Qul Sharif Mosque, Kazan,

Putrajaya, 13 May 2024 – Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC), a prominent agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), is exploring Kazan, Russia, as a potential new Muslim tourist market to tap into. The sizeable Muslim population in Kazan is seen as an opportunity for ITC to introduce Malaysia and its Muslim-friendly tourism and hospitality offerings.

Participating in a series of meetings there, ITC wishes to understand the needs of this geographical market and engage with its local tourism industry to share information and provide support for enhanced collaborations.

Among the engagements lined up are:

  • Participation in the prestigious 15th International Economic Forum “Russia – Islamic World Kazan Forum 2024” taking place on 15 May 2024, at the Kazan Expo IEC in Kazan, Russia. This participation aligns with ITC’s ongoing efforts to establish Malaysia as a leading Umrah transit hub.
  • Presentation by ITC and Tourism Malaysia at a roundtable discussion titled “Development of the Tourism Sector in the Russian Federation, including Halal standards.” During this session, Mr. Nizran Noordin, Director-General of ITC, will deliver a presentation on Successful Experiences in Developing Halal Tourism in Islamic Countries.” His insights will be shared alongside esteemed representatives from Emirates Tourism Council, Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia and Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Jordan.
  • Participation at the inaugural meeting of the Malaysia-Russia Working Group on Tourism Cooperation where ITC will give an overview of Malaysia’s Islamic Tourism Sector to strengthen Malaysia’s position as a Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality (MFTH) and Umrah hub destination.
  • Meetings with local Russian travel agents to share about Malaysia’s positioning as an Umrah hub for the region, including Russia. This meeting aims to understand current travel trends in Russia and the typical journey of Russian Umrah pilgrims. By gleaning this information, ITC can effectively apply these learnings to enhance their Umrah Hub offerings to Russians, and reinforce Malaysia’s position as a leading transit point for Umrah travellers.

Those platforms are valuable for ITC to connect with international delegates interested in the Islamic Tourism and MFTH sectors. This interaction allows ITC to elevate Malaysia’s MFTH brand recognition on a global scale.

“Our presence here in Kazan and participation in the 1st meeting of the Malaysia-Russia Working Group on Tourism Cooperation and Russia-Islamic World Kazan Forum 2024 underscores ITC’s commitment to advancing Malaysia’s position in the global Islamic tourism landscape,” said Mr. Nizran Noordin, Director-General of ITC. “This platform allows us to showcase Malaysia’s vibrant Muslim-friendly offerings, forge strategic partnerships, and further solidify our effort in developing and promoting Malaysia as an Umrah hub and Muslim-friendly destination.”

He added: “ITC’s participation also aims to foster greater cultural understanding between Malaysia and Russia. This will help identify the trends and preferences of this market and drive not only tourist traffic between both destinations, but also create networking opportunities and collaborations among the tourism trade players that will bring about economic benefits to our respective destinations.”

Meanwhile, ITC is also leveraging this visit to promote its key events in Malaysia namely Islamic Tourism Month 2024, featuring exciting tourism promotions and offerings, and the 4th World Islamic Tourism Conference (WITC), a platform for knowledge sharing, media exposure, and collaboration for the global tourism community.

For more information on ITC, events, and programmes, visit us at


About Islamic Tourism Centre

Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) is an entity under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia, tasked to develop the Islamic Tourism segment for Malaysia. It advocates for Muslim-friendly tourism (MFT) by offering research and market intelligence, training, industry development consultation, Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality (MFTH) services standards and recognition, and information exchange.

Malaysia was named the top country in the region in the MFTH sector by the State of the Global Islamic Economy (SGIE) Report 2022. The country also retained the top-ranked destination in the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2023, a position it has defended since the launch of the Index in 2015. In the same year, Malaysia was recognised as the Top Muslim-Friendly Destination of the Year (OIC) and the Top Muslim Women-Friendly Destination of the Year in Halal in Travel Awards 2023.

In addition, ITC was named the recipient of the Strategic Business Alliance Award at The BrandLaureate World Halal Best Brand E-Branding Awards 2021. It is a recognition of ITC’s efforts and endeavours in formulating new strategies to meet the new normal of the business environment to ensure business continuity and sustainability, notwithstanding its role in developing and growing the Islamic tourism segment in Malaysia.

These recognitions are an added motivation for ITC to continue to strengthen its efforts in being a prime mover and leading institution to ensure Malaysia is at the forefront of MFTH.

For further details, kindly contact:

Islamic Tourism Centre,

Level 13, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia

No. 2 Tower 1, Jalan P5/6,

Precinct 5, 62200 Putrajaya, Malaysia

Tel: 03-8891 7177 or via email

Follow ITC on these social platforms:

Facebook: Islamic Tourism Centre

Instagram: @itc_my

LinkedIn: Islamic Tourism Centre

TikTok: @itc_my

YouTube: Islamic Tourism Centre

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