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UAE records 'most amazing' travel season as Expo 2020, New Year's celebrations attract tourists

December 26, 2021
tourism

Executives in the travel and hospitality sectors say the UAE is regarded as one of the safest destinations

Led by Dubai with mega events such as Expo 2020, Dubai Shopping Festival, New Year celebrations, #DubaiDestinations campaign and the World's Coolest Winter programme, travel to the UAE is nearly peaking and visitors are staying longer now to fully explore the global events taking place in the country.

Executives in the travel and hospitality sectors told Khaleej Times that a good number of inbound travellers are flying down from Russia, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the European countries and the US.

“Travel is at its peak now because of the New Year. People are coming from India, Russia, European countries and the US. With UAE being one of the safest countries to travel to, tourists are very confident to come to the UAE and enjoy their holidays. A large number of people are coming from India and Europe only to attend Expo,” said Mir Wasim Raja, manager, MICE and holidays, Galadari International Travel Services.

Sachin Gadoya, CEO and co-founder, Musafir.com, said that the UAE is viewed as a safe and fun destination this time of year.

“With Expo 2020, DSF and the New Year’s celebrations, our sales growth for UAE inbound operations is 170 per cent higher in December 2021 when compared to the same month last year with travellers coming from India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Russia and the UK in December and January.”

Gladvin Francké, head of hospitality at Central Hotels Group, noted that the hotel’s guests are individuals, couples and families, coming from France, Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“We are experiencing the most amazing season in Dubai. With all the festivities as well as the ongoing events, visitors come here for the beaches, shopping deals, new attractions, parks, hotels services, and excellent facilities.”

Colin A. Baker, regional director for the Middle East at StayWell Holdings, said the hotel guests are flying down mainly from India, Russia, France and Germany.

Ayman Ashor, general manager for Al Bandar Rotana and Al Bandar Arjaan by Rotana, echoed his industry peers, claiming that there is a huge demand from several market feeders and far destinations such as Latin America, north of Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.

Staying longer now

Ashor said before the pandemic, the average stay was around four to five days. “But now we’ve noticed a much longer length of stay that jumps sometimes to 21 days and beyond. People love to spend longer time now in Dubai to enjoy all what Dubai offers during these magical months from Expo and other great attractions.”

Gladvin Francké said the majority of guests staying across their properties book an average of seven to eight days which is enough to discover and experience the wonderful destination of Dubai.

Mir Wasim Raja added that earlier people used to visit for five to six days, on average, but now they’re staying for up to 10 days simply because they can’t visit entire Expo 2020 in just one day, so they need a minimum of three days to explore the Expo alone.

He noted that most of the visitors prefer to stay in high-end branded hotels which gives them more peace of mind about safety.

For the month of December and the early part of January, Musafir’s Sachin Gadoya also sees longer holiday stays with a minimum of 10-12 days which gives visitors plenty of time to enjoy the Expo and the New Year’s celebration.

Colin A. Baker said the average stay of hotel guests is up to seven nights.

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