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KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor has seen a 99% surge in Middle East tourist arrivals in 2023, with top contributors being Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, which collectively contributed 79.13% out of the 176,711 tourist arrivals from there.

Tourism Selangor CEO Azrul Shah Mohamad said the growing interest from Middle Eastern tourists is a testament to Selangor’s allure and a sign of the “blooming friendship and mutual appreciation” between Selangor, Malaysia and Middle Eastern countries.

“Due to the growing Middle East market, we embarked on a sales mission to Dubai, which coincided with the Arabian Travel Market that was held from May 6 to 9.

“Our attendance at the event was spearheaded by Tourism Malaysia Dubai and served to fortify existing bonds and explore new avenues for collaboration.“

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Azrul Shah said during the sales mission, Selangor cemented partnerships with key players in the Middle Eastern travel sector, including a groundbreaking collaboration with KPJ Healthcare to promote medical tourism in Selangor.

He said a strategic alliance with Middle East airlines has also enhanced connectivity, with 96 direct flights from countries in the region to Selangor.

The flights, which had a capacity of 30,461 seats in 2022, involved AirArabia, Salam Air, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and others.

“These synergies will continue to pave the way for a series of cross-promotional endeavours that span from familiarisation trips to robust business to business opportunities that are poised to raise Selangor’s tourism profile on the global stage.”

Azrul Shah added that the Subang Jaya City Council, Sepang Municipal Council, Ampang Jaya Municipal Council, Petaling Jaya City Council and Shah Alam City Council received the highest number of Middle East tourists.

“Our foray into the Middle East aligns with Selangor’s global tourism campaign, ‘Splendid Selangor, Take Me Anywhere!’, and we remain committed to fostering international collaborations.”

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