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Ramadan is the religious observance of fasting in Islam and Muslims fast this whole month annually. The date cannot be determined in advance due to the nature of the lunar calendar, however it is expected to begin around the 27th or 28th of June 2014. The dates may vary from country to country as Muslims have to begin and end the month of Ramadan after sighting the new moon. This month is a special month for Muslims around the world and observing fast is a compulsory act of worship if you are an adult although most children take part in this ritual as well. The fast should to be observed from sunrise to sunset and as it is the month of seeking repentance, Muslims need to spend a lot of time in prayer. Most Muslims don’t travel much during this month unless it is on pilgrimage to Makkah. But when it is essential to travel on work or for other reasons, Muslims are mostly reluctant travelers because finding Muslim-friendly facilities are not easy in most countries.

The Middle East is a loosely defined geographic region with most of the countries belonging to western Asia with the exception of Egypt, which is part of Africa, and the north western part of Turkey which is part of Europe. The countries within this region are Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Cyprus and Bahrain. Although this region is the smallest, it is the fastest growing tourist generating region in the world, with the outbound travel segment- growing at a very rapid rate and is expected to increase further in the coming years. This surge in outbound travel is the result of stronger economic conditions, rising disposable income, population growth and the rise in middle income expatriates traveling back home to visit family. Business travel too has risen with renewed investments in the country and closer international ties between companies. In the year 2012 outbound departures recorded a rise of 9% despite the negative impact of political unrest in the Middle East. This growth rate of 9% is the highest in the world and is well above the global rate of 3.5%.

Muslim travelers around the world represent a major marketing opportunity, and are an important segment in the travel, hospitality and tourism industry. With Muslim travelers spending over $120 billion on outbound travel in 2012, and its expected growth in the coming years, many countries are seeing the potential for attracting this segment of travelers. To make a destination Muslim-friendly, countries need to first educate the various business establishments that deal with the travel and tourism industry about the specific needs of these travelers. Many countries are enlisting the help of Crescentrating; a company that provides Halal-friendly travel consultancy services and pioneers in this field. Crescentrating also conducts workshops in order to evaluate the market and identify the consumer needs so that they can help these countries and businesses provide a better service and attract more tourists from this segment of travelers.

Can you afford to ignore the Muslim segment in your marketing plan? - 3.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

The Muslim traveler is an important part of the travel industry, which until recently has not been taken seriously. Most Muslims have had to take care of their requirements or compromise on certain aspects of their holiday needs in order to vacation in different parts of the world. Some even stuck to holidaying in their own country or would travel to a Muslim country where their needs would be met. The main requirement of a Muslim traveler would include availability of halal food in the hotel or halal restaurants located close by, prayer facilities, a family friendly environment and separate leisure facilities for men and women. For those traveling during Ramadan, the availability of Muslim-friendly facilities would be of utmost importance; mainly halal meals provided at the required times and prayer facilities. However not many hotel chains and restaurants have realized the large market they are missing out on when they don’t provide these facilities.

The Muslim travel industry and the halal food industry are two industries which are growing at a rapid rate. With the increasing demand for better Muslim travel facilities and halal food products many countries are making a huge effort in trying to capture this billion dollar market. Many countries are holding seminars in order to create awareness of the halal concept and to educate their local businesses and industries of the global opportunities available to them. With most Muslims traveling abroad at least once a year on vacation with their families, many countries are creating packages to suit their requirements. Several airlines too are making changes and providing better services to Muslim travelers.

Finding Halal restaurants in Dubai will be quite a simple task. With almost every restaurant in Dubai serving Halal food, Muslim travellers will be presented with an amazing variety of mouthwatering dishes to choose from – including popular local delights such as shawarmas and falafels. A wide range of food is on offer, with Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and South Asian fare available at numerous restaurants. A few prominent restaurants and eateries have been highlighted below.

Mosques in Paris - 1.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Paris is the cosmopolitan capital of France, located in the north, on the river Seine. Known as a fashion capital, the city is home to some of the best designer clothing and cosmetic brands in the world. Popular among tourists for its numerous iconic landmarks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, museums, galleries and Michelin star restaurants, Paris is one of the most visited cities of the world. It is home to some of the most famous landmarks and sites, including the Eiffel Tower, which is the most-visited among the city’s many attractions. Other famous sites include Notre Dame, Arc De Triomph, Centre Georges Pompidou, Catacombes de Paris, Palace of Versailles and the Pantheon. Musée d'Orsay and the Louvre are two of the city’s most famous museums. The Louvre’s department of Islamic art houses the oldest Islamic collection that might be of special interest to Muslim visitors.

Madrid; the capital and largest city of Spain, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city that is home to the Spanish monarch and is also the business and political center of Spain. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and is famous for its great cultural and artistic heritage, architectural wonders, historical marvels and world famous restaurant culture.

Traveling to the Pearl of the Indian Ocean Sri Lanka - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Sri Lanka is a tiny Island in the northern Indian Ocean, previously known as Ceylon and also known as "the Pearl of the Indian Ocean." It is a diverse county that boasts lush green tropical forests, beautiful colonial architecture and clear, beautiful beaches. It is a historical country that has temples, churches, mosques and other ancient sites to prove it. The country is known for being in the forefront for producing tea, rubber, coconuts and cinnamon. Sri Lanka is also home to some of the most popular destinations in the world, including Kandy and Galle. What makes it one of the most popular destinations among tourists is its diverse community. The little Island is home to a large population of Muslims and therefore Muslim travelers won’t have to search too much to find Halal food and mosques.

Spain is a fun and vibrant destination that has become one of the top destinations for tourists, in the world. Home to exotic islands, high mountains and gushing rivers, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, historical monuments, friendly people and world-renowned food, the county has something for everyone. Some of its popular cities and towns among tourists include; Madrid, Valencia, Seville, Cordoba, Granada and Barcelona. Spain has a population of over 2 million Muslims and therefore most of its cities and towns have a sizeable Muslim community that offers Halal-facilities to visiting Muslims.

  • Inverness, Scotland UK - Home of Big Nessie

    Situated in the heart of the Scottish Highland, the city of Inverness also serves as the administrative capital of the Highlands. A lively town, Inverness invites visitors all around the year to enjoy the numerous art galleries, museums, historic sites and other attractions.

  • Historic City of Aberdeen, Scotland UK

    Named as the ‘Silver City' or the ‘Granite City' after it's grey and glistening buildings, Aberdeen is the third largest city of Scotland. The city is home to some of the oldest university buildings of Europe. The city has a long history and there are several forts and castles across…
  • Dundee - The 4th Largest City in Scotland

    Sitting on two hills, the Balgay and the Law, is the impressive city of Dundee. The fourth largest city in Scotland, Dundee has a rugged landscape and beautiful weather making it a treat for travelers. Overlooking the River Tay, Dundee is a lively city.

  • The Gateway to the Highlands: Stirling, Scotland - UK

    One of the most historic cities in Scotland, Stirling is also called "The Gateway to the Highlands". In historic times, the city was the only connection to the Highlands and several important battles have been fought in the area. The Stirling Castle is the main highlight of the city. The…
  • The Capital of Scotland - Edinburgh

    Streets enveloped in history and brimming with a flourishing cultural scene is what describes the capital city of Scotland the best. Edinburgh is home to several historic castles and breathtaking sceneries of nature. The city is mainly segregated into two districts, the Old Town and the New Town, which are…
  • The Largest City of Scotland - Glasgow

    One of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe, Glasgow has undergone a cultural revival to become the epicenter of style and vivacity. The largest city of Scotland, Glasgow is located on the banks of River Clyde. Glasgow is recognized as one of the main centers of culture, art and education…
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UK Info

ADMINISTRATIVE / COMMERCIAL CAPITAL: London

GEOGRAPHY

The United Kingdom lies between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. It shares a total land area of 243,610 square kilometres and northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border. The UK has a coast line of 17,820 kilometres.

DEMOGRAPHY

A population of close to 62 Million. Muslims account for about 2.8% of the population.

CLIMATE

The climate varies with the seasons. Temperatures can even drop below -11°C or rise above 35°C. A mild and wet weather is in the eastern regions and majority of the rain falls over the western regions. Snowfall can occur in winter and summers are generally warm.

LANGUAGES SPOKEN

English is the official language. Irish, Cornish and Scots are widely used as well.

LOCAL TIME

GMT +0
Summer: GMT +1

BUSINESS HOURS

General: 9 AM to 5 PM

HOLIDAYS

New Year's Day: January 1st
May Day: May 1st
Christmas: December 25th
Boxing Day: December 26th

CURRENCY

Pound Sterling

IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS

Police/Medical/Fire : 999 or 112

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