Malaysia is open to investors and business travellers – that’s the message from Tourism Malaysia, which is attending this week’s Arabian Travel Market in Dubai (May 16-19) where it is launching its Middle East specific #WeMissYou campaign.

Short-term business travellers are already exempt from mandatory quarantine requirements when visiting Malaysia and the country is now preparing to reopen its borders safely, with a nationwide vaccination programme currently being rolled out as a key pillar to making this happen.

Malaysia offers visa on arrival to GCC nationals, while major airlines from the region such as Emirates, Etihad Airways, Saudia, Qatar Airways and others offer direct flights to the country.

In 2019, Malaysia welcomed 309,224 tourists from the GCC. This amounted to a tourist expenditure of RM 3.2 billion (AED 2.8 billion) that year, signifying the highest (per capita expenditure) as compared to other tourists to Malaysia,” said H.E Ambassador of Malaysia to the United Arab Emirates, Mohd Tarid Bin Sufian.

“Considering the current state of international travel, we are looking at the year 2025 for travel to return to normal, and have earmarked the GCC as one of our important markets. In late December 2020, our Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, launched Malaysia’s National Tourism Policy 2020-2030, giving concrete direction for the future of Malaysia’s tourism industry over the next 10 years, emphasising the importance of recovery, connections, and sustainability.”

Malaysia was recently named the number one destination for Muslim travellers for the eighth consecutive year, based on factors such as the availability of Halal food, access to prayer facilities, Muslim-friendly services in hotels, and overall safety and security.

As increasing numbers of Muslims are travelling around the world, the demand for halal tourism offerings is expected to grow exponentially once the travel industry rebounds.