LONDON: To further promote Islamic Tourism, especially in the South East Asia region, Brunei Tourism Development Department and Islamic Tourism Centre of Malaysia jointly launched the Brunei – Malaysia Islamic Tour Packages at the Islamic Cultural Centre, London Central Mosque.
Present at the launching ceremony were the Acting Director of Brunei Tourism Development Department, Puan Mariani Haji Sabtu, Director General of Tourism Malaysia, Dato’ Mirza Mohamad Taiyab, and the Director General of Islamic Tourism Centre, Malaysia, Hj. Abdul Rahman Hj. Shaari. Ambassadors and High Commissioners of the OIC member states, media representatives and tour agencies were also present.
Islamic tourism has the potential to be Brunei’s and Malaysia’s unique and special form of tourism. The potential of Islamic tourism to grow in Brunei is possible as it enhances the values that make up the nation’s philosophy of a Malay Islamic Monarchy. Both nations are accommodating countries, rich in its cultural diversity of all races while still ensuring the sanctity of its religion and rich culture.
This tourism potential saw the formulation of a joint Islamic tourism packages between Brunei and Malaysia which was initially discussed between the Dato Seri Haji Yahya bin Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Brunei and the Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Minister of Tourism, Malaysia. In creating these unique Islamic tourism packages, travel agencies in Malaysia have collaborated with Darussalam Holdings Sdn Bhd, the appointed local tour operator by Brunei Tourism Development Department to create Islamic tour packages of various places of interest in Brunei and Malaysia.
One of the places of interest in the Brunei Islamic package includes a visit to the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Islamic Exhibition Gallery in Brunei Darussalam. The launch of this package was in conjunction with the launching of the Islamic Tourism Exhibition 2011 at the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Islamic Exhibition Gallery in Brunei Darussalam.
The event which was officiated by the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam early last year features exclusive access to his private collection of Islamic Artifacts on display at the Brunei Museum and at the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Islamic Exhibition Gallery. A special piece, the Sacred Trust collection includes the replica sword, serban, walking stick and many more of Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Visitors to this gallery will also have a rare chance to marvel at 300 rare made musharf or books, holy Al-Quran, illuminated and miniature Al-Qurans, calligraphy in various styles, weaponry, scientific instruments and everyday objects from the Muslim world throughout history.
Malaysia on the other hand, offers various attractions to the heritage and culture of its Islamic historical background and legacy, such as the Inscribed Stone in Terengganu, the many majestic mosques for example the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Mosque or famously known as ‘the Blue Mosque’ in Selangor, as well as Putrajaya, the Federal Administrative Centre which features Islamic motifs in its architectural design, just to name a few. The Malaysian packages feature interesting Islamic sites and tourists destinations available in each of the states.
This joint promotion effort signifies the close connection of both nations and it is a perfect medium to introduce the Islamic legacies from both countries to the world. The packages enable visitors to experience the way of life of the local Muslim communities and it is hoped that through such efforts, it could promote better understanding among people of the world.