UAE’s 4-day holiday for Eid Al Fitr: Airfares rise as travel demand soars

With schools’ spring break falling during the holy month of Ramadan, more families are planning overseas getaways

by

SM Ayaz Zakir

/

Sahim Salim

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Published: Thu 9 Mar 2023, 2:31 PM

Last updated: Sat 11 Mar 2023, 1:13 PM

UAE residents are set for their first long weekend of the year during the Islamic festival of Eid Al Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

According to astronomical calculations, the first day of Eid Al Fitr is likely to be on Friday, April 21 — which means residents could get a four-day weekend from Thursday, April 20, to Sunday, April 23.


Airfares from the UAE to popular destinations have already increased by about 15 per cent, yet travel bookings are still coming in, experts told Khaleej Times.

With schools’ spring break falling during the holy month of Ramadan, more families are planning overseas getaways. There has been a 30 per cent spike in queries for travel packages, according to online travel agency Musafir.com.


“UAE travellers are planning to travel internationally at significantly higher levels than last year. Nearly 65 per cent are choosing leisure travel and 35 per cent are opting to celebrate with family, either in their home countries or locally,” it added.

The data is based on its website traffic and enquiries that their customer care agents receive.

Where to go

Budget and visa-friendly destinations are in demand. “Countries such as Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia are quite popular, while Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are gaining momentum alongside Singapore, Kenya, Thailand, and Malaysia,” said Musafir.

Bharath Aidasani, managing partner at Pluto Travels, said the “huge surge in demand” is has resulted in fluctuations in holiday package rates.

“The most in-demand destinations for UAE travellers are Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan," he revealed.

“Being a travel aggregator, I can always bet on countries like Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan because of their popularity and the number of tourists travelling from the UAE. However, places like Albania, Serbia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan are also emerging as popular destinations,” said Libin Varghese, sales director of Rooh Travel and Tourism.

Package prices

Varghese said a 3-night-4-day package to Caucasian countries is priced at Dh1,499 until the second week of April. But during the expected Eid holiday dates, rates double.

“The vacation package during the Eid break starts at Dh2,999 and in most of the agencies I have spoken, offers are sold out,” the expert added.

Airfares for the Eid break have skyrocketed, which led to the increase in package prices.

Destinations with hassle-free visa procedures are in demand, while the most sought-after holiday packages fall within the price range of Dh3,000 to Dh4,000.

Four-night travel packages to Georgia start at Dh3,200, while a similar trip to Kyrgyzstan comes with a price tag of Dh3,800. Five-night packages to Singapore and Malaysia start at Dh5,300, according to Musafir.

Seven-night packages to Paris and Switzerland start at Dh8,800, while four-night trips to Phuket and Krabi cost Dh4,000. Four-night trips to Bangkok and Pattaya starting from Dh3,700, while five nights in Kenya will cost Dh4,800.

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