Many Islamic countries have centuries of history waiting to be discovered as well as some of the most breathtaking landscapes. With hospitality being a key feature of Muslim societies, most tourists are welcomed as a revered guest.
As the year approaches its end, we don’t think it’s too early to start thinking about where your next vacation will be. From the cuisine to the history and culture, to the beautiful Islamic architecture and mosques, there is much to explore in our list of Muslim cities to visit next year.
Here’s a look at the top 7 Muslim cities to add to your travel list in 2016:
1. Marrakesh, Morocco
Also known as “The Red City”, Marrakesh is brimming with gardens, mosques, markets and palaces. The city is colourful, energetic and astoundingly beautiful. The city is a maze of souks where Berber tribes once traded leather goods and gold, and is now a place for modern tourists to hunt for carpet bargains and antiques.
2. Cairo, Egypt
An ancient city, Cairo is one of the biggest cities in the Middle East. Also known as “The city of the thousand minarets”, the city will teach you everything you need to know about Egyptian history and culture. Despite political, financial and social turmoil, locals remain proud and are ever welcoming to visitors.
3. Istanbul, Turkey
Known for its beautiful mosques, bazaars and Turkish coffee, Istanbul is a thriving metropolis for anyone wanting to experience a rich culture. With its fascinating history the city can be explored by foot, public transport or by taking a cruise along the Bosphorus.
4. Amman, Jordan
Home to numerous churches and mosques, Amman is layered in history which is reflected in its architecture. Souks, ancient ruins and cultural monuments reflect the diversity of this city. With its western and eastern regions, the city has something on offer for everyone.
5. Muscat, Oman
Oman boasts a rich heritage and pride in its sense of identity. Muscat’s traditional charms and Bedouin values remain at the heart of this city. There is an abundance of beauty from spectacular mountains, wind-blown deserts and a pristine coastline.
6. Doha, Qatar
Known to many as the shining jewel of Qatar, Doha is a multicultural city with its picturesque architecture and dazzling views of the harbour. The city boasts a sense of prosperity and optimism as one walks around the renovated souks and new malls.
7. Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia
Malaysia’s capital is home to numerous historic monuments, steel clad skyscrapers, shopping malls and mosques. The city is known to offer a mouth-watering mix of Asian culinary traditions, as well as beautiful mosques and temples.