Tabriz Named Capital of Islamic Tourism

Tabriz Named Capital of Islamic TourismTabriz Named Capital of Islamic Tourism

Tourism ministers of Islamic countries have endorsed the selection of the historical city of Tabriz as the capital of Islamic tourism in 2018.

On the final day of the 9th Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers (December 21-23) in Niamey, Niger, ministers of tourism of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states approved the selection of Medina in Saudi Arabia and Tabriz as the capitals of Islamic tourism in 2017 and 2018 respectively, Iranian media reported.

The title was given to the Turkish city of Konya in 2016.

Asadollah Darvish Amiri, deputy for parliamentary and legal affairs at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, headed the Iranian delegation to the meeting, ISNA reported.

The capital of the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan, Tabriz predates the Islamic conquest of Persia. It served as the capital city of a number of dynasties following the conquest.

During its long history, the city was ransacked by Mongolian raiders and Ottoman invaders and razed by devastating earthquakes, but was rebuilt every time.

Tabriz hosts a number of famed religious sites, including the Jame’ Mosque of Tabriz and Arg of Tabriz, and it boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Bazaar of Tabriz.

In September, Tabriz was declared a World Craft City by the World Craft Council.

  Promotion of Islamic Tourism

During the three-day event, the ministers adopted a resolution on the development of tourism in OIC countries in the next two years and called on relevant OIC institutions to support the process of implementing the program, including the establishment of an electronic Islamic tourism portal and cuisine and cultural festivals.

The resolution welcomed offers made by Egypt and Iran to host the 3rd and 4th OIC tourism fairs in 2017 and 2019 respectively, according to a statement on the official OIC website.

In line with a recent resolution adopted by the United Nations to declare 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, OIC states were urged to participate in a cooperative effort aimed at developing sustainable tourism as part of a project called “the network of parks and cross border resorts in West Africa”.

The diplomats renewed their commitment to strengthening efforts to create awareness about tourist attractions in OIC countries through exchange of documentary films. They condemned the destruction, theft and looting of historical artifacts and monuments due to terrorism and armed extremism in member states, in particular Syria and Iraq.

They urged member states and relevant institutions to promote Islamic tourism through hotels, resorts, halal foods, entertainment and sports facilities in a manner compatible with Islamic Sharia. They also called for the introduction of Islamic tourism signs in international forums.