UAE residents gear up for Eid holiday
Short holidays to Maldives, Seychelles and Sri Lanka are in demand
Airline tickets, hotel rooms selling very fast as residents rush to book Eid trips early
Cleofe Maceda, Senior Web Reporter in Dubai writes: Tour specialists in the UAE are seeing an unprecedented surge in travel bookings for the upcoming Eid Al Adha holidays even before the official dates are announced.
Agencies confirmed that they have been swamped with booking requests, with airline tickets to nearby destinations, as well as hotel rooms, selling very fast as residents anticipate a five-day break in September.
The government has yet to announce the Eid holidays, but there have been speculations that the first day of Eid Al Adha will fall on September 11, Sunday. If advance astronomical calculations are correct, employees will enjoy at least a five-day break from September 9, Friday.
Suraj Ramesh, tours manager of Al Badie Travel Agency, said they have been quite busy lately, as booking requests for the Eid period have increased significantly. He said that families who have just returned from vacation during the school break are again gearing up to take short trips to popular destinations abroad.
“We have so far closed transactions with about 30 to 35 families who are planning to travel during Eid holidays next month. Short holidays to Maldives, Seychelles and Sri Lanka are in demand,” Ramesh told Gulf News on Thursday.
According to Digvijay Pratap, co-founder and managing director of HolidayMe.com, residents are looking to spend five days away, citing that their customers are securing bookings to travel specifically on September 9 to 13.
“There is a tremendous increase in bookings from UAE for the upcoming Eid holidays. The numbers have literally doubled compared to the previous month,” said Pratap.
“The main dates for travel during this period [which are popular among our clients] are 9th to 13th September."
Also getting a lot of attention from their clients are destinations that are a few hours away by plane, such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Bosnia and Sri Lanka.
“Since it’s a short travel period, customers are mainly choosing destinations closer, which are on an average three-hour away by flight,” Pratap said.
There are still a lot of residents who are keeping a wait-and-see attitude, and as the holidays draw closer, travel agents expect to get inundated with last-minute bookings.
“The surge in the booking will continue as the dates draw closer as in the past, too, we have noticed that there was a large percentage of people who booked packages closer to the travel date.”
Reacting to this article on the coming Eid holiday, Minister Alain St.Ange the Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture said that the Middle East and the GCC Countries were today an important tourism source market for Seychelles and was ranked between four and five in visitor arrival numbers.
"We have more flights from this part of the world than from another of our source markets. We are just over four hours in flying time and we are a visa free destination. With two Emirates flights daily and two Etihad flights as well over and above our Air Seychelles flights to Abu Dhabi we can say we are ready to receive passengers for the area.
From December we are expecting a further seven weekly Qatar Airlines flights. We are clearly the short holidays destination with great air access " said the Seychelles Minister St.Ange.