Riyadh among top ten destinations in OIC states

Al-Musmak fortress, a desert architecture, is one of the tourist attractions in Riyadh.

Al-Musmak fortress, a desert architecture, is one of the tourist attractions in Riyadh.

Riyadh was ranked among the top 10 destinations within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for Muslims traveling for shopping purposes, according to a report.

The report was released by MasterCard and CrescentRating just ahead of the upcoming Global Islamic Summit to be held in Dubai.

The report was based on the analysis on the preferences of the Muslim traveler based on the performance of 40 main international shopping destinations against a number of set criteria. Compiled by MasterCard and CrescentRating, the publication of the inaugural MTSI 2015 Index ranked Riyadh as the ninth top shopping destination for Muslim tourists globally, with a weighted score of 59.3 out of 100.

Dubai in the UAE took the number one spot with a weighted score of 79.5 out of 100. Manama in Bahrain was the second highest ranked destination in the Arab World, coming in at seventh overall with a score of 59.6.

Doha in Qatar followed closely as the third-ranked shopping destination in the Arab World, with an overall rating of eighth and a weighted score of 59.5. Sharjah in the UAE ranked fifth highest among the MTSI 2015 destinations in the region, coming in 12th overall with a competitive score of 55.3.

Raghu Malhotra, division president, Middle East and North Africa, MasterCard, said, “With 108 million Muslim travelers representing 10 percent of the entire travel economy in 2014, and forecast to grow even further to 150 million visitors by 2020, it is evident this segment of the travel market represents a huge opportunity for both public and private sector organizations.”

Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating and HalalTrip said: “The MTSI is a fascinating insight into the shopping habits of Muslim consumers and will prove to be an invaluable tool to the entire sector.

The research looks at two of the most important expenditure components of Muslim travelers which is shopping and dining. It is a perfect complement to the GMTI2015 which we launched earlier this year and allows us to provide a complete picture of how Muslims spend their money when traveling.”


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