Winters in UAE: Day trips, staycation demand soars as residents, tourists shake off summer blues

A massive surge in bookings and inquiries over the coming weeks and months as the tourist season begins revving up in the Emirates



File
File
by

SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Wed 19 Oct 2022, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 19 Oct 2022, 9:24 AM

Winter is almost here, and so is the demand for staycations.

With the weather turning pleasant and the festive season upon us, hotels across the UAE are witnessing a jump in demand from residents and tourists looking to shake off those summer blues.

Industry executives say there has been a massive surge in bookings and inquiries over the coming weeks and months as the tourist season begins revving up in the UAE.

Libin Varghese, director of sales and marketing Rooh Tourism, said that their domestic properties are attracting many guests — even before winter. "We are receiving over 70 inquiries every day for staycation deals," and considering the demand, "we are planning to also come up with 6-8-hour deals at our properties for nearly half the price so that guests can chill with their loved ones," said Varghese.

Rooh has a farmhouse property in Ras Al Khaimah, which can take in around 30 people. However, it can accommodate double the number for daytime revelry.

"At the moment, we are charging Dh2,400 per day for weekends and Dh1,200 to Dh1,500 for weekday stays," said Varghese.

Many properties in the UAE also expect huge demand for staycations from overseas tourists in the winter.

Vinayak Mahtani
Vinayak Mahtani

"Bookings originating out of the UAE are the most popular, with the United States, UK, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and India leading the pack," said Vinayak Mahtani, CEO of bnbme Holiday Homes.

Bnbme has properties all over Dubai and has an average occupancy rate of 70-80 per cent throughout the year. Mahtani said that the average daily rates change during summer and winter.

"During the winter, the average daily rate is slightly softer due to the strong dollar and global macroeconomics. We expect an average daily rate of Dh1,000 a night," said Mahtani.

Moreover, Mahtni said this year there would be an additional boost from Fifa World Cup guests who will consider making the UAE their base for the extravaganza. "We have special packages for World Cup guests to watch all matches and are seeing good demand in November," said Mahtani.

If you are looking for a true-blue fun outing, nothing can beat the Musandam Peninsula Oman — the Norway of the Gulf, with its breathtaking fjords that you can soak in while sailing on ancient dhows with playful dolphins for company. You can also indulge in various watersports and swimming activities on the cruise.

Industry sources say day trips and staycations to Musandam and Khasab are in demand. "Domestic tourism is booming, and many residents opt for a rejuvenating day or two in a month," said Varghese.

A dhow cruise trip to Musandam costs about Dh170 per head and includes all entry permits, pick up and drop service from Dubai. There's also a buffet lunch on board.

"We have trips scheduled every day to Musandam, and we are receiving many inquiries," said Varghese, who revealed that they have a daily bus service from Dubai at 7am.

If residents wish to spend a day or two, they can get accommodation at an extra cost of Dh250.

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