The yearly EID holiday started in the Muslim world. A wave of tourists from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and India are currently in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) enjoying this major holiday season. Tourism is at high season drive.
Factors like good air connectivity, shopping deals and availability of many budget hotels are encouraging tourists to visit the UAE during the Eid period.
Emirates, the world’s biggest airline by international passenger capacity, has “registered a sizable increase over last year” for passengers flying to Dubai during the Eid holiday. The airline’s biggest inbound destinations to Dubai during Eid are Karachi in Pakistan, London and Manchester in the United Kingdom and Mumbai in India.
When asked about the number of tourists expected this Eid, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) said that they could not forecast the number of visitors arriving in Dubai.
Dubai received around 600,000 visitors from 197 countries through its air, sea and land ports during the Eid vacation in 2014, according to statistics released by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai last year.
Statistics showed that out of the 597,652 visitors to Dubai, 28 per cent were from GCC countries, with 166,945 visitors.
Abu Dhabi expects visitor numbers during Eid to grow by more than 20 per cent compared with the same period in 2014, helped by entertainment activities according to the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).
The Abu Dhabi Summer Season program, which runs until September 5, will feature a range of activities in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi during Eid, including a Mohammad Abdo concert at Yas Island’s du Forum and shows targeted at children, such as Shaun the Sheep: Save our Tree and Barney.
Similarly, in Ras Al Khaimah, the number of tourists during Eid are anticipated to grow by 20 per cent compared to a year ago, which saw 20,000, with the majority arriving from other emirates and the GCC according to the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.
Fewer tourists from Europe are expected due to the weaker euro against the US dollar, which the UAE dirham is pegged to, as well as Russia amid lower oil prices.
There could be fewer Saudi tourists in the country during Eid compared to last year because cheaper destinations, such as Egypt, are more attractive.
Dubai-based carrier flydubai is “experiencing an increase in passengers traveling to Dubai from the GCC” during Eid. The carrier’s top five inbound destinations during the Eid week include Kuwait, Jeddah (in Saudi Arabia), Doha, Bahrain and Abha (in Saudi Arabia).