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Safe Countries for Muslim travelers | The Top Muslim-Women Friendly Travel Destinations

Sep 2023

Recognizing the diverse needs of different groups of travelers in a world increasingly interconnected through travel is essential. The Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2023 Report, composed by Mastercard-CrescentRating, takes a bold step forward by introducing a new category: Muslim Women Friendly destinations. This groundbreaking addition underscores the importance of tailoring travel experiences to cater to Muslim women travelers' specific needs and preferences.

The Power of Muslim Women Travelers

Muslim women constitute a significant portion of the global Muslim travel market, with their influence extending far beyond their own journeys. According to the Mastercard-CrescentRating Muslim Women in Travel (MWIT) 2019 report, over 45% of Muslim travelers are women. This statistic highlights that Muslim women play a pivotal role in trip planning, whether traveling with family, in groups, or solo.

Interestingly, Muslim women travelers wield the most influence when their journeys involve their family and spouses. Whether as daughters, mothers, or spouses, they exert almost twice as much influence on trip planning as when traveling with others. This influence extends to solo and women's group travel, a growing sector before the COVID-19 pandemic and is expected to continue flourishing as travel restarts.

Hence, the GMTI acknowledges the importance of creating a dedicated Muslim women-friendly destination category, ensuring this influential group's hospitable and inclusive travel experience.

Key Factors in Determining Muslim Women-Friendly Destinations

To assess the overall experience of Muslim women travelers, the GMTI considers various factors within the Environmental criteria of the ACES model. These factors include faith restrictions, general safety, sustainability, and other relevant indicators. Destinations can enhance their services by considering the specific needs of Muslim women travelers, such as ensuring safety and security, providing suitable prayer facilities, and accommodating cultural sensitivities.

By embracing the diversity and needs of Muslim women travelers, destinations have a unique opportunity to tap into a growing market segment and establish themselves as leaders in providing exceptional experiences for this valuable group of travelers.


Top 10 Muslim-Women friendly Non-OIC Destinations

Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Portugal, Vietnam, Andorra, and the UK are the top 10 Muslim-Women Friendly destinations in the non-OIC category.

  • Singapore: Leading the list of Muslim Women Friendly destinations in the non-OIC category, Singapore balances a Muslim-friendly environment, safety, and sustainability without faith-based restrictions.
  • Asian Nations: Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Vietnam claim prominent positions in the top 10, showcasing their profound understanding of Muslim female travelers' requirements, coupled with high standards of general safety and sustainability.
  • Europe's Representation: Portugal, Andorra, and the United Kingdom, although having relatively lower GMTI scores than their Asian counterparts, secure their spots through their strong commitment to sustainable tourism and high safety measures.
  • Mauritius: As the sole representative of Africa, Mauritius highlights its environment accommodating Muslim practices and its significant safety standards.

Notably, destinations like Japan, South Korea, and Portugal score high in sustainability, indicating their dedication to responsible tourism. Despite lower general safety scores, the United Kingdom maintains its top 10 standing, bolstered by its high GMTI score. These non-OIC destinations have succeeded in fostering welcoming, safe, and respectful environments for Muslim women travelers. In upcoming editions of the GMTI, the list will expand to cover the ranking of more destinations.

Top 10 Muslim-Women friendly OIC Destinations

Malaysia, Indonesia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Brunie, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Oman, and Jordan are the top 10 Muslim-Women Friendly destinations in the OIC category.

  • Malaysia: Leading the Muslim Women Friendly destination list among OIC countries, Malaysia appeals to Muslim women with its safety, with no faith restrictions, and sustainable socio-economic practices.
  • Indonesia: Mirroring Malaysia's score, Indonesia demonstrates comprehensive efforts to create a Muslim women-friendly environment.
  • Qatar: Ranks third, offering high general safety levels and no faith restrictions.
  • Saudi Arabia and the UAE: Round out the top five, providing secure environments with complete faith compatibility.

Other OIC destinations like Brunei, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and Jordan offer strong safety and faith-based offerings, though slightly lower in overall scores than the top five. This illustrates the evolving landscape of Muslim women travelers within OIC destinations and the growing recognition of their distinct needs and preferences.

These destinations collectively provide comfortable, secure, and faith-friendly environments for Muslim women travelers. High levels of general safety and the absence of faith restrictions indicate a profound respect for and understanding of faith practices and culture, which is crucial for Muslim-friendly destinations.

Understanding the Pain Points of Muslim Women Travelers

The P.A.I.N.S - Privacy, Amenities, Identity, Networks & Safety - model identified in the Mastercard-CrescentRating Muslim Women in Travel (MWIT) 2019 report pinpoints unique concerns that stakeholders should address.

  • Privacy/Modesty: It is a considerable concern for Muslim women, leading them to avoid facilities with dress code restrictions or inadequate privacy.
  • Amenities: They prefer amenities that cater to their needs, such as women-only prayer places and child-friendly services.
  • Identity: Being a Muslim woman can lead to biases that travelers may encounter in certain destinations or facilities.
  • Networks: There is a lack of information for Muslim women travelers to connect with local communities that share their interests.
  • Safety: Safety is a significant concern, as identifying as a Muslim can attract hate crimes in some places.

MWIT Affinity Impact Model

The MWIT Affinity Impact Model, as proposed in the MWIT 2019 report, highlights how a deep understanding of Muslim women travelers can positively impact the travel industry. By understanding their profiles, facilitating their trip planning behaviors, and addressing the P.A.I.N.S they face, the travel industry can activate these travelers to explore the world, engage with social issues, and inspire others.


The Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2023 Report introduces a new era of travel awareness by recognizing and celebrating Muslim women travelers' unique needs and preferences. As destinations worldwide embrace this diversity and cater to this influential group, the travel industry stands to benefit from newfound niche markets, ultimately creating a more diverse and holistic travel ecosystem.

Visit this link to download the GMTI 2023 full report!

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