Kuala Lumpur is a shopping heaven for Muslims

Kuala Lumpur, with its myriad malls, is the world's second most popular shopping destination among Muslim tourists.
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

Malaysia sealed its reputation as a shopping heaven recently when its capital city was named the second most popular shopping city in the world for Muslim tourists.

Kuala Lumpur took the No.2 spot on the overall list of 40 cities in the MasterCard-CrescentRating Muslim Travel Shopping Index 2015 (MTSI 2015). Dubai topped the list that also saw Singapore, London and Istanbul among the top five.

CrescentRating & HalalTrip chief executive officer Fazal Bahardeen said the MTSI 2015 provides fascinating insight into the shopping habits of Muslim consumers.

"The research looks at two of the most important expenditure components of Muslim travellers - shopping and dining. The index also shows how Kuala Lumpur is benefitting by having the right infrastructure in place," he said.

The MTSI 2015 looks at in-depth data covering Muslim travel shopping based on a number of criteria. It is the first time detailed insights have been provided on the consumer spending behaviour of Muslim travellers.

The MTSI 2015 is the latest research collaboration between MasterCard and CrescentRating on this sector, following the launch of the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015 earlier this year.

MasterCard-CrescentRating Muslim Shopping Travel Index 2015. Graphic: The Star/ANN

MasterCard Asia Pacific group executive (Products and Solutions) Matthew Driver said shopping and dining are two main components of the traveller consumer experience.

"We see this as an important resource not only for us to better understand this fast-growing traveller segment, but also a source of data that will inform and support the efforts of our partners in the travel industry," he said.

It was revealed that, last year, Muslim travellers spent a total of US$62bil (S$88 billion) globally: US$36bil on shopping and US$26bil on dining.

The 40 cities worldwide covered in the MTSI 2015 were scored against a comprehensive set of metrics which included suitability as a shopping destination, Muslim-friendly services and facilities, and ease of travel.

Each criterion was then weighed to make up the overall index score. Kuala Lumpur scored 73.3 on the index.

Earlier this year, Malaysia was named the No.1 destination across the globe in the Muslim travel market on the GMTI 2015.

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