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Arabic Bloggers Praised Taipei as “The Hidden Jewelry of Asia” Yangminshan, Beitou, Beef Noodles and Mitaimu Noodles—A Trip That Makes You Wanting More

In order to attract Muslim tourists, Taipei introduced its renowned tourist attractions and Muslim-friendly environment to buyers and media(primarily from the six Gulf Countries) at last year’s Arabian Travel Mart (ATM)—the biggest convention of its kind in the Arabic world. This year, Taipei went (a step) further by collaborating with the Tourism Bureau, M.O.T.C. (交通部觀光局) to invite media and bloggers from the Middle East on a “FUN TAIPEI” trip. The three-day tour included sight-seeing the volcanic terrain of Yangminshan, visiting the hot springs and Thermal Valley (地熱谷) in Beitou, exploring the old-city of Dadaocheng, riding Taipei’s double-decker sightseeing bus, and savoring mitaimu noodles (米苔目) and other authentic Taiwanese cuisines. Our guests from the Middle East were well pleased by the eventful trip and wished they had had more time to stay.
The aforementioned guests were John Thomas, chief editor of the Arabian Gazette from Dubai, and two bloggers Muath Abdulrahman M Alkuvaiz and Mohammed Ibrahim M Alqowiz from TraTic, Saudi Arabia.. John stated that as one of the most representative cities in Asia, Taipei was just yet another familiar name in Dubai. However, from his visit he had realized that Taipei was Asia’s best kept secret with its amiable people and delicious food. The exotic ambience exuded from the historical sites and cultural facades kept him engaged. He believes that his readers, among which are mostly young professionals and senior supervisors, would be intrigued by Taipei’s unique character.
On the other hand, Mohammed and Muath represented the younger generation of Arabians. As Arabic fashion bloggers, they paid much attention to their outfits and latest fashion, often sharing interesting perspectives on the internet (www.instagram.com/TRA_TIC). Mohammed said that besides halal restaurants, they were more eager to taste local eateries—the more Taiwan-esque the better. Beef noodles, jiaozi, banquet dishes, mango shaved ice and mitaimu noodles were the top priorities on their to-eat list. From their three-day experience they had deemed Taiwan as “Asia’s Jewelry” yet to be widely discovered. To them, Taipei is not only highly internationalized but also very convenient to get around. Forested mountains and hot springs in suburban areas were all well within reach via a simple MRT ride; this could not be any more accessible for travelers like themselves.
Taipei City Government Department of Information and Traveling (觀光傳播局) Commissioner Chien Yu-yen (簡余晏) pointed out that in 2016, among the two billion Muslims around the globe, 121 million of them were international travelers, with about 50% of them under 30 years old. Taipei spared no time in attracting this huge crowd that took up 10% of the tourism market share worldwide. In the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMIT) 2017 release by MasterCard, Taiwan maintained at 7th place as the benchmark destination outside of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Just slighly behind Japan, Taiwan’s ranking demonstrates the Muslim world’s recognition of Taiwan.
Moreover, since last year’s Eid al-Fitr in Taipei was a huge success, the Eid al-Fitr will be held again this year on June 25th. Muslims and non-Muslims alike in Taipei are welcomed to celebrate together in hopes of familiarizing more people to Muslim culture and forging Taipei into the benchmark destination city for Muslim travels. Muslim-friendly environments in Taipei continue to proliferate and improve. In addition to the 45 halal-certified restaurants and accommodations, prayer rooms equipped with prayer mats, signs pointing in Makkah’s cardinal direction, and bidets have been installed in Taipei Main Station and Taipei City Hall, providing Muslims with undisturbed space for their spiritual observations. The Taipei City Government also helped set up “pork-free” and “non-alcoholic” signs easily recognizable by the Muslims and the general public at 28 food stands in the Ningxia Rd., Nanjichang, and Raohe St. Night Markets..