As travel begins to boom again, Carlos Brito, President of Embratur — Brazil’s Tourist Board — shares why Brazil is an ideal choice for travelers from the UAE and across the GCC.

“Brazil is the perfect to travel in 2022,” says Carlos Brito. “As travel begins to resume to pre-pandemic levels and travelers in the region begin to plan their next vacation, we want Brazil to be top of their list. With exquisite natural beauty and numerous similarities between Arab and Latino culture, the South American nation offers a new yet familiar experience to Arab tourists. We’re ready to introduce these incredible adventures to visitors while also being mindful of their faith-based needs.”

Home to an Arab population of 7-12 million people, Brazil is steadily rising as an attractive destination for Muslim and Arab travelers. Aside from its vast biodiversity and enigmatic cities, the cultural similarities and Muslim friendly services are creating a big draw for Muslim travelers.

Increased number of mosques and halal facilities

Firstly, the increased number of core faith-based services — which are important to Muslim travelers — are becoming more readily accessible and available across Brazil.

Brazil has a strong Muslim community and beautiful mosques that serve both as temples and as cultural centers for Muslims in the country. Thanks to Brazil’s growing Arab Muslim community, the nation now has over 150 mosques — offering Muslim visitors access to prayer facilities.

In a bid to attract more Muslim travelers, Brazil is also ramping up its halal tourism.  As such, restaurants and hotels in various cities are becoming halal-certified including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Parana and Foz do Iguaçu — the first city that is expected to become halal certified in Latin America.

Owing to Brazil’s history of Arab immigrants who settled in the country long before, tourists will feel comfortable knowing there is a similar culture as that of Arabs, hence assuring a warm welcome from Brazilians.

Authentic & familiar culinary experiences

Secondly, holidaymakers from the UAE or region will be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining in Brazil.

Brazilian cuisine is loved by many Arabs across the world, and the country’s eclectic array of food options never disappoint. Favourites include Picanha, (barbecued meat), Brigadeiros (chocolate truffle), and Moqueca (fish stew served in a clay pot), among many other unmissable delicacies.

Arab visitors will however be pleasantly surprised to find foods they are familiar with. For example, Kibe which is taken from ‘Kibbeh’, popular in Arab cuisine and is similar to the ingredients of a Kibbeh; Esfirras, another Brazilian snack, that is similar to the Arabic ‘Esfihas’, which are dumplings filled with minced beef, cheese or spinach; and Tabule, a popular Brazilian dish that is undeniably similar to the Arab salad ‘Tabbouleh’, prepared with burghul wheat, greens, lemon juice and olive oil.

Warmth & hospitality

Warmth and hospitality are a big part of Brazilians’ culture — just they are with Arabs.  While visiting Brazil, Arab tourists will experience the welcoming hospitality Brazilians display — the kind that makes you feel like family. Throughout hotels, resorts, and other venues, guests can expect a relaxed, comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. Carlos Brito, adds: “The fast-growing Arab community in Brazil, given its history with Arab descendants created a melting pot of cultures adopted by countless Brazilian residents. We aim to welcome Arab tourists in having an authentic Brazilian experience while ensuring their comfortable and safe stay through the steadfast growth of mosques in the country, wider availability of halal destinations and eateries, as well as true Brazilian hospitality that will be anything but unfamiliar to Arabs. Brazil warmly welcomes Arab tourists and Embratur is here to ensure that experience is unforgettable.”

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