Tapping into the Muslim tourism industry is not the easiest thing to do, but it just might be the right thing to do. With the increase in Muslim travelers in recent years, popular destinations around the world are keen on taking into account the needs of a Muslim traveler. The following is a guide to four top destinations in the world, taking into account how Muslim-friendly they are or aren’t.
Vienna might just be under ‘Places to see’ in every single person’s bucket list. It is the capital and largest city in Austria that is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, beautiful baroque architecture, museums, street markets, parks and gardens, the Schönbrunn Palace, the Wiener Riesenrad; which is a giant Ferris wheel, Hofburg Palace and the United Nations headquarters. Visitors to the city are sure to fall in love with it, the more they see. Vienna is surprisingly quite Muslim-friendly. Although there aren’t a whole load of Halal restaurants and mosques and prayer facilities, the city has just enough to keep Muslim-tourists comfortable. It also has restaurants that serve food that originated mainly from Asia and the Middle-East. Some of these restaurants are owned by Muslims, others are Halal certified, where as others claim to be Halal but do serve alcohol. Türkis Palast, Apadana, Asia Halal and Diwan Abanoz KEG are a few prominent restaurants in the city. Muslim tourists will also be able to use the facilities provided at the following mosques; Islamic Centre Vienna, Kuba Mosque, Schura Mosque, Ahmet Yesevi Mosque, Fatih Mosque. In addition to those, there are several other mosques scattered around the city. If required, tourists can always ask the locals for locations.
London, United Kingdom
London is another popular tourist destination known for being home to Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Tower Bridge, Hyde Park, the British Museum and Madame Tussauds. With so much to do and see, tourists can never decide on what to do first. It is a large, multicultural city that is home to quite a sizeable Muslim population, most of which live in Tower Hamlets and Newham. Muslim tourists tend to fit right in when they realize that Halal food and prayer facilities are widely available. There are quite a few Muslim owned take-away restaurants, as well as Halal food carts and even fast food restaurants that are easily accessible and conveniently located. Mosques are a plenty in the city, with the London Central Mosque, Finsbury Park Mosque, The East London Mosque, the London Mosque and Baitul Futuh being some of the more prominent ones.
Munich is one of the world’s most-visited destinations and the third largest city in Germany. Some must-see attractions in Munich include; Nymphenburg Palace, The Englischer Garten, BMW Welt, Munich Zoo, The New Town Hall and Riemer Park. The city is definitely Halal-friendly, with over four million Muslims making it their home. This ensures that Muslim tourists will be able to find a mosque or Halal restaurant with ease. Turkish, Pakistani, Afghani and Indian food can be found easily all over the city. Most of these restaurants are Muslim owned or Halal certified. One popular mosque that serves the Muslim population in Munich and has existed since 1989 is located in Sendling, which is a borough of Munich. Other mosques include; Al Tadahamun Masjid, Freimann Mosque, Ahmed Camii Xani and Al Furkan Masjid
Paris is one destination that is crowded all year round. One main reason that millions of tourists flock to Paris is the iconic Eiffel Tower. This world-renowned monument, located on Champ de Mars, has received over 250 million people and is said to be the most-visited paid monument in the world. Despite some of its policies; that have been affecting Muslim citizens and tourists alike, Paris actually receives visitors from all over the world, including a large amount from Muslim countries. A main reason for this influx is due to Paris’s sizeable population of Muslims, who are mainly from Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia. Locating a Halal restaurant in the city is quite easy; however visitors do need to make sure that these restaurants are either Muslim owned or Halal certified; since some of them tend to serve alcohol. The Grande Mosquée de Paris; a popular mosque in the city, located in the 5th arrondissement, is said to be one of the largest mosques in France. Other less prominent ones include Mosque de Gennevilliers, Al Ihsan and Mosquée El Fatih.