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UAE travellers visiting Turkey , Srilanka for Eid

September 23, 2015
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Outbound travellers spend between Dh3,000 and Dh6,000, travel agent says

Dubai: Holidaymakers in the UAE are heading to places like Turkey and Sri Lanka for the Eid Al Adha holiday, travel agents say.

Premjit Bangara, general manager at Sharaf Travel, said that based on bookings of outbound holiday packages, the top five destinations that UAE travellers are visiting during Eid this year are œTurkey, Italy, Georgia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. Karan Anand, head of relationships at Cox & Kings, said that alongside Turkey and Sri Lanka, UAE travellers are flying to Greece, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

He noted that the top Eid holiday destinations have shifted this year compared to Eid in 2014, during which holidaymakers from the country travelled to France, the UK, Greece and Maldives.

Short-haul destinations are more popular than long-haul destinations because Eid is a short holiday, said Kulwant Singh, managing director of Lama Tours.

œThere are quite a lot of bookings to Turkey. People are also booking to India, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Oman, he added.

Meanwhile, the UAE is seeing a rise in tourist numbers during Eid, with the majority from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, according to hoteliers and travel agents.

œMost of the incoming tourists are from the GCC and primarily from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain. These trends are similar to last year with the only difference is that demand has peaked this year and most properties are full during the Eid break. We see that this year™s bookings have certainly surpassed last year™s figures for the Eid Al Adha break, Bangara said.

Families from the GCC tend to stay in hotel apartments and three- and four-star hotels, travel agents said.

A large number of the tourists arriving in the country are also from India and the UK, according to Anand.

Spend during Eid

Tourists in the UAE spend around Dh4,000 during the holiday, while those travelling out of the country spend between Dh3,000 and Dh6,000, he said.

Bangara said that a three-night holiday package costs around Dh1,500 per visitor.

Meanwhile, hoteliers anticipate strong occupancy levels during Eid.

French hotel chain Accor™s hotels in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain are expected to be 95-100 per cent occupied for the next five days, according to Olivier Hick, its vice-president of operations for the Gulf and Levant region.

œThe source markets are expected to account for the majority of the hotels™ guests are still GCC, primarily Saudi Arabia as last year, as well as Kuwait, he said.

Accor is likely to achieve a slightly higher revenue per available room (RevPAR”a industry measure of occupancy and rates) this Eid compared to the same period last year, he said.

œWe do expect a growth compared to the 2014 Eid period by at least 10 per cent in selling price, he added.

Similarly, Hilton Worldwide expects œstrong occupancy levels during the holiday, said Rudi Jagersbacher, its president for the Middle East and Africa region.

œGiven that Eid Al Adha is a major holiday in Islamic countries, we expect a surge in demand from short-haul markets across the GCC this week. Saudi Arabia is proving to be our biggest market for visitors to our UAE hotels, and we anticipate a continuation of growth from this market, in addition to expatriate residents across the region looking to use the Eid Al Adha break for a ˜staycation™, he said.

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