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Al Meshwar Restaurant is a Muslim-friendly restaurant which is known to serve a fabulous selection of delicious and authentic vegetarian and non-vegetarian Lebanese dishes. This restaurant, located in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates is ideal for Muslims, since the food served is entirely Halal. ...more

Fujairah, United Arab Emirates

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Al Meshwar Restaurant is a Muslim-friendly restaurant which is known to serve a fabulous selection of delicious and authentic vegetarian and non-vegetarian Lebanese dishes. This restaurant, located in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates is ideal for Muslims, since the food served is entirely Halal.

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Fujairah United Arab Emirates

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+971 9 223 1113

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  • Middle East | 6 Countries That'll Instantly Make You Not Want To Leave

    When it comes to Muslim-friendly destinations, there is no area more perfect than the Middle Eastern region, and the growing popularity of travelling to the Middle East makes it much easier for halal travel. Countries that are ruled by Muslim monarchs translates to abundant Muslim-friendly services like halal food, places to pray, and even segregation in areas like water parks, the metro, and public buses. It means that even though Middle Eastern destinations comprise of a large expat population, they are used to Islamic culture and attire, and religious biases are practically non-existent. If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday with little stress and more spontaneity, check out these top 6 Middle Eastern countries (in no particular order) that you should visit: 1) United Arab Emirates When it comes to where to travel in the Middle East, this is a no-brainer, as far as tourist destinations go, Dubai is on the map. But the UAE has made sure that the rest of the Emirates step up their game as well, and every place has something to offer. Whether it is living the fast life, big entertainment, touring the best mosques, or discovering Arab culture, UAE has it all. Attractions Abu Dhabi: Ferrari World, Yas Water WorldDubai: Wild Wadi, Ski Dubai, Sky Dive, Parasailing, Desert SafariAl Ain: Jabal al HafeetHatta: Hatta Kayak Must-Visit Architecture Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Zayed mosque; Dubai: Burj Khalifa, Burj al Arab, Atlantis, Bastakia in Bur Dubai, Souq;Sharjah: Blue Souq; Ras Al Khaimah: Al Jazirat Al Hamra (a spooky abandoned village rumoured to be haunted, it is also known as Ghost Town. It dates back to the 14th century and is a must-visit for history buffs and anyone who has wanted to visit the set of a horror movie); Fujairah: Al Bidyah Mosque (the oldest mosque in the UAE, built in 1446) Getting around Dubai with public transport is fairly easy thanks to the Dubai Metro. The cabin after Gold Class is ladies only, as well as the front section on public buses. Similarly, Wild Wadi has ladies night in the summer, and Jabal al Hafeet has segregated hot spring areas that you can bathe in. With masjids, every few feet or so, and prayer rooms in the malls, praying while you’re on the move is not an issue. Make the most of the halal food cuisine with every country’s food imaginable. All restaurants are halal certified (only hotel buffets might serve pork), so eating out is a breeze! UAE is considered to be a pricey destination, and that is true if you want to splurge on the big entertainment venues like theme parks and adventure sports. You can balance it out, however, by going to the beach, roaming around the souqs, taking a ride in the abra at the Creek which is the cheapest ride you’ll ever get in the country, and taking the time to soak up the culture. You can find cheaper accommodations as compared to the hotels like furnished apartments, and thanks to the Dubai Metro, you are connected to the rest of the city. 2) Saudi Arabia  We know that Saudi Arabia isn’t really known as a tourist destination – just one for Hajj and Umrah. Some people just go for the pilgrimage, while others take tour packages that show them the sites of Islamic history. Even though that is what Saudi is most famous for, it does have more to offer than just that. Attractions If you are in the vicinity of Makkah and Madinah, then you’re in the vicinity of Islamic historic sites. The battlefields of Badr and Uhud, the first masjid ever built there, Masjid Qiblatayn – the masjid with the two qiblahs, and so much more. If you are at all interested in Islamic history, it pays to put an image to the names. Durrat Al Arous Island north of Jeddah houses Albatoul Marine which is a fun place for adventure sports. Flyboarding is bit pricey here, but worth it if you’ve ever wanted to walk – no, fly – on water! Water jets are attached to your boots and up you go! Must-Visit Architecture Without a doubt, the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah and Masjid an-Nabawi in Madinah are mandatory. Not just because they are spectacular and places of such peace and tranquillity despite the hustle and bustle, but because they are also home to great reward. Any prayer offered here is multiplied immensely. Credit: Wikipedia Muslims visiting Saudi rarely leave without visiting one of these sites. What most people don’t make it to are the Madain Saleh and sites. Jubbah and Shuwaymus are the areas with rock carving show that there that is so much more to Saudi Arabian history that is yet to be explored. The carvings are in a different language and depict what life was like in those days, much like hieroglyphics. Madain Saleh is not just for history buffs. These fascinating structures built so many thousands of years ago still stand today, attesting to an era long gone but not entirely forgotten. The area used to have fresh water that attracted many settlers who then carved out structures. Today, it is completely dry but the buildings still stand. As with countries in the Middle East, certain attractions can be rather pricey. But when it comes to history, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. 3) Qatar  Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world, and its lifestyle reflects that. Just step into the airport and you are surrounded by brand names and items that seem like they belong in a dream. Despite all this modernity though, Qatar still maintains its heritage, and it is one of the best places to visit. Attractions Credit: Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara on Facebook Banana Island Resort by Anantara is truly a paradise. Even if you’re not staying at the luxury hotel, you can still enjoy the premises. Its tropical flora makes you forget you’re in the Middle East, and you are treated to a range of cuisines. Make the most of the beach and sea, go bowling or take a Segway ride on this almost-private island. Credit: Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) on Facebook In complete contrast is the Museum of Islamic Arts which houses the largest Islamic art collection in the world. Curated from three different continents, Qatar is proud of this gem not only because of what is within but because the structure itself is magnificent, designed by the architect of the Louvre Pyramid. On its own island with a palm-tree lined entrance, set amid a vast landscape and an impeccable view across the water, this place is worth the visit. Credit: Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) on Facebook There are guided tours in English and Arabic every Thursday at 2pm of the permanent collection housed on two floors. Unlike other museums, the Museum of Islamic Arts is organised in such a way that you get a feel of what Islamic art is truly like through the homogeneity of a single print used across various medium. Visitors are requested to avoid strappy and short clothing and you might be restricted from entering. Must-Visit Architecture While some prefer the air-conditioned climate of malls, others would rather take in the culture while roaming the souqs. Souq Waqif is one such place that you should not miss. Contradicting the high-end fashion and attire visible in the malls, the streets are where you get a taste of what Qatar is really like. Vibrant in its sights, smells and feels, Souq Waqif has beautiful traditional bukhoor, spices, and embroidered clothing. Credit: Katara It is also a testament to history as it is where Bedouins would come to trade their essentials too. Katara Cultural Village is a beautiful man-made location to soak up more heritage. From the architecture to the Greek-Islamic style amphitheatre, people flock there in the evenings when the weather gets cooler to enjoy the outdoors. There are restaurants, mosques, and a beach right with water sports and inflatable play complexes, making it the perfect family spot. Qatar is known to be a pricey location but the country is also very hospitable. If you want to live in the lap of luxury for a few days, this is the place for you. 4) Oman  Even though Oman is in the Middle East – and generally what comes to mind when one thinks of ‘Middle East’ is ‘desert’, Oman is one of the few countries that actually has a tropical oasis region. Laidback and serene, the country has plenty to offer tourists. Since a slice of Oman juts into the UAE, many residents of UAE take the opportunity on long weekends or holidays to avail the natural sites available. However, if you decide to stay there exclusively, there is so much more that you can do. Attractions As always, souqs are part of the Middle Eastern charm and Muttrah Souq is no exception. Go there to get your fix of gahwah or Arabic coffee, bargain for souvenirs, or simply to enjoy the feel of being in an Arab country. The beaches of Musandam are one of the areas that you will find people on day trips as it is separated from Oman by a piece of UAE land. Pristine white sands and clear blue waters make this a hot tourist spot. Credit: Richard Bartz on Wikipedia Oman believes in conserving their land and natural resources and this is evident at Ras al Jinz, a natural reserve for endangered green turtles, located on the east coast. Visitors can observe them laying their eggs, and even catch them hatching and returning to the sea. Wadi Bani Khalid is one of those areas that are striking and green as it has a spring that keeps running year round. Add those palm trees to the shades of red that the rocks are made of, and you have a very Instagrammable location. #prettyasapicture #nofilter Credit: Philipp Weigell on Wikipedia Salalah is the vacation spot inside your holiday. Tropical, cool and like a world of its own, this is a must-visit. If you want your holiday to include a bit of a workout, be sure to head to Jabal al Akhdar. Translating to The Green Mountain, it gets its name from the greenery spattered across it, but it is well known for its hiking trails. Another great spot is Jabal ash-Shams, or Mountain of the Sun, so called as it is believed to be the first point that the sun touches when it rises. It is the highest peak in the region and has some great views. Majlis al Jinn is for the rock climbers out there as it has the second largest cave chamber in the world. The Bimmah Sinkhole is a natural phenomenon caused by limestone that eroded below the surface leaving a spectacularly blue-green pool for swimming. Must-Visit Architecture Credit: World Architecture Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque has to be one of the staples on your list of sights to see. This Grand Mosque is one of the chain of Sultan Qaboos mosques built around the world. The high arches, golden domes, engraved walls and a beautiful interior should not be missed. The Royal Opera House sounds like it belongs in England, but this one is in Oman. Besides the various international performances that the venue is used for, you can tour the location that resembles a palace. Oman is like one of those shy kids standing in the back; only when you decide to look further do you realise the gems it has to offer. 5) Kuwait  Kuwait may not be a tourist hotspot, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t waiting to be explored. Like the UAE, Kuwait is known for its modernity and high rise buildings, but they also keep a strong hold on their roots and culture. Kuwait is one of the smaller Middle Eastern countries, but it is worth the trip. When travelling around the GCC, what is striking is that, even though they all appear to be the same on the outside, different aspects of heritage and culture stand out when you dig deep. Attractions Housing an Imax cinema, aquarium, dhow harbour, and a discovery palace, The Scientific Centre is the best place to take kids. The floor-to-ceiling shark and ray tanks are incredible to see, and getting your hands dirty in the Discovery Palace allows kids to get lost in the wonder of science. Credit: @aquaparkq8 on Instagram In addition to viewing the different regions present in the aquarium – the desert, coastal edge, and sea zone – you can also dive with sharks if you have a valid diving licence. The age for diving is 14 years and older. If you don’t want to swim with sharks, no problem! Head to Aqua Park, a major water theme park in Kuwait. Whether you are a child or an adult, Aqua Park has something for everyone. Fancy lazing around? Grab a tube and float on the Lazy River. Want an adrenalin shot? Try the Boomerango. There are cafes and restaurants inside the park which are all halal, but as food can be a bit pricey, take at least a bottle of water with you. Tuesdays are now reserved for ladies’ day, but even if you go with the family, there are separate changing areas for men and women and separate prayer areas. Bikinis are not allowed. Credit: Mirror House The Mirror House is definitely a must-see as, even though it is an art display, it is more like art in action. You will not be bored. Each room is explained by the Italian-Kuwaiti artist and took around 40 years to complete. Yes, 40 years! It better be good! With visual effect and getting the visitors to interact with the art, this is one thing you have to experience to understand. Falaika Island is where you can see true history. Take a ferry to the island that is now an open-air museum, depicting the war. Must-Visit Architecture As with all the Gulf countries, the local Grand Mosque is a must-visit. The architecture is unique to the country and its history, and Kuwait’s Grand Mosque is no exception. With the hustle and bustle of the city, head here to admire the structure and bask in the tranquility. Kuwait Towers are also an iconic part of the city. With a viewing platform and a restaurant, you can grab a bite while you cast your glance of a view over almost the entire country. Tareq Rajab Museum is another standout location to visit. Housing some of the most beautiful pieces in history – think jewels and garments fit for a princess – the collection of Arabic manuscripts is what rocks it to international standards. Mercifully, while the rest of the museum was being looted by Iraqi soldiers during the war, this area was left untouched thanks to the quick thinking of the local guards. The Kuwaiti Dinar is one of the strongest currencies in the world, so don’t be fooled by the small numbers. 6) Bahrain  If you’re looking for a totally laidback holiday, Bahrain is the place to go. As a small country that mostly keeps to itself, Bahrain isn’t on the map as a tourist destination. There are plenty of low-key things you can keep yourself occupied with though, so if this is you, keep reading. Attractions Camping in the desert might seem like a risky move – “What about the snakes and scorpions?” – but wait till you see the level of camping. With proper toilets, plasma TVs, and food in your tents, just think of it as a relocation of your hotel room. Camping is open from October 15th to March 31st. Head to Hawar Island off the coast of Qatar to bask in nature. It is a protected wildlife reserve that is under Qatar as well, and a beautiful place to get away from desert life. Explore the souqs for your regular souvenirs. Just walking around the souq will expose you to items that you wouldn’t even have thought of getting. The biggest thing that Bahrain is known for is hosting the Grand Prix, so be sure to time your holiday around then and grab some tickets! You can’t leave Bahrain without taking an authentic souvenir for yourself, and what better way to do that than to go pearl diving? If you’re finding it hard to decide between buying traditional keepsakes and regular ones, you can take your time exploring Al Jasra Handicraft Centre with displays work by local artisans, or going across to the Capital Mall. Must-Visit Architecture Were you expecting to visit a mosque? Don’t miss Al Fateh Grand Mosque! Muslims and non-Muslims alike are allowed to tour the impressive mosque on Open Day. Qal’at al Bahrain is the 16th century remains of a Bahrain or Portuguese fort that is free to look around. Going back in time a hundred years is the Arad Fort, a 15th century fort that initially guarded its own island before being joined to Muharraq Island. It differs from Qal’at al Bahrain by its Islamic architecture, as it was built before the Portuguese invaded Bahrain. The currency in Bahrain is also pretty strong compared to the other Gulf countries, so the prices can seem a bit steep at times. With the few things there are to do in Bahrain though, we think a few days is enough time to visit....

  • Top 10 Muslim-friendly OIC Destinations

    The Global Muslim Travel Index for 2018 is out! If you’re wondering what the most Muslim-friendly countries are for the year 2018, getting yourself a copy of the latest index is an absolute must! Covering 130 destinations - both, OIC and non-OIC -, the Global Muslim Travel Index 2018 by Mastercard and CrescentRating rank these countries based on key criteria covering access, communications, environment and services. The OIC destinations that scored the top spots in the index all offer a plethora of facilities and services that Muslims look for when traveling; from Halal food and prayer facilities, to affordability and accessibility. Here’s a look at the top 10 Muslim-friendly OIC destinations in 2018 that are doing all the right things to make Muslim travellers feel right at home!   Malaysia Picture Credit: www.lonelyplanet.com It’s no surprise that once again, for the eighth consecutive year; Malaysia has managed to keep its top position in the global Muslim travel market! One of the most sought after travel destinations for Muslim families, as well as honeymooners and backpackers, Malaysia is a country that does not only offer endless things to do and see; from cultural wonders to spectacular natural sites, but its Muslim-majority status and the countless facilities they offer, attract Muslim tourists from around the world who are looking to have an unforgettable holiday while also staying true to their religious beliefs. Considered as one of the fastest developing countries in the world, Malaysia combines old-world charm and modern city-life effortlessly. Like most Muslim-majority countries, Malaysia is home to plenty of mosques; including some of the most beautiful in the world, and even offer prayer rooms and ablution facilities in most malls and major attractions. In addition to that, Halal food can be found throughout the country, from street-side carts to food courts to renowned, top-notch restaurant, thus the convenience. Along with the amazing tourist experience they offer, they are certainly proving to be unbeatable! Find Halal food places in Malaysia Find Mosques and Prayer places in Malaysia   Indonesia Picture Credit: blog.davestpay.com Next on the list, and tying with the United Arab Emirates in second place, is beautiful Indonesia! A fantastic destination for Muslim travellers, this Muslim-majority country is one of the most perfect spot for that Muslim-friendly holiday you’ve been dreaming of for a while! While this Southeast Asian country remains as a popular destination for both Muslim and non-Muslims, Indonesia truly defines what it means to be Muslim-friendly. Halal food can be found almost anywhere in the country, and mosques and prayer places are available throughout. Indonesia ticks all the right boxes. From offering Muslim travellers all of the Muslim-friendly facilities they require, to its natural beauty, and its cultural diversity and even being a destination for shopaholics and foodies, Indonesia is a destination unlike any other! Find Halal food places in Indonesia Find Mosques and Prayer places in Indonesia   The United Arab Emirates Picture Credit: www.zocalopublicsquare.org The United Arab Emirates, along with Indonesia, took the second spot in the Global Muslim Travel Index 2018. A collection of seven Emirates; Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, and Umm al-Quwain, the UAE is a Muslim country that has been in the limelight for the past few years, due to its ‘bigger is better’ attitude. From being home to some of the biggest and most well-known attractions in the world, to its incredible world-renowned food scene and its note-worthy infrastructure. Even boasting some of the world’s best Muslim-friendly facilities and its diversity in culture, Dubai is without a doubt one of the most popular tourist destinations across the globe. Finding mosques and prayer places along with Halal food in the country’s major cities, like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, will be incredibly easy, and finding the same, is just as effortless in its lesser known ones as well. Find Halal food places in UAE  Find Mosques and Prayer places in UAE   Turkey Picture Credit: www.worldatlas.com The vibrant country of Turkey has long been a destination attracting tourists from all over the world. Its fascinating history, culture and customs, along with its spectacular attractions and beautiful architecture, stunning natural scenery and its location makes it one of the most popular travel destinations in the world! Long being enchanting visitors, Turkey also has some of the most mouth-watering food! And, all of you out there who travel to taste and discover new exciting dishes; since the country is made up of mostly Muslims, almost all the food found throughout is Halal! Mosques are scattered throughout the country, and that along with all other Muslim-friendly amenities the country offers, make Muslims always feel right at home when visiting. Find Halal food places in Turkey Find Mosques and Prayer places in Turkey   Saudi Arabia Picture Credit: www.kozanbilgi.net Saudi Arabia is one of the top countries in the world for Muslim travel, especially due to it being home to the sacred cities of Makkah and Madinah. Muslims travel across the world to Saudi Arabia at least once in their lifetime to perform the Holy pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah. However, Saudi Arabia’s other cities also offer plenty to do and see; from Islamic heritage sites, to modern attractions, making Saudi Arabia the ultimate Muslim-friendly destination. One thing that Muslims are sure to find exciting, is that only Halal food can be found throughout the country, so eating out can be done without a worry in the world! The country also has countless mosques and prayer rooms, which means no matter where you are; in a mall, or even driving across the dessert, finding prayer facilities can be done so with ease. Find Halal food places in Saudi Arabia Find Mosques and Prayer places in Saudi Arabia   Qatar Picture Credit: www.iloveqatar.net Qatar is the new up-and-coming destination, fast following in the steps of some of the UAE’s major cities, such as Dubai. The Middle Eastern country; known for its futuristic architecture and impressive, modern skyline, is developing rapidly and becoming a must-visit destination for Muslim travelers. It offers a great blend of rich culture and traditions, along with a sophisticated art and food scene, making it an exciting destination for Muslims to discover. As with all of the countries in this list, its majority-Muslim population means that Muslim-friendly facilities like Halal food, as well as mosques and prayer rooms, can be found throughout. Find Halal food places in Qatar Find Mosques and Prayer places in Qatar   Bahrain Picture Credit: itcsecure.com Moving a few spots up in the Global Muslim Travel Index 2018, from the 2017 index, Bahrain may not be as well-known as some other Middle Eastern countries, but the destination is rapidly gaining recognition as a superb destination for Muslim travelers due to a number of factors. The island-nation boasts a laid-back vibe, which attracts those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life while not compromising on their religious values. It is home to numerous historical and cultural sites, offers visitors a fascinating look into wealthy Arab life and culture, and also has a plethora of Muslim-friendly facilities. Halal food and prayer facilities are widely found around the country, thus making it incredibly easy for Muslim visitors to explore it without a worry. Find Halal food places in Bahrain Find Mosques and Prayer places in Bahrain   Oman Picture Credit: www.constructionweekonline.com Next up, is the exotic destination of Oman! The Islamic country offers Muslim travellers an incredible experience, by featuring all of the Muslim-friendly facilities visitors usually look for in a destination; Halal food and prayer facilities, as well as numerous fascinating attractions and sites, making it a gem of a destination that can be discovered with ease, and thus a popular getaway spot for those in neighbouring countries. The country is steeped in history and has managed to keep its roots without letting development take over. From incredible culture immersions, to the friendliest of people, to beach getaways, mountain treks and desert escapades, to breathtaking natural scenery and ancient sites, we truly can’t think of another place that offers everything that the spectacular country of Oman does! Find Halal food places in Oman Find Mosques and Prayer places in Oman   Morocco Picture Credit: www.moroccokeytravel.com This list would definitely be incomplete without the addition of colourful Morocco! A well-known travel destination; the North African country of Morocco is one that will enchant you with its incredible, diverse culture, its natural beauty and spectacular beaches, its fascinating ancient cities and rich deserts, its warm hospitality and its delicious, fragrant food. And it only gets better because of its Muslim-friendliness! With the country being predominantly Muslim, it has all the amenities Muslim travellers look for when planning a getaway. Halal food is widely found across Morocco, and so are mosques and prayer rooms. Find Halal food places in Morocco Find Mosques and Prayer places in Morocco   Kuwait Picture Credit: www.worldtravelguide.net Kuwait takes the Global Muslim Travel Index’s tenth spot for the year 2018, and we think that’s definitely well deserved! While not as loud and luxurious as other well known Middle Eastern countries, Kuwait’s charm is magnetic and undeniable. Ideal for those looking to experience that ‘Arab feel’, Kuwait is home to some wonderful attractions, and its natural beauty is certainly something to write about. The country features some fantastic museums, a lively food scene, some lovely beaches and pretty souqs. Its predominantly Muslim population also means that no matter where in the country you are, prayer facilities are easy to find and Halal restaurants are aplenty! Find Halal food places in Kuwait Find Mosques and Prayer places in Kuwait   Go on a Halal Trip with us!...

  • Beautiful Mosques of the UAE

    The United Arab Emirates is famous for its towering skyscrapers and amazing architecture. Known for their grand vision, ‘think big’ attitude and pushing the limits, the UAE applies this approach not just to modern goals but to balance the old and new. The presence of its culture and heritage is visible everywhere around the country, and it does a good job of creating mosques that stand out in design or blend into the surrounding area very well. Whether you are trying to find prayer places and mosques near you in UAE or make it a goal to visit the most beautiful mosques to see in UAE, here are some of the ones you cannot miss.   Abu Dhabi   1) Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi Of course, we would start with this one! Iconic in its own right and a major tourist attraction, some people visit Abu Dhabi just to take a look at this mosque. One of the biggest mosques in the UAE, it is also the National Mosque and where the previous ruler of the country, Sheikh Zayed’s resting place can be found. It is open to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, as long as they are decently covered. Traditional abayas and shawls are provided at the entrance to those who require it. The multiple domes, exquisite symmetry and intricate detailing all seem like something out of a movie (think Chamber-of Secrets-like bathrooms). Click here for more information on the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque    2) Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Mosque at Mohammed bin Zayed City, Abu Dhabi  Picture Credit - arabianindustrial.com One of the more unique mosques in the UAE, this mosque is worth a visit simply for its slightly futuristic look and non-traditional architecture. Opened in 2011 and built to accommodate over 5000 people, its spiralling dome and minaret make it one of the most unique mosques in the UAE. Click here for more information on the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak   3) Al Aziz Mosque in Marina Square on Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi Picture Credit - www.apgarch.com Truly a breath-taking sight to behold, especially at night, Al Aziz Mosque is a must-visit. Very different from the traditional mosques, it was built to fit in with its surroundings, yet it also stands out. During the day, Al Aziz Mosque showcases its triangular-cut minaret, glass fittings and walls carved with the Names of Allah in Arabic calligraphy. At night, however, light plays a major role in transforming the space. The minaret and dome are lit up in a unique way, and the calligraphy inscribed on the outside walls is also illuminated. Using optical fibres that transmit light through the stone – or light transmitting concrete – the walls come to life. The incredible outside invites worshippers to enter another world and leave this one behind when it the time for prayer comes. The mosque is as good inside as it is outside as it makes the most of natural light during the day, it recycles wastewater, uses energy efficient bulbs, and has an effective waste management system.   4) Masjid Bani Hashim, Abu Dhabi  Picture Credit - islamicresourcedubai.com If you want to be transported to another place and time, look no further than Masjid Bani Hashim, close to Shangri-La Hotel, in Abu Dhabi. An exact slightly miniature replica of the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem – down to the ruined pillars outside – the mosque has gained popularity since its opening in 2011 but its fame has been overshadowed by the likes of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which is why it still remains to be fairly unknown. Away from the main roads and its noise, it offers a quiet spot to pray and reflect, while imagining being in Jerusalem. Click here for more information on the Abdul Rahman Siddique Mosque   Dubai   5) Al Salam Mosque, Al Barsha Picture Credit - azeem.me Located right behind Mall of the Emirates, you can take your prayer stop there instead of at a prayer room at the mall. It is a stunning building that stands out from afar – in structure as well as due to its reddish-pink exterior – and is a mix of Emirati, Andalusian and Ottoman architecture.   6) Abdul-Rahman Siddique Mosque on The Palm, Jumeirah Picture Credit - Archnet.com  Only in touring the mosques in this country can you realise how different a basic structure with a dome and minaret can look. The challenge when designing this mosque on the Palm Island was to create a modern look that matched its surroundings. It achieved that with its slightly futuristic appearance made with glass, steel and stone, but it doesn’t take away from the peace worshippers find within. Click here for more information on the Abdul Rahman Siddique Mosque   7) Masjid Al Rahim, Dubai Marina Picture Credit - www.thenational.ae The only mosque in the Dubai Marina, Masjid Al Rahim seems regular enough with its warm beige exteriors. It sports a unique feature, however, in the form of a stand-alone piece with the words “There is no God but Allah” in Arabic cut out in block letters – not the usual calligraphy – at the side of the mosque. The interiors are exquisite in their white and gold detailing; with the chandeliers even being inscribed with Arabic calligraphy along the outside edges. Click here for more information on the Masjid Al Rahim   8) Al Farooq Omar bin Al Khattab Mosque, Al Safa Picture Credit - alfarooqcentre.com Inaugurated in 2011, Al Farooq Omar bin Al Khattab mosque became the third mosque in the UAE to open its doors to non-Muslims. Also known as the Blue Mosque due to its similarity to the Blue Mosque in Turkey, it takes design cues and interior detailing from Turkish and Andalusian architecture. Rather like a castle out of Disney from afar, the mosque’s many minarets stand out like spires. Al Farooq Omar bin Al Khattab Mosque was established in 1988 and expanded in 2003 until it was finally rebuilt in 2011 and can now hold 2000 people. Click here for more information on the Al Farooq Omar bin Al Khattab Mosque   9) Jumeirah Mosque, Dubai Picture Credit - www.visitdubai.com One of the most iconic mosques in the Emirates, it was the first one to be opened to non-Muslims as well, that allowed them a tour through the religious place. It was also the mosque used for the Adhan (call to prayer) on TV years ago, bringing it its fame. Before the introduction of the grand mosques visible in the UAE today, Jumeirah Mosque, built in the late 1970s, was one of the most photographed mosques. Built in the medieval Fatimid tradition, the Jumeirah Mosque is one of the attractions in UAE. Click here for more information on the Jumeirah Mosque   10) Iranian Mosque, Bur Dubai Picture Credit - dubaitravelator.com The only Iranian mosque in UAE, you cannot miss this mosque located a short distance from the Jumeirah Mosque. Its Persian influences are clearly visible in the mosaic-patterned exterior that stands out in all its colourful glory, blue being the dominant hue. It also includes a library with over 14,000 books and has weekly tours run by the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding for non-Muslims. Click here for more information on the Iranian Mosque   Sharjah   11) Al Noor Mosque, Sharjah Picture Credit - www.beautifulmosque.com Built at the Sharjah Corniche, Al Noor Mosque also opens its doors to non-Muslims. It stands out with its 34 domes and Turkish Ottoman architecture and can accommodate over 2000 worshippers. At night, it lights up like a party. Click here for more information on the Al Noor Mosque   12) King Faisal Mosque, Sharjah Picture Credit - beautifulmosque.com One of Sharjah’s largest mosques, King Faisal Mosque can host up to 17,000 people. Constructed in the 1980s, it has a unique style not visible in the more modern places of worship. The architect, hailing from Saudi Arabia, was determined to keep the design as simple as possible so as to not distract worshippers. The large courtyard inside the walls of the mosque sports plenty of pillars on all four sides to help the people praying to maintain straight rows. Until the opening of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, King Faisal Mosque was the largest one in the UAE. Click here for more information on the King Faisal Mosque   13) Salem Al Mutawa Mosque, Khor Fakkan Picture Credit - www.thenational.ae The second-oldest mosque in the UAE, Salem Al Mutawwa Mosque is famous for being the mosque that appears on the 5 Dirham banknote. Talk about a landmark. Built over 200 years ago, it is very simple in its architecture and named after a local resident who never missed a prayer at the mosque.   Fujairah 14) Masjid Al Badiyah, Fujairah Picture Credit - www.beautifulmosque.com You cannot visit the UAE and not make a trip to Fujairah if only to see the oldest mosque in the country. It was constructed during the Ottoman period in 1446 and, compared to the mosques of today, it resembles a mud hut. It still stands though and is still in use by worshippers. Click here for more information on the Al Badiyah Mosque This is not, by far, a complete list of mosques in the United Arab Emirates. There are many incredible and photogenic mosques in the UAE, as well as those with plenty of history, and if you happen to visit any of them outside the ones mentioned here, do update us via the HalalTrip App. The Dubai mosque list, in particular, can have plenty more added to it. You don’t just have to be looking for a place to pray when you vacation in UAE to visit these mosques, but you could make it part of your itinerary to cover all these and more in your travel to UAE. Pictures don’t do justice to the breath-taking beauty that is visible here....

  • Muslim-Friendly Holidays in 2018 - Halal Trip’s Best 13 Countries to visit

    If you are looking for a Muslim Friendly holiday, you have come to the right place! Halaltrip's team has put together 13 amazing countries to visit this year. It's that time when most of us reflect back on the past year and all the amazing experiences we've had. We also end up thinking about all that we wanted to do but didn't get the chance to. Well, that's all over now. It's time to look to the future into this year and plan all our amazing adventures! Of course, traveling should be a big part of your plan for 2018! Visiting different places of the world and taking in all the wonders of Allah is one of the most satisfying experiences we'll have in our short stint in this world. And as Muslims, we no longer have to wonder about Halal travel and whether we'll be able to find Halal food and prayer places because so many countries and cities around the world are becoming increasingly Halal-friendly day by day. There are so many amazing holiday destinations for Muslim families and solo travel, but here are the best Muslim-Friendly countries to visit in 2018: Credit-Giphy.com   1. Penang, Malaysia Malaysia is definitely at the top of the list of the best countries to travel to in 2018, but that's not something new as they have been the pioneers in Muslim-friendly tourism before other countries jumped on the bandwagon. On top of all that, Malaysia is also the ideal place for cheap Muslim-friendly holidays. Malaysia is a multi-cultural country, with a little more than half being Muslims. It has one of the most versatile Halal food scenes in the world, everything from street food to high-end restaurants of varying cuisines. There are also numerous mosques, and so many exciting attractions to visit. Langkawi and the Genting Highlands are just a couple places where you could even spend the entirety of a short visit! George Town, in the state of Penang, is a blend of history and contemporary Malaysia. Listed as a Unesco World Cultural Heritage Site, Georgetown in one of the best places to visit in Malaysia where you can get all the excitement of KL along with a sprinkling of history and adventure, all of it beachside! Find nearby Halal food places in Malaysia  Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in Malaysia    2. Bodrum, Turkey Turkey is a Muslim-majority country with nearly 98% of the population being of the Islamic faith. This means that Muslim travellers have little to worry about in terms of finding Muslim-friendly facilities, Halal food, or prayer places. Which is a good thing, because Turkey's cuisine of rich flavours, vibrant spices, and mouthwatering aromas is definitely one you can't miss! Turkey has a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites that depict the historical and cultural impact made throughout history, and many beautiful architectures as well as magnificent mosques. Everyone visits Istanbul, but if you want to experience the trendy side of Turkey, take yourself to Bordum town on the southwest coast. Here you can visit the ancient Bodrum Castle, take a Hamam (Turkish bath), relax in seaside resorts, or enjoy the wide array of delicious food!   Find nearby Halal food places in Turkey   Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in Turkey   3. Osaka, Japan Although Japan's Islamic history is relatively brief, it is quickly becoming one of the most Muslim-friendly holiday destinations for 2018. There are over 60 mosques in the country, like the Kobe Mosque which was built in 1935 (the first mosque in Japan). The government of Japan is also working hard to make Muslims feel more welcome in their country. If you were to visit in 2018, you'd see prayer rooms with clearly marked signs in major airports, plenty of Halal restaurants (or at the least a special Muslim-friendly menu), prayer areas in public places as well as the qibla marked in hotel rooms. Tokyo, Kobe, Kyoto, and Osaka are the best destination for travellers to visit as they have a lot of Muslim-friendly facilities. The port town of Osaka is a place where modernity and the past mix together beautifully. You can witness this while visiting sights like the 16th-century shogunate Osaka Castle and old Shinto shrines, and then shopping in trendy malls, exploring futuristic buildings, and dining at modern cafes and restaurants.   Find nearby Halal food places in Japan   Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in Japan     4. Kolkata, India Even with only 10% of the country being Muslims, India has the 3rd largest Islamic population in the world. This means that it's really easy to find Halal food and prayer places, no matter where in the country you choose to visit. The south, in particular, is the best part of India for Muslims to visit as it has the largest concentration of Muslims. There are hundreds of mosques all over India. The famous Jama Masjid in Delhi was built in the 1650s by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahn, who also built the monument that India is most widely recognized for – the Taj Mahal. There are so many Muslim-friendly places to visit in India that it would be hard to make a list. These places include tourist attractions, amazing Halal restaurants, mosques and Islamic sites (both new and old), and so much more! India is also one of the best value travel destinations in 2018, as it is pretty easy to travel on a budget. The city of Kolkata in West Bengal is one of the cities to focus on. Apart from having effective public transport and infrastructure, it is also known to be one of the cheapest cities to travel or live in India. Kolkata is the land of cultural festivities and is known to be the cultural capital of India. You can also visit colonial-era landmarks like the Victoria Memorial and Fort William sprawling gardens, the Marble Palace, and the Nakhoda Mosque (largest in the city).   Find nearby Halal food places in India   Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in India     5. Fez, Morocco Morocco is another country which is almost entirely made up of Muslims. But that's not all it has to offer in terms of tourism. The exotic and vibrant culture, amazing food and incredible architecture are enough to leave anyone awe-inspired, be it Muslim or not. But, of course, the fact that almost all the food in the country is bound to be Halal, and that there are loads of magnificent mosques, as well as there being so many historic and cultural Islamic attractions sweetens the deal! The city of Fez, known to be the cultural capital of Morocco, is an amazing place to visit. Those with an artistic soul will feel right at home at the incredible art museums and the historical buildings. It is also home to the oldest university in the world and is known to be the largest car-free urban area in the world, and that's certainly something to see in this day and age.    Find nearby Halal food places in Morocco   Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in Morocco     6. St Julians, Malta Malta isn't exactly the first place one would think of when considering Halal-friendly holidays in Europe, but you'd be surprised at how accommodating the country is to its Muslim visitors. Islam has even been quite prevalent in the history of the island; with Muslims making major impacts in the development of the country, in the agriculture and food industries in particular. Most of the places in Malta are also named in Arabic, such as Cassar, Zammit, Farrugi, and more. Although there is only one officially recognized mosque – Mariam Al-Batool Mosque in Paola – there are a few prayer places. In any case, there are plenty of private villas and other private places where you can pray. Halal food is also widely available. One of the best places to visit is the seaside town of St Julian's, where you can go fishing, visit ancient buildings like the Baroque museum and Spinola Palace, or enjoy great food.   Find nearby Halal food places in Malta Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in Malta    7. Abu Dhabi, UAE If you're looking for a luxury travel holiday destination for Muslim families, then there's no better place to visit than the UAE. With one of the world's strongest economies and a majority Muslim population, UAE is one of the richest Muslim countries in the world. You can choose between the ever-popular Dubai and Abu Dhabi to the lesser known cities like Sharjah, Fujairah, or Al Ain; they are all great places to visit! UAE is home to many of the world's most magnificent mosques, a tour of which would be compulsory on your Halal travel. There are so many other things to do like visit tourist attractions, go on safaris, and immerse yourself in shopping. It also has a wide variety of amazing food from local cuisines to international ones – and the best part: most, if not all of it, is Halal! You can choose between the cities like Dubai and Sharjah to the lesser known cities like Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah, or Al Ain. Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE is one of the best places to visit. Here, one gets to experience the entirety of what UAE has to offer. Visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (which is certainly grand, to say the least), sprawling modern shopping malls, or even stay at desert resorts! Find nearby Halal food places in UAE Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in UAE    8. Lombok, Indonesia If you're a lover of all things natural and organic, then its time for you to book the ticket for your Halal travel to Indonesia! Made up of a bunch of islands which are mostly volcanic, Indonesia has a majority Muslim population, which means you'll feel right at home. It also means that you will never have trouble finding nearby Halal restaurants or places to pray because the country is home to many mosques, including Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, which is the largest in Southeast Asia. Among the things you can experience in Indonesia include picture-perfect coastlines and beach resorts, amazing wild and plant life, delicious food, and affordable shopping. It is also one of the top tourist destinations in the world where you can travel on a budget. Everyone flocks to Bali, but if you want a quieter experience, book a trip to Lombok. There's nothing to scoff about here, as it is not only an amazing surfing spot but also a great destination for divers and snorkelers. This island is also motor vehicle-free, so you know the air you're breathing is as fresh as it can get! Find nearby Halal food places in Indonesia Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in Indonesia    9. Hamburg,Germany Halal travel does not have to mean you have to only travel to Muslim countries, and a great place to start exploring the rest of the world is in Germany. This European country has a prominent Muslim community who manage to thrive although they are much smaller in number. Despite what you might have heard, Germans are generally very accepting of Muslims and assimilate into them well. Berlin is one of the best places for a Muslim to visit, as there is plenty of Halal food options available. There are also a number of mosques all across the country, including the Cologne Central Mosque in Cologne which is the largest mosque in Europe! Some of the top things to do in Germany include exploring all the cultural and historical sites, enjoying good food, and take in the awe-inspiring nature and landscapes. The city of Hamburg proudly claims to be “the gateway to the world”. While this might be a bold assertion, it backs it up by being a thriving port town with historic buildings, museums, beautiful parks and beaches. There's also plenty to do here, from classical performances to sporting events and regular markets.  Find nearby Halal food places in Germany  Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in Germany   10. Sri Lanka Known as “the pearl of the Indian Ocean”, Sri Lanka is a tiny island nation off the south coast of India. Although the majority of the people follow Buddhism, the minorities of Hindus, Christians and Muslims are also widely prevalent, Islam is the largest of them. Sri Lanka is one of the top places to visit in the world in 2018 for Halal-friendly travel because the country has many Muslim-friendly facilities. There are a number of mosques all over the island, and Halal food is easily available (with most international chains even being Halal-certified). The people are extremely friendly and accommodating as well. Sri Lanka is the best place for a relaxing vacation of lounging around on gorgeous beaches and getting pampered in all-natural spas, but also has opportunities for those who are adventurous or love to witness exotic wildlife in their natural habitats. Picture Credit - gallefortguide.com Galle, a city in the south of the country is an amazing place to visit. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with old Dutch-colonial buildings, quirky cafes and eateries, beautiful beaches, as well as historical mosques. Galle is the place to go if you're an artist looking for inspiration, or a sea-lover.  Find nearby Halal food places in Sri Lanka  Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in Sri Lanka  11. Aqaba, Jordan For those of you that are history buffs, Jordan is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. The city captures a sort of old world charm that makes you feel like you've stepped into the past. Jordan wouldn't be for the travellers that look flashy technology and large-scale attractions, but for those who revel in the beauty of nature, culture, and friendly people. Jordan is home to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, historical monuments, seaside resorts, and nature reserves, including the incredible ancient city of Petra. It is a Muslim country, therefore you do not have to worry about finding Halal food, mosques, or other Muslim-friendly facilities. If you want to take a break, Aqaba, the only coastal town in Jordan, is one place you can visit. This laid-back town is the ideal destination for those that live the underwater life, from diving to snorkeling and so much more! Find nearby Halal food places in Jordan Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in Jordan   12. Jeju, South Korea Yes, the land of kimchi is a great place for Muslim travellers too! Although there isn't a large population of Muslims, it is slowly growing and the Korean government has taken major steps to encourage Muslim tourists to visit the country. One of which is the Halal Restaurant Week Korea, an annual event in which restaurants from all around the country participate. There are also plenty of things to do in Korea, including affordable shopping, amazing festivals, and incredible weather (autumn is the best!). South Korea has 8 mosques all over the country, but there are many more prayer places as well as in restaurants and stores. Cities like Seoul, Busan, and Jeju are the best options for Muslim travellers. The island of Jeju (largest in the country), in particular, is a place you cannot miss. It is the place the locals flock to when it comes to a getaway, and you will love it too. Beautiful sandy beaches, a posh countryside, luxury beach resorts, and amazing food – what more could you want?  Find nearby Halal food places in South Korea Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in South Korea   13. Singapore Singapore is a multicultural country with people of all backgrounds and races. About 14% of the country's population follows Islam, which means Muslim travellers won't have trouble finding facilities catered towards them. There are many mosques in the island, the largest being Sultan Mosque which is also constituted as a national monument. Singapore also has a prominent gastronomic scene; many restaurants are already Halal-certified or Muslim-friendly, with more making the shift every day. Singapore is a great place to shop till you drop, especially when it comes to fashion. But you can also enjoy other things like amazing architecture and monuments, as well as nature and wildlife.  Find nearby Halal food places in Singapore Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in Singapore...

  • Top 10 Muslim-Friendly OIC-Destinations to Visit in 2017

    The Global Muslim Travel Index for 2017 has just been released by the collective efforts of CrescentRating and Mastercard. The report lists 130 OIC and non-OIC countries which were ranked according to their Muslim-friendly and general facilities such as Halal food, modest fashion, prayer facilities, accessibility, affordability, wellness, etc.   Here are the top 10 ranking OIC countries for Muslim travelers in 2017:   1) Malaysia   Ranking number one for the third consecutive year, Malaysia stands proud at the top of this list. Apart from being a Muslim-majority country, it is also one of the world’s top developing countries. It is a country that combines culture with all aspects of modern life, and Kuala Lumpur -it’s capital city- is a true metropolitan city.   Muslim-friendly facilities like Halal food, mosques and prayer facilities at public places like malls, and more make it an attractive destination for travelers. Malaysia also offers a great tourist experience in general, as there are a lot of amazing places to see, both modern and historical/cultural.   2) United Arab Emirates   UAE is a federal monarchy consisting of 7 emirates: Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm al-Qaiwain, and its capital emirate Abu Dhabi.   Given that these countries are Muslim countries, and that they are one of the world’s top developed countries, no wonder it holds a top position in the GMT Index. Muslim-friendly facilities like Halal food, prayer facilities and more are available in abundance while also being a great tourist destination both in terms of infrastructure and tourist destinations.   3) Indonesia   Next on the list is Indonesia, another Muslim-majority country that is a great place for Muslim travelers. Indonesia also offers Muslim travelers a lot of facilities that make travel easier for them. Halal food is available almost anywhere you go, and there are many beautiful mosques scattered all around the country.   Full of beautiful beaches and haunting volcanoes, Indonesia is the place to be if you’re a nature or adventure lover. But it also has so much more to offer with its rich and diverse culture, shopping, and gastronomic experiences. It is also a great place to travel on a budget.   4) Turkey   Turkey is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. It is a historic and vibrant city that gives visitors an unforgettable experience with it’s beautiful architecture, delicious food, and a diverse group of people. Turkey is also home to quite a few UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as two of the world’s wonders.   The majority of the population is Muslim (although Turkey is a secular state), but this also means that there are plenty of amenities for Muslim travelers.   5) Saudi Arabia   Of course, all Muslims aim to travel to Saudi Arabia at least once in their lifetime for the holy pilgrimages of Umrah and Hajj. It is also one of the top countries for Muslim travelers to visit, even outside of the sacred cities of Makkah and Medina.   Literally all food in Saudi Arabia is Halal, there are plenty of mosques/prayer rooms, and there are no shortages of other Muslim-friendly facilities either. There are a lot of historical, cultural and Islamic sites to see as well as modern tourist destinations.   6) Qatar   Another middle-eastern developed country, Qatar is a mixture of history and modernity. This is abundantly clear even in the sky-high buildings lining the landscape of Qatar’s capital city, Doha, with its unique blend of modern and Islamic architectures.   Needless to say, Qatar is another Muslim-friendly travel destination due to its majority-Muslim population, which means there are plenty of Halal food, prayer facilities, and more.   7) Morocco   Morocco is well-known for its rich and vivacious culture and cuisine. Moroccan food is one of the most popular in the world. And Muslim travelers are in luck because, there is no shortage of Halal food here, so you can eat as much as you want.   It’s stunning Arab-inspired architecture still holds tradition near and dear even in today’s modern world, including the many gorgeous mosques. Apart from its architecture and cuisine, Morocco is also well known for its beaches and vibrant spice markets.   8) Oman   Oman is another Muslim country that offers a great travel experience. Not only does it have many of the amenities that Muslim travelers look for like Halal food and prayer facilities, but it also has great infrastructure and a lot of interesting tourist destinations both natural and man-made.   Tourism is one of the top industries in the country. The capital of Oman, Muscat, has been ranked as one of the top cities to visit not only by the GMTI, but also by Lonely Planet and the Capital of Arab Tourism.   9) Bahrain   Bahrain, although not as big or as dominant as its neighboring countries, is also a gem of a destination for travelers. With a more loose and laid-back culture, Bahrain is the ideal place to experience the Arab culture in its wealthiest form, while also being allowed as much freedom as travelers would need.   As an Islamic country, again, there is no question to the facilities available for Muslim travelers, and you can take full advantage of the local up-and-coming foodie scene. There are also plenty of historical and cultural sites to see.   10) Iran   Iran is a country of history and culture, and a great place for Muslim travelers to visit. Being a Muslim country means that travelers will not have any problems finding Halal food or mosques/prayer rooms. UNESCO has ranked Iran 4th in its list of the top destinations to visit in the Middle East.   Although inefficient advertisement and the war had cast a downturn in tourism, it has risen significantly back up in the recent years. Large mountains, vast deserts, stunning architectural buildings, pulsating bazaars, and incredible food are only a few of Iran’s praises.     The full GMTI 2017 is available here: https://www.crescentrating.com/reports/mastercard-crescentrating-global-muslim-travel-index-gmti-2017.html     ...



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