From halal holiday packages in Spain and Muslim-friendly places in non-Muslim countries to far-flung getaways in Islamic countries such as Malaysia, here are the top 17 holiday destinations for Muslims.
A Muslim-friendly place is somewhere where Muslims have a wide range of places to pray, be it a mosque, a meditation room that's clean, or even a clean, quiet space when requested. Muslim-friendliness also means that usually, the locals are friendly and polite towards Muslims. For example, if you are wearing a headscarf, you don't feel discriminated against or don't feel unsafe because you visibly look Muslim or you have a Muslim name, and so on.
A Muslim-friendly country is also a country where halal food is readily available. Halal is permissible in Arabic. Muslims can eat meat that is only slaughtered by the zabiha requirement, which means that the animal must be slaughtered in an Islamic manner. A complete halal dining experience also means that there's no pork or alcohol on the scene. Whenever restaurants have a halal sign on display, it means that they serve meat that was slaughtered by Islamic requirements.
A Muslim-friendly country is also a country where companies, hotels, and activities respond favourably to the special requests of their customers. For example, during Ramadan, Muslims may request that they eat earlier than usual in the early hours of the morning because they have to be prepared for fasting throughout the whole day. So any hotel that can accommodate such a request will be considered a Muslim-friendly place in that regard.
Some of the main Muslim-friendly countries that are worth visiting are:
Malaysia is one of the most popular travel destinations for Muslims. The country is multicultural. The people are friendly, the tourist sights are mesmerizing. There are a lot of choices and interesting places for halal food and almost half of the country's population is Muslim. So there are a lot of mosques for praying.
Morocco has so much to offer to tourists. There is beautiful architecture, intriguing bazaars, delicious halal cuisine, vibrant culture, hospitable people, and incredible sites with diverse landscapes.
If you are interested in art, you should go to the city of Fez, which is known to be the cultural centre of Morocco. The art scene here is guaranteed to leave everyone in awe.
Known as the crossroads of the East and West, the Republic of Türkiye has quite a few UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the country. So if you go there, don't just limit yourself to Istanbul, even though it's a beautiful city that is worth a visit. There are also word-famous halal-friendly resorts on the Asian side of Türkiye with private, segregated beaches.
If you have never been to Egypt, you have to go at least once. The pyramids and Sphinx are considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World for a reason. With so many ancient monuments, a trip to Egypt is an unforgettable adventure.
Going on a desert safari or riding on the dunes of the Sahara desert on a quadricycle is also a lot of fun and when you get tired of all the culture and activities, know that some of the hotels in Egypt are top-notch and you will be able to relax both your body and mind.
The UAE is one of the best destinations for a luxury holiday with your family. The United Arab Emirates is a federation of emirates which is located in the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula, sharing sea borders with Qatar and Iran, and bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia.
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan Mosque, which is the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and Nurai Island are some of the very popular tourist attractions and beautiful places to pray.
Dubai truly is the crowning jewel of the Middle East, the place where two worlds meet, with a plethora of man-made marvels in harmony with natural scenic beauty, which few places on earth can match. Dubai is also a cultural melting pot and you will find delicious halal cuisine from all over the world.
The UAE is one of the richest places in the world. Most people travelling to the UAE go to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which are great places to visit. But you should also know about lesser-known areas like Sharjah, Fujairah, and Al Ain, which are also great destinations.
The UAE has some of the most magnificent mosques in the world, so you should take a tour of those. Plus there are other gorgeous tourist attractions and the amount of shopping you can do there is just insane.
Indonesia is known for its warm and welcoming cultural atmosphere. There are plenty of halal restaurants that serve delicious food and most of the hotels will have everything you need. Apart from that, this country offers beautiful beaches to chill on, underwater wonders, and mesmerizing nature trails that will make you forget all about the modern world of social media and the Internet.
Jordan is a wonderful and mysterious destination. Most people travelling here immediately go to see Petra and the Dead Sea, but this country has even more to offer. There are a lot of interesting historic sites that include the tombs of many of the holy prophets and other historical and religious monuments. Jordan is a very Muslim-friendly country so you will be in your element.
The Maldives might seem like an expensive honeymoon destination, but that's not exactly true. A lot of people go there on family holidays to chill out at the idyllic beaches and swim in the crystal clear water, snorkel, or just enjoy the views of the surrounding blue lagoons.
The Republic of Maldives is an island nation in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea area, consisting of 1,192 coral islands grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls (ring-shaped reefs, islands, or a series of little islands). This beautiful archipelago is located on top of the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge, it's a vast underwater mountain range in the Indian Ocean.
With Utheemu, Hukuru Miskiy (the Old Friday Mosque), HP Reef, Sun Island Resort and Spa, and Blue Tribe Moofushi, the Maldives is regarded as a paradise on earth, where people can spend long days relaxing.
Pakistan is a sovereign country in South Asia, with a population exceeding 180 million, and is the sixth most populous country. Pakistan consists of four provinces, and four federal territories, and is the 36th largest country in the world in terms of area.
Natural beauty is unmatched in Pakistan. The Neelam Valley, Hunza Valley, Swat Valley, and Shandur Pass are some of the major tourist attractions in Pakistan. These valleys are the real natural beauty of the world.
Saudi Arabia is the only nation with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast. It is also home to the cities of Madina and Makkah. For Muslims, a visit to Saudi Arabia is much more than a holiday as they can fulfil some of their Islamic duties there, and gain the immense reward for performing Umrah and Hajj Insha'Allah, it is a spiritual experience that all Muslims must have at least once in their lifetime.
Find out about Umrah packages from London.
There are also many sites of great historical significance to visit and you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to meal options during your stay, with everything from Yemeni cuisine to traditional Saudi food and halal fast food.
The Republic of Tunisia is the northernmost country in Africa and the smallest in the Maghreb region of North Africa. It's a country with an estimated population of just 11 million and has a high human development index.
Tunisia is famous for its sandy beaches, Arab and Berber cultural influence, and dune-filled desert settings that are used in famous movies, including Star Wars. Tunis Medina, Chebika, Hammamet, Chott el Djerid, Sidi Bou Said, Sousse, and of course, the Sahara desert are just some of the most beautiful places to visit in Tunisia.
Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, an amazing city that has a rich Islamic heritage. With halal food in an alcohol-free environment, beautiful mountain landscapes with fairytale waterfalls, and picturesque countryside, Sarajevo has a lot to offer.
If you are keen on visiting non-Muslim countries but are concerned about important matters such as finding halal food and entertainment in a Muslim-friendly environment, then halal holiday packages give the perfect opportunity for anyone to visit countries such as Spain, without being surrounded by alcohol, party-goers and the tiring search for a small halal kebab shop after a long day of sight-seeing.
The Iberian Peninsula consists of Spain and Portugal. And the reason why Spain and Portugal are added to this list is mainly because of their Islamic history and Muslim-friendly resorts.
Spain is home to beautiful scenery, amazing food, and fascinating culture. With a history of Islamic influence dating back over a thousand years, Islam left an imprint that has enriched Spain. From its smiling people to its eye-catching attractions, you will feel the warm embrace of this country as you go from city to city.
Learn about Islamic history at places like the San Isidro Museum in Madrid, or the former Mosque of Cristo de la Luz, which is now a Catholic chapel in Toledo. Fall in love with sweet and savoury meals at Halal-certified restaurants from Barcelona to Zaragoza, where you can also try paella, Spain's most popular dish that traces back to the Andalusian era. After grabbing a bite to eat, marvel at medieval art as you walk around Islamic architecture like Alhambra, known as the red fortress of Granada.
Whenever you go to Spain, the remnants of Islamic history are undeniable. You can see it in the streets, in the cuisine, and the name of some institutions. It's everywhere. You can see it's a lot more when you go to the Andalusian region of Spain. So the Andalusian region consists of Granada, Sevilla, Cordoba, Malaga, and even Almería as well. And parts of Spain you can also see Islamic influence like Toledo, Spain, Madrid, Zaragoza, and Valencia.
Granada is the most popular destination for many Muslims where you can see the Alhambra Palace. You can see the effect of Islamic history throughout the palace, with Quranic inscriptions on the ceilings, on the wall, and the murals, on the doors.
This is also the case in Portugal, the legacy left by Muslims is evident in the name of some cities, and in some of their architecture. You can see similar Quranic inscriptions and Islamic artwork on their buildings and their walls too. Look out for Silves Castle if you are ever in the Portuguese Algarve as it is an Islamic period castle.
That's one of the reasons why the Iberian Peninsula is a must-see place for Muslims who want to travel to a Muslim-friendly country. But when it comes to halal food in the Iberian Peninsula, It is not super halal-friendly. If you are looking for halal food, most likely it won't be traditional Spanish food and you will most likely have to eat food from restaurants of Muslim-majority countries like Moroccan or Indian cuisine that can be found in major cities in Spain.
But if you want to eat the local Spanish food, you can try their seafood cuisine, which is in abundance depending on the region you're in. So if you go to Valencia, Barcelona, or even Madrid, you can try their seafood paella and get a taste of the local food as well. And Spain is getting better with their vegan option and vegetarian options, so you can also try that and have a taste of vegetarian Spanish food. The same goes for Portugal, as traditional Portuguese food has been influenced by Arab cuisine quite a lot. Check out entry requirements at Portugal Visa UK before you go.
When it comes to Muslim-friendliness, there is a little bit of tension when it comes to politics and history there, everyone's opinion is different. But the Spanish locals are generally friendly people.
For prayer, there are mosques in the main cities of Spain like the Mezquita Central de Madrid (the Madrid Central Mosque), and in other main cities like Barcelona, Granada, Cordoba, and Sevilla you will see even more options for places to pray. But for the rest of Spain, not so many.
Singapore is one of the coolest Muslim-friendly countries in the world. It just feels like you have travelled forward to a time when technology is outstanding, the views are unforgettable and there is always something amazing to see or do.
Singapore has a very strong and welcoming Muslim community too, so you would not have any problem finding mosques or halal restaurants there either. You might even be surprised by the number of options you have there when it comes to eating.
Although Singapore is not a Muslim-majority country, 15% of its nationals are Muslims and they do a great job to accommodate the Muslims in the country as well. And so if you're a Muslim travelling to Singapore, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
There are many mosques to visit in Singapore such as the Masjid Sultan. Singapore's Changi International Airport has a very comfortable and spacious prayer room, which is kind of like a mini mosque in itself and you will feel at home as a Muslim in Singapore.
A lot of Muslims who travel to Japan say how amazing Japan is when it comes to Muslim-friendliness. But what does Japan have to offer that makes it a Muslim-friendly country?
First of all, the Japanese are very big on cleanliness, which is a very important aspect of Islam. Islam is a religion that prioritizes cleanliness, which is also part of the Japanese culture as well.
Whenever you go to many Japanese bathrooms, you will see that the toilets have istinja facilities, which is a new thing for many Westerners, but not for Muslims. In Islam, cleaning oneself with water after going to the toilet is very important and we've been doing it for thousands of years. So when staying in Japan, it's something Muslims find very convenient, similar to the bidets that you can find in many European bathrooms.
Another reason why Japan is Muslim-friendly is that there are a lot of halal restaurants popping up and the great thing is that they serve local Japanese food. So you can have the pleasure of visiting beautiful places like Kyoto, Tokyo, and Hokkaido and not miss out on the food as they have many local Japanese halal restaurants.
A point to be noted though is that even though many halal restaurants are popping up in Japan, sometimes the noodle dishes and soups are made with pork stock so if you want to have noodles or soup in Japan, just be careful and make sure to ask the restaurant owners if the broth is made with pork or vegetables or if any of the noodle dishes, or anything that you eat there for that matter, have pork in their ingredients.
Japan is a spiritual country, therefore it has many meditation rooms, which can also accommodate Muslims as well. In the Narita Airport in Tokyo, there's a meditation room in terminals 1, 2, and 3 of the airport. In Japan, there are many prayer rooms and places for Muslims to do their prayers too. Even some cafes accommodate meditation and prayer for Muslims as well. This is another reason why Japan is a Muslim-friendly country.
Japanese people are very polite. Many visitors to Japan have mentioned how polite the locals are. You don't feel harassed or unsafe as a female traveller and many Muslim travellers have said that they could pray in a park and no one bothered them.
Finally, another interesting thing about Japan is that there are even some Muslim-friendly hotels there now, such as the Hotel Granvia in Kyoto, as well as mosques in the main cities such as the Tokyo Camii which has a built-in Turkish cultural centre.
Yes, Thailand made its way on this list due to its sufficient prayer facilities, halal hotels, and halal food options. Islam is the second-largest religion since it came to Thailand in the 13th century, which left it with other 9000 mosques. You may also be amazed to find out that in Phuket which is in the South of Thailand which borders Malaysia, the mosques outnumber the Buddhist temples.
A holiday in Mauritius with its pristine beaches, turquoise lagoons, coral reefs, and mountainous landscape is no doubt an out-of-this-world experience.
For Muslims, while there are halal food options available in the hotels and resorts in Mauritius, by renting a private villa you can enjoy what the island has to offer without having to worry about things like the dress code or alcohol being on the scene. It's a great idea for couples or anyone who wants to relax and unwind. And for those who don't, there are plenty of hiking trails, waterfalls, and the forest in the Black River Gorges National Park to keep you busy.
The United States is a huge country so when it comes to Muslim friendliness in the US, it depends on the region. Every state in the country is like a mini country in itself with its own rules, regulations, and type of people.
So if you want to look for Muslim-friendly places in the US, you will find there are lots of Muslims living and working in big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Texas, San Francisco, DC, and Seattle, where most of your requirements can be met.
New York is home to Muslims from all over the world so there you can enjoy halal cuisine from anywhere you can imagine, You will find Uzbek, Iranian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, and Japanese cuisine, which is halal.
Another reason for mentioning New York here is that you can pray almost anywhere. Many Americans are friendly and helpful people. Being different in general in the US is something to be celebrated, not hidden, so that is something that makes many parts of the US Muslim-friendly places in that regard as you won't be discriminated against Insha'Allah.
The same goes for the UK, which has a large Muslim population in areas such as London, Birmingham, and Manchester. London in particular has lots of halal food options and many halal restaurants. Similar to New York, you can find just about any type of halal cuisine, even halal Jamaican and Dominican cuisine. So London is similar to New York in the way that you can find just about any type of halal food you're looking for in the city.
Another special thing about London is the East London mosque, which has the adhan at prayer times and it's also a community centre with its own gym and activity area. There are also lots of halal restaurants in East London, so if you are looking for a halal city break, then cities like London and New York will have all the amenities that you will need as a Muslim traveller.