Sudden surge in outbound traffic

ABU DHABI - On the eve of Eid Al Adha holidays, that are expected to be for more than a week for public sector, there is a sudden surge in the tourist traffic flowing out of the emirate, tour operators said.

By Haseeb Haider

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Published: Sun 18 Jan 2004, 12:29 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:26 AM

Airlines and travel agencies are offering attractive tour packages for visit to various countries.

The Eid Al Adha holidays are expected to be for nine days (for public sector) starting from January 29 to February 6 including the weekends. Travel trade people said it was a good chance for fun-loving people to enjoy tour packages at competitive prices.

A large number of expatriates, mostly from the subcontinent, have plans to celebrate Eid with their families back home. The national carriers of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh - PIA, Air India, Biman - and several other airlines operating to these countries, have reported heavy rush. Several extra flights have been inducted by the three carriers to meet the demand.

While others, who have opted for other destinations in the Far East and Maghreb countries, are taking advantage of the low-priced package offers that include three to five night stays, are planning to visit Bali (Malaysia) and Bangkok.

"About 50 per cent of the tourists coming in recent couple of weeks have booked packages for these two Far Eastern destinations. Other tourist hotspots are Turkey, Cyprus, Sharm Al Shaikh," says Bilal Ahmed, a tour specialist at National Travel and Tours.

Oman is attracting the tourists with the arrival of Muscat Festival that is coinciding with the Eid Al Adha. Oman has always been a popular destination among all the tourists of all income groups for its diverse tourism base. Its close proximity and cost effectiveness are the added features. At least 25-30 per cent of the total tourist may visit Oman during the vacation, Mr Bilal said.

But, another tour operator said that greatest attraction of DSF is bound to make a big dent in the tourist traffic going out for vacation, as people would not like to miss the opportunity to explore the treasure of fun and excitement here.

Mr Bilal Ahmed said that his business has though picked up in the recent weeks; it is quite slow compared to the booking he made last year, during these days. Booking made till now are 20-30 per cent less, which he termed as a significant decline, if the trend continues for another week.

For the cash-rich nationals, Mr Bilal said the favourite destination that has been noticed is Morocco - a place loaded with exotic tourism attractions.

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