Johannesburg and Cape Town ranked among the top 15 destinations for Muslims to travel to for shopping among non-OIC destinations

To tweet this news, copy and paste <Cape Town ranked ninth, Joburg eleventh in the #MasterCard-CrescentRating Muslim Travel Shopping Index 2015>

Johannesburg, South Africa – October 1, 2015: Cape Town has ranked among the top 10 destinations for Muslims to travel to for shopping among the non-Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (non-OIC) destinations in the MasterCardCrescentRating Muslim Travel Shopping Index 2015 (MTSI 2015).

Ranked in ninth position, Cape Town is seen as one of the top ten shopping destinations in the non-OIC ranking for Muslim tourists, with a weighted score of 39.4 out of 100. Johannesburg comes in at eleventh position, with a ranking of 38.5.

Singapore takes the top spot in the index for non-OIC destinations, with a score of 71.6, followed by London (64.7), Paris (52.7), Bangkok (51.1), New York (49.9), Barcelona (46.6), Seoul (43.5), and Phuket (41.8). Hong Kong takes the tenth spot with a score of 39.0.

The Index analyses the trends and preferences of the Muslim traveller shopping market based on the performance of 40 main international shopping destinations against a number of set criteria. The MTSI uses a comprehensive set of metrics to rank destinations including a city’s suitability as a shopping destination, its Muslim friendly services and facilities, and its ease of travel and family friendliness. Collectively, these factors contribute to the overall score and ranking of each destination.

Commenting on the release of MTSI 2015, Raghu Malhotra, Division President, Middle East and North Africa, MasterCard said, “With 108 million Muslim travellers representing 10 per cent of the entire travel economy in 2014, and forecasted to grow even further to 150 million visitors by 2020, it is evident this segment of the travel market represents a huge opportunity for both public and private sector organisations.”

Cape Town has a lot to offer Muslim travellers and boasts the largest Muslim community in the country. Ranked as the second most Halaal friendly country in 2014, according to CrescentRating for non-OIC countries, the city offers a number of top Halaal restaurants and activities catering for Muslim families .  The city also has a deep-rooted Muslim history, and according to Prince Abdullah Kadi Abu Salaam of Tidore, Indonesia who was exiled to Cape Town in 1767, wrote a copy of the Quran from memory.

Dubai in the UAE leads the OIC countries with a score of 79.5 out of 100. Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia comes in second with 73.3 points, followed by Istanbul (64.2), Antalya in Turkey (61.2) and Manama in Bahrain which scored 59.6 points.

Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating and HalalTrip said, “MTSI 2015 is a tool with far-reaching insights into the preferences and behaviours of the Muslim travelling community. It is relevant across OIC and non-OIC destinations, offering a guide into what they may consider doing in order to better attract a higher number of often high-value Muslim travellers. Thus we look forward to expanding the coverage area of the report in the years to come.”

Key findings of the MTSI 2015 report include:

  • Total expenditure of Muslim travellers visiting the 40 cities included in the report amounted to US$36 billion in 2014. Of this total expenditure, US$9.3 billion was spent on shopping.
  • Twenty percent of Muslim travellers cited credit card fraud and safety as concerns when shopping while travelling abroad.
  • Results of the study highlights that 27 per cent of respondents spend between US$250 – 500 on shopping whilst travelling, while 24 per cent spend between US$500 – 1,000, and 20 per cent spend over US$1,000.
  • When travelling, 55 per cent of the survey pool still prefers to use cash for purchases. 35 per cent on the other hand, prefer using credit cards for their purchases, while 6 per cent revert to debit cards.
  • The MTSI 2015 shows that Muslims are becoming more adventurous and open to new shopping and dining experiences globally. Although OIC destinations have an advantage due to possessing Muslim-friendly environments as a default, non-OIC destinations can successfully compete for Muslim travellers by proactively catering to this segment.

This is the second report released by MasterCard and CrescentRating. The first report, The Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI), was released this March and explored the performance of the Muslim travel segment.  

The top 10 non- OIC destinations in the MTSI 2015 are:

Rank MTSI Rank City Country Score
1 2 Singapore Singapore 71.6
2 3 London United Kingdom 64.7
3 16 Paris France 52.7
4 18 Bangkok Thailand 51.1
5 19 New York United States 49.9
6 21 Barcelona Spain 46.6
7 22 Seoul South Korea 43.5
8 23 Phuket Thailand 41.8
9 24 Cape Town South Africa 39.4
10 25 Hong Kong Hong Kong 39.0

The top 10 OIC destinations in the MTSI 2015 are:

Rank MTSI Rank City Country Score
1 1 Dubai United Arab Emirates 79.5
2 2 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 73.3
3 5 Istanbul Turkey 64.2
4 6 Antalya Turkey 61.2
5 7 Manama Bahrain 59.6
6 8 Doha Qatar 59.5
7 9 Riyadh Saudi Arabia 59.3
8 10 Bali Indonesia 58.2
9 11 Penang Malaysia 56.9
10 12 Sharjah United Arab Emirates 55.3


About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardMEA and @MasterCardNewsjoin the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

About Crescentrating Pte Ltd

CrescentRating is the world’s leading authority on halal-friendly travel. The company’s vision is to lead, innovate and drive this segment through practical and deliverable solutions in what is regarded today as one of the fastest growing segment in the tourism sector. The company uses insight, industry intelligence, lifestyle, behaviour and research on the needs of the Muslim traveller to deliver guidance on all aspects of halal-friendly travel to organisations across the globe. CrescentRating’s services now include rating & accreditation, research & consultancy, workshops & training, ranking & indices, event support/partnerships and content provisioning.




Media Contact

Geraldine Trennery, MasterCard,, +27 76 301 0264