Muslim tourists are no longer found only in Mecca and in the Middle East. Today, with the development of halal tourism, they are increasingly taking selfies in front of the Colosseum or tasting delicious French croissants. That is why modern hotels provide services that comply with Shariah norms and have a particular infrastructure.
What is an adventurous trip for a typical traveler? As usual, such a trip should include a natural environment, physical activity, and cultural immersion. What about for a Muslim traveler? Including those who are traveling as a family, with children. If you’re ready to learn about some options that might be suitable for your next getaway, keep reading.
Halal tourism: adventures without alcohol and vacation flings
The very concept of “halal” implies everything that is allowed in Islam. People often use it when talking about food, but it is broader and applies to clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, perfumes, personal hygiene, finance, and even human relationships. And in the last decade, halal has become more deeply rooted in tourism.
This type of recreation allows Muslims to receive services that comply with Shariah rules and principles. For example, to stay in a hotel, where you won’t be offered a glass of a stiff drink.
There won’t be explicit paintings by Gustav Klimt on display. Nightclubs won’t be on the itinerary. Halal tourism implies a few more requirements:
- Separate infrastructure for men and women, such as beaches, swimming pools, health resorts;
- Animal flesh slaughtered by a particular method;
- Prayer rooms;
- Prayer rugs or prayer mats;
- Excursions to places of interest for Muslims.
Malaysia and Turkey were the first countries that expressed the need to make tourism according to Islamic canons. That was about ten years ago. Over the years, this industry has rapidly stepped forward. For example, to see the outskirts of Paris from the Eiffel Tower is now possible with a tour that includes halal-tourism services.
Demographers also confirm the importance of developing the halal tourism industry. They predict Muslims will make up one-third of the world’s population by 2025.
The best travel destinations for Muslim families with young children
Here we have prepared the top three travel spots for Muslims with little kids. All of these locations will make a great destination for your family of travelers.
In Kuala Lumpur, the choice of entertainment for holidaymakers with children is enormous. The most popular of them are:
- Berjaya Time Square Theme Park with exciting rides and simulator games;
- Desa Water Park, where you can find a fantastic pool with artificial waves and incredible kid swimming pools;
- Boarders Tabletop Games Café, an original café where children can play in a particular room for games with comfortable tables and chairs;
- Aquaria KLCC, one of the biggest oceanaria in the world. Children will be delighted by an enormous, transparent tunnel; and
- KL Tower Mini Zoo, where children can touch animals.
- Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park is inhabited by different kinds of butterflies.
Besides these six excellent entertaining spots, you can also visit a hidden gem at the Museum of Islamic Art.
How could we not mention Tokyo? It’s truly a city with something for everyone, especially for kids. So, take a look at the most exciting places to visit in Tokyo:
- Disneyland Tokyo, where children can meet the most famous Disney characters;
- Sanrio Puroland, the kingdom of a white kitten famously known as Hello Kitty;
- Playground Shibuya Kids, a separate indoor playground with slides, air trampolines, sandboxes and toy stores;
- Pokémon Center Mega Tokyo, where little Pokémon lovers can find figures, toys, cards, and candies with these funny magic creatures; and
- Tokyo Dome Amusement Park, where kids can ride giant roller coasters, free-fall towers and merry-go-rounds, shoot water cannons and watch a show with superheroes.
For Muslim tourists, Singapore is a real catch. About 15.6% of the country’s population is Muslim. So, here they can feel almost at home — restaurants with halal-certified service range from international to small cafés and fast-food restaurants. In addition, there are over 70 mosques in the country. And you can visit the following places with children:
- KidZania Singapore; an entertainment complex where children will learn how to put out fires, fly an airplane, wash windows, and make pizza and ice cream;
- Palawan Beach, where you can find a playground Palawan Pirate Ship in the form of a pirate ship with water cannons, fountains, and slides; and
- S.E.A. Aquarium, one of the largest oceanaria in Asia, with a play corner and starfish in a touching pool.
The best travel destinations for Muslim families with adult children
Firstly, congratulations If you have adult children! Now you have a broader list of travel destinations to visit. So, now it does not matter how far your travel route runs since adults are generally easier to travel with than small children. And you can easily find a commonalities with your adult children in the context of traveling and activities you can enjoy together. Consider journeys to Delhi, Vienna, and London.
Islam is the second largest religion in India. Over 138 million Muslims live here. The street halal restaurants in Delhi are almost as famous as the shopping and historical sites. So what should you visit in Delhi with your adult children?
- The Jantar Mantar Observatory, an orange and white monumental building comprising 13 different open-air facilities;
- The Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML), where you can see an entire section of the spaceship the Indian astronaut travelled; and
- Lodi Gardens, which houses a unique butterfly sanctuary and a collection of miniature plants.
Vienna is known as the European center of Islamic music and the headquarters of many international organizations. You can find several mosques, the Islamic Center of Vienna, and the Turkish Islamic Cultural Center here.
- House of the Sea, a local oceanarium where you can see the most exotic inhabitants of the underwater world;
- Schönbrunn Palace Children’s Museum, Maze, and Labyrinth, where over 500 animal species live in nature; and
- The Vienna Prater, a cultural and exhibition complex where you can find playgrounds, amusements, planetariums, museums, and cafés. There’s plenty to do here for both adults and children.
London has always been actively visited by tourists from the Gulf, especially during the hot summer months. Many hotels in London have special services for Muslims, including Arabic-speaking staff, halal menus, prayer rooms, and particular areas for women.
- Rainforest Café, which is designed as a jungle with waterfalls and exotic animals. The latter are toys, but they look very much like real animals;
- Hyde Park, which has an elfin oak tree, the Serpentine Lake where children can swim, and lots of squirrels; and
- SAW Alive, a realistic horror labyrinth.
Family and religion are the central values in the life of Muslim people, that they never leave, even during traveling. The number of Muslim travelers is growing every year, and therefore, travel agencies and hotel businesses should consider their wishes. Family and multi-generational traveling is flourishing.
Gone were the days when there was a clear line between travel niches. Nowadays, honeymooners are not the only ones who choose luxury travel destinations. Muslim family travelers are actively joining them. Where do you think you and your family will visit next?
Isabelle Jordan is a business and marketing journalist. She writes for different news portals and thematic blogs, that help her stay at the heart of the travel and insurance news. Visit this website to check more information about travel insurance abroad.