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UAE tourism up 18 percent

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DUBAI, UAE – Dubai’s travel industry is experiencing a bullish trend this Ramadan, up by 18 percent over that of 2010 mostly traceable to special airfare packages.

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DUBAI, UAE – Dubai’s travel industry is experiencing a bullish trend this Ramadan, up by 18 percent over that of 2010 mostly traceable to special airfare packages.

An Emirates spokesperson said that Emirates bookings from Dubai during the month of Ramadan are strong, with the airline witnessing a marked increase in bookings when compared with last year.

“This increase is a result of a number of factors, notably Ramadan falling within the full month of August in addition to our increased capacity and a number of new route launches, including Copenhagen on August 1,” the spokesperson said.

Emirates’ key markets for travel during Ramadan include Middle East points, the UK, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur and Colombo.

Meanwhile, Etihad’s performance during this summer continues to be in line with its projections, a spokesperson of the airline said. “We have witnessed a double digit growth during this period.” The spokesperson said that there has been a huge demand for travel to and from Europe, Asia and Australia. “While we still have some limited seats available to these destinations, the demand has exceeded our growth plans, with the majority of flights operating at peak capacity during this busy period.

The UAE and Abu Dhabi in particular has been in high demand from European markets, which is taking advantage of the various promotions we offer to visit the capital city during the holy month of Ramadan.”

Etihad’s offers for reduced fares on several travel classes to selected destinations, have so far paid off with hordes of travellers to and from these 

Among the destinations with special travel packages are Muscat, Amman, Beirut, Athens, Bangkok, Manchester, Munich, Paris, Johannesburg, Cyprus, and London.

Air Arabia told Khaleej Times that the airline has always experienced a higher efficiency all year round, and this Ramadan the increase is higher than last year’s. Housam Raydan, Communications Manager of Air Arabia, said that the traditional trend of expatriates in UAE traveling to their home countries to be with their families on Ramadan is still prevalent.

A flydubai spokesperson told Khaleej Times that it has noted an increase in Dubai-bound traffic over the past week compared to end of June this year.

“This is likely to be due to people returning to the UAE in time for Ramadan but there are also a number of events such as Dubai Summer Surprises that attract visitors to the UAE throughout the summer months.

The spokesperson said that flydubai always has a mix of passengers on its flights, which include those travelling for business, leisure, and to visit friends and relatives.

This bullish trend is confirmed by Dubai’s tour and travel agencies. Mohammed Al Rais, Deputy General Manager of Al Rais Travel, told Khaleej Times that the traditional trend of Emiratis to travel is still there and most of them are bound for Saudi Arabia. GCC travellers to UAE have increased by 10 to 15 percent compared to last year’s figures this Ramadan, he said.

Holiday goers and businessmen from India, the Far East and Europe are increasing as airlines offer 30 percent to 50 percent discounts in airfare packages at this time of the year.

Kulwant Singh, Managing Partner of Lama Desert Tours and Cruises said that inbound travelers are rising dramatically to between 16 percent and 18 percent over last year’s, and the top three traveling nationalities are Indians, Chinese and Russians.

“They spend their holidays and business trips here. But, our outbound travelers are not much.”

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.