Travel agents recommend pre-booking for better offers
Dubai: UAE citizens are anticipating a long Eid weekend from April 21 to April 24 and a majority of them have already booked vacation packages to countries that do not require visas. In the weeks leading up to the month, travel companies and airlines are already reporting higher-than-average bookings, with some significant ticket price discounts serving as an incentive to board a plane.
Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Georgia, Armenia, and Thailand are among the prominent visa-free or visa-on-arrival places for UAE citizens. Pre-bookings are 30 to 40% higher this year, but rates have remained the same, according to travel agents.
In the GCC, Saudi Arabia and Oman have introduced several new Ramadan and Eid packages. Agencies advised locals, especially those with confirmed vacation plans, to purchase their tickets as soon as possible because airfares are predicted to increase significantly in the upcoming weeks.
Surendranath Menon, Director of Equator Tours, said: “The booking tendency is seen for nations in the Far East sectors. The citizens of the UAE and countries in Eastern Europe mostly opt for spots like Bali, Thailand, and Singapore.
Residents travel diaries
Budgets will be crucial in 2023 due to the unpredictable global economy. Travellers are reportedly looking for better rates despite the turbulence, according to recent research from travel aggregator Booking.com. More than half (53%) of travellers intend to be even more cautious, while nearly seven in ten (68%) will continue to prioritise their trips. Over three out of five people (63%) intend to manage their travel expenses more carefully and take advantage of discounts, tips, and well-timed travel.
Schengen visa details
The lengthy wait times for Schengen visa appointments prevent travellers from booking trips to European countries. So, anyone who intends to visit Europe this summer must immediately apply to avoid any rejections, advised Menon.
A representative for VFS Global told Gulf News that the company consistently recommend all travellers apply for their visas in advance to avoid any delays. The Schengen nations accept travel documents up to six months in advance.
Saudi Arabia: tourists’ choice
According to Skyscanner, there is a huge demand for travel to Saudi Arabia during the holy month of Ramadan and before Eid in the world market. Ayoub El Mamoun, a Skyscanner travel expert, claims that over 92 per cent of travellers want to visit Saudi Arabia during the week of March 20, making the start of Ramadan the busiest travel period. Reports state that with 38% of travellers, March 18, Saturday becomes the most popular departure date.
More than 70% of tourists seek out trips that last for one to two weeks. Travel continues to be the top priority because of the many travellers within GCC and the number of trips will be the same or more in 2023, as per El Mamoun.
Eid packages to Georgia cost Dh3,300. At Dh2,800 to Dh3,000 per person, group fares can be booked, if necessary.
Travel agencies are selling packages to Baku for Dh 2,899 (per person, based on double occupancy), Tsiblisi, Georgia, for Dh 2,799, Azerbaijan and Pattaya for Dh 3150, and Zanzibar for Dh 3,999.
The cost of a package to Israel is Dh5,799.
Limited-time flash sales are available for Dh1,399 to Armenia and Dh1,799 to the Maldives. Georgia offers are available for Dh1,999, and Baku vacation packages cost Dh2,899.