Spain boosting Halal Tourism Industry
Buenos dias! Spain is a pleasant place to visit and is perfect for halal holidays in Europe. With an increasing number of hotels offering Halal food and Muslim-friendly facilities in Madrid – the capital of Spain – and surrounding cities and towns, Muslims will have a great holiday here. Muslims account for approximately 3% of the 46 million population in Spain, and there are several Muslim travellers visiting Spain these days, particularly from the Middle East.
So what makes Spain a popular destination for Muslim travellers?
Marvellous Madrid: Madrid is a delightful city, well known for its beautiful historic buildings and of course, its world famous football team – Real Madrid. Top places to visit here are the museums – The Museo del Prado, National Museum and Arts Centre and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art and the awe inspiring palace – Palacio Real. The city has several five star hotels and boutique hotels, and is a famous tourist destination. Several hotels in Madrid are now targeting the Muslim travel market, particularly those from the Middle East. The main masjid in Madrid is the Islamic Cultural Centre, and visitors will be able to find several masjid throughout Spain. There are several Halal restaurants in Madrid and other cities – most of these will display a certificate or Halal label.
Moorish Attractions: Spain has close cultural ties with Islam that extends back to the 9th century. In fact, remnants of these Moorish influences can still be seen today in the city of Granada, such as the imposing Al Hambra. The legacy of the Moors in southern Spain are a major attraction, with several castles, mosques, gardens, casbahs, baths and monuments from the past still standing.
More Flights: The Middle East has increased air connectivity to Spain recently – Etihad Airways has started non-stop service from Abu Dhabi to Madrid four times a week, whilst Emirates flies from Dubai to Madrid daily. All this is boosting tourism from the Gulf, which in turn provides an incentive to increase Halal facilities and food options in Spain. There are several hundred Spanish companies that are Halal certified, most of which belong to the food industry.
Madrid Expo Halal 2015: Madrid will be the European epicentre of the Halal industry from 21 – 22 October 2015 when it hosts Expo Halal Spain 2015, a Mediterranean Food, Tourism and Lifestyle Exhibition. This event intends to be the leading halal exhibition in the Mediterranean region, bringing together the best quality Halal suppliers, producers and operators from Europe, Maghred and Latin America.