East European destinations remain popular, while Emiratis prefer Maldives and Seychelles.
UAE residents are opting for longer overseas holidays, with many not having taken a proper holiday with their families in a long time.
The local travel agents said flights are still available to popular destinations, and there are a good number of last-minute bookings taking place to economical East European destinations such as Georgia, Armenia and Albania.
“Most of the people are flying for longer days. Previously, residents used to opt for three-day breaks, but now it’s a minimum of four to five days. Locals are taking even longer breaks ranging from eight to 14 days. Since it has been a long gap that people took breaks, now they’re going for longer days,” said Raja Mir Wasim, manager of MICE & Holidays at Galadari International Travel Services (ITS).
The UAE will have a six-day break during Eid Al Adha, starting from Arafat Day on July 19, the three-day Eid Al Adha break, followed by a two-day weekend, making it a six-day break.
“Since many countries have not opened up their borders, people have limited options now,” Wasim said, adding that Georgia and Armenia are the top popular destinations people prefer because it is hassle-free to travel there and they’re economical too, costing less than Dh3,000 per person for a four-day package.
“After the pandemic, getting a visa appointment has not been easy. Those expats who have got Schengen visas are flying to Turkey too.”
Wasim said Maldives, Seychelles, Turkey and Spain are popular destinations among Emiratis for Eid holidays.
Bharat Aidasani, managing partner of Pluto Travels, echoed Wasim’s views, noting that Georgia, Armenia, Albania, and Azerbaijan remain popular destinations – thanks to good weather, short flight duration, scenic attractions and beautiful beaches.
“These destinations are reasonably-priced. People cannot travel to Europe for Covid-19 reasons, so they are going to these destinations because there are ample flight connections offered by local budget carriers to these routes. Importantly, most of the UAE residents get visas on arrival and these countries have fewer Covid-19 cases, too,” he added.
Aidasani observed there are inquiries about Western European countries also, but getting a visa is a challenge.