال المتزايد أن يعزز نمو عدد القادمين والإنفاق عبر الحدود خلال السنوات المقبلة."

 

تسعى "ماستركارد" و"كرسنت ريتنج" إلى توفير دعم استباقي لقطاع السفر والسياحة الإسلامية كوسيلة لتحقيق مزيد من الريادة في مجال تطوير المنتجات الخاصة بأسلوب حياة الأفراد من المسلمين.

 

وفقا لـ "كرسنت ريتنج" من المتوقع أن ينفق السياح من المسلمين ما يقرب من 140 مليار دولار في عام 2014. ومن المتوقع أن يرتفع هذا الرقم بنسبة 42% ليصل إلى 200 مليار دولار أمريكي بحلول عام 2020.

 

SIARAN BERITA

MasterCard dan CrescentRating Bekerjasama Mengusahakan Indeks  Pelancongan Islam Antarabangsa

Kerjasama ini bertujuan untuk memenuhi keperluan percutian pelancong Islam

berdasarkan kesesuaian destinasi

 

Kuala Lumpur – 29 Oktober 2014MasterCard hari ini menandatangani perjanjian dengan CrescentRating, pakar portal pelancongan Islam untuk bersama-sama mengendalikan Indeks Pelancongan Islam Sedunia atau dikenalikan ebagai ‘MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index’ (GMTI). Perjanjian tersebut dimeterai semasa Forum Ekonomi Islam Sedunia Ke-10 di Dubai.

Sejak empat tahun yang lepas, CrescentRating mengeluarkan penarafan tahunankesesuaian destinasi pelancongan Islam. Menerusi perjanjian ini, penarafan tersebut akan dipertingkatkan ketahap sedunia. Ini merupakan kemudahan bukan sahaja untuk pelancong pelancong Islam, tetapi juga membantu industri pelancongan dan pelabur memahami potensi setiap destinasi pelaoncgan. Indeks ini akan dilancarkan pada Januari 2015 dan akan dikemaskinikan setiap suku tahunan.

The number of Muslim travellers visiting Vietnam has seen a considerable growth over the last few years. The country is becoming a popular travel destination amongst Muslim travellers - particularly from Indonesia, Malaysia, India and the Middle East - due to the availability of affordable tours and commodity prices.

Vietnam is now focusing on targeting more Muslim visitor arrivals in the future by upgrading its facilities to provide a Muslim-friendly environment for travellers.

For the full article and more information, please visit: http://www.ttrweekly.com/site/2014/10/vietnam-eyes-muslim-travellers/

Industry experts have noted that Singapore companies have the edge in Muslim-friendly tourism and are presently using their familiarity with Muslim-friendly travel to tap into further business opportunities.

CrescentRating has been identified as one such company for its research, consultancy and training services on Muslim travel. Singapore companies are expected to extend their knowledge and expertise to assist countries like Japan to better serve Muslim travellers in the future.

For the full article and more information, please visit: http://business.asiaone.com/news/singapore-companies-have-the-edge-muslim-tourism

Following Europe's first conference on Halal tourism, travel industry experts have predicted Spain's Andalucia to become a hub of interest for Muslim travellers and holidaymakers.

Andalucia has been garnering a lot of interest from Muslim travellers due to its Islamic heritage. Industry experts believe that it is ideally positioned to capture a larger share of the growing Muslim market.

For the full article and more information, please visit: http://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2014/10/05/one-halal-of-a-time-andalucia-sets-its-sight-on-halal-tourism/

Muslim travellers looking for a Muslim-friendly hotel in Spain need look no further. Alanda Hotel Marbella has received recognition for its efforts to cater to Muslim guests and was recently awarded a Muslim-friendly rating of 4 by CrescentRating, based on the services and facilities it offers Muslim guests.

Located on Marbella's Golden Mile overlooking the expansive Mediterranean Sea and beautiful Sierra Blanca Mountain, Alanda Hotel Marbella is a luxury 4 star hotel which is ideal for individual travellers, holidaymakers as well as business travellers. The hotel is famed for is blissfully serene atmosphere and offers guests a wealth of services and facilities to ensure a comfortable stay.

Prayer facilities at Alanda Hotel Marbella include prayer rooms as well as prayer mats, prayer timetables and a Quran in each guestroom. Muslim guests may also visit the Mosque King Abdulaziz during prayer times, which is located right next to the hotel. The mosque is also known as Marbella Mosque and accommodates up to 800 people.

Dining options at Alanda Hotel Marbella will be plentiful for Muslim guests, with Halal food readily available. No alcohol is served and the hotel is also equipped with a Halal-certified kitchen and restaurant. It is capable of providing Halal banquets on request as well as Iftar and Suhoor during Ramadhan.

Other facilities offered to guests include a fully-equipped fitness centre, swimming pool, health club and spa, sauna, massages and beauty treatments. Business travellers are offered numerous meeting venues as well as the services of hosts, translators and photographers for their business needs.

Alanda Hotel Marbella was bought a year ago by the Saudi corporation Fawaz al Hokair and is considered to be an ideal focal point for Halal tourism in the region due to its close proximity to the King Abdulaziz mosque located just a few metres away. Halal tourism generates an estimated €300 million into Andalucia every year and is gradually becoming a lucrative business model.

 

 

Following Europe's first conference on Halal tourism which took place in Spain last week, American online news website The Huffington Post published an introduction and guide to Halal tourism.

The guide provides a quick introduction to Halal tourism and highlights its various aspects such as the necessity of Halal food and prayer facilities while travelling and how Muslim-friendly hotels cater to Muslim guests. CrescentRating - which was the Official Knowledge Partner of the Halal Tourism conference - is also listed along with HalalTrip as the front-runners of the Halal tourism industry.

The Halal Tourism Conference 2014 took place on the 22nd and 23rd September in Granada, Spain. The conference was attended by several tourist boards, travel agents, tour operators, Halal certification bodies, hotel managers and other players in the tourism industry.

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Nepal Info

ADMINISTRATIVE CAPITAL: Kathmandu

COMMERCIAL CAPITAL: Birgunj

GEOGRAPHY

Nepal shares boarders with india and china having an area of 147,181 sq km's it is a landlocked country.

DEMOGRAPHY

A population of close to 30 Million. Muslims account for about 4.2% of the population.

CLIMATE

Nepal's climate varies with its altitude; it can range from the tropical to the arctic. At the capital Kathmandu average temperature during summer varies from 28°C (82.4°F) to 30°C (86°F) and during winter the average temperature will come closer to 10°C (50°F).

LANGUAGES SPOKEN

Nepali is the official language.

LOCAL TIME

GMT+5 3/4 hrs throughout the year

BUSINESS HOURS

Government: 10 AM to 5 PM
General: 9 AM to 5 PM

HOLIDAYS
National Unity Day : January 11th
Martyrs Day :January 29th
National Democracy Day: February 18th
Holi: March 8th
Nepalese Women's Day : March 8th
Constitution Day: November 9th

Based on the lunar calandar:
Buddha jayanthi

CURRENCY

Nepalese Rupee

IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS

Police/ Emergencies: 100/103
Medical: 102
Fire: 101
From GSM: 112

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