Malaysia open for select travellers quarantine free

Key officials during Malaysia’s ATM press conference

As Malaysia is on its way to a nationwide vaccination campaign as a pillar for a safe border reopening and prepares to welcome tourists to the country, Malaysia is excited to once again showcase its stunning destinations and rich history and culture to travellers flying in. The country offers visa-on-arrival to GCC Nationals, while major airlines from the region such as Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways, Saudi, Qatar Airways and more offer direct flights to Malaysia.

Malaysia is already open for investors and business travellers, with the approved short term business travellers being exempt from mandatory quarantine.

The Ambassador of Malaysia to the United Arab Emirates, Mohd Tarid Bin Sufian, says, “In 2019, Malaysia welcomed 309,224 tourists from the GCC. This amounted to a tourist expenditure of RM 3.2 billion (Dh2.8 billion) that year, signifying the highest (per capita expenditure) as compared to other tourists to Malaysia. 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 market. 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, emphasizing the importance of recovery, connections, and sustainability.”

The Malaysia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, with the theme “Energising Sustainability”, serves as Malaysia’s overall participation at Expo 2020, led by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation with Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre as the implementing agency. Malaysia Ministry of Tourism is also set to fly in a cultural troupe to enthral Expo 2020 visitors with daily cultural shows and craft demonstrations at the Malaysia Pavilion’s amphitheatre, where visitors will get a captivating glimpse of how Malaysia is ‘Truly Asia’, with its diverse cultures and people of multi-ethnicities living in harmony, contributing to the nation’s progress.

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 regains its footings. Malaysia understands the needs of the GCC tourists and therefore ensures that halal food is easily available with an array of local and international cuisines, including Arab food.

Tourism Malaysia has conducted consistent studies and research to better formulate an equipped tourism plan for the Middle East market. Its research has shown that post-pandemic travel trends will include tourists travelling in smaller groups to less crowded areas with preferences on personalised tours. Post-lockdown, Malaysia is banking on its majestic nature and highlands to attract tourists from the region.