Post Ramadan outbound travel surges

Post Ramadan outbound travel picks up once again, thanks to demand from locals and expats in the GCC region. Maldives and Thailand in Asia, as usual, secure top position while close by and visa-free destinations, such as Georgia and Azerbaijan, also follow the suit, and not to forget Istanbul and South Korea, which attract more youth to these getaways. Experts share their views with TRAVTALK.

Mohamed Al Rais, Executive Director, Al Rais Travel Group
Key outbound destinations booked by travellers from the UAE post-Ramadan reflects a blend of cultural exploration, iconic landmarks, and diverse experiences. Austria, Paris, London, Barcelona, Rome, Saudi and Istanbul consistently rank among favourites. Additionally, destinations like Japan and South Korea attract UAE travellers with their unique blend of traditional heritage and modern innovations. Australia and New Zealand emerge as sought-after destinations for UAE travellers seeking outdoor adventures.

Rehan Ali, CEO, Tawfeeq Travel Qatar
Post Ramadan certain sect of people will start preparing for Hajj Pilgrimage. However, since we will be approaching summer in a couple of months, hence short break destinations, such as Turkey, DXB, Maldives, Thailand, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Georgia, will be the hot selling destinations. Most important reason is the ease of accessibility with visa on arrivals to most of the destinations. The beautiful weather serves as the cherry on the cake. These destinations work perfects for all kind of travellers.

Jayaram Vaidyanthan, Managing Director, Sharaf Travel and Tourism Group
CIS destinations Georgia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan are picking up due to their budget-friendly hotels and tours with visa-on-arrival for UAE residents. Destinations such as Sri Lanka, Japan, Kenya, Finland are also in demand. The focus is on ease of travel and budget, convenience of visa processing formalities, economical leisure travel pricing and trending destinations on social media that influence decision of travellers.

Daniel Rosado, Director, Spain Tourism GCC
This year, post-Ramadan travellers from the UAE are drawn to Spain’s vibrant cities like Barcelona and Madrid, famed for their rich history and cultural offerings. Coastal escapes such as Balearic Islands and Andalucia also entice with their picturesque beaches and luxury resorts. UAE travellers opt for Spain’s diverse offerings due to its blend of historic charm, cosmopolitan cities, and coastal beauty.

Meerah Ketait, Head of Retail and Leisure – UAE dnata Travel
International bookings from the UAE for the Eid al-Fitr break have doubled in volume compared to 2023. The most popular destinations include the Maldives, Thailand, Italy, Mauritius, and the USA. With an extended break anticipated for Eid celebrations, travellers are making the most of the opportunity, booking further in advance and to long-haul destinations, including Asia and the USA. The split is weighing heavier towards outbound.

Jamal Abdulnazar, CEO, Cozmo Travel
Key destinations booked post Ramadan include Istanbul, Europe, Thailand, London and much more diverse destinations. They offer different climate and cultural experiences, luxury retreats, and historical landmarks, appealing to a variety of traveller interests. Travellers choose such destinations based on the experience they seek to have, be it cultural centric, luxurious or adventurous.

Emily Jenkins, Senior Manager – Product Development, DW Travel
DW Travel is seeing strong bookings in traditional destinations, such as Maldives, Sri Lanka, Georgia, Armenia, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Zanzibar. Trending destinations include Poland, Kenya, South Korea and Bali for the upcoming break. Clients are booking longer stays and further in advance. We have attributed this to the rising airfares due to higher demand and capacity restraints, as well as delays in Schengen visa.

Varsha Pherwani, Travel Counsellor Associate, Travel Counsellors
Exciting destinations such as Uzbekistan and Morocco are now within easy reach for UAE residents, making these as destinations of choice for UAE travellers post Ramadan. Other all-time favourites with our customers is the tropical paradise of Sri Lanka and the idyllic beach escape to the Maldives. These destinations offer hassle-free visa, with options like visa on arrival or straightforward E-visas.

Basel Atassi, Travel Counsellor, Travel Counsellors
Among trending destinations for Eid al-Fitr holidays are Mauritius, Morocco, Zanzibar, Egypt, Jordan, Japan, Saudi and new trending destination in Eurasia (Uzbekistan). Locally, Yas Island and Saadiyat continue to see an increase in demand, thanks to the variety of family attractions and hotels offering a good value. April marks as best time of the year to visit certain destinations like Japan, due to the most sought after and Middle Eastern destinations.

Ibrahim Nalkhande, General Manager, Business Travel
Central Asia and Turkey, especially Almaty in Kazakhstan and Tashkent in Uzbekistan, Turkey’s Antalya, snow holidays to Gudauri Georgia have become some of the most popular destinations post Ramadan. In the UAE, both, locals and residents, prefer destinations which grant them visa on arrival and select those as their short-haul destinations. They prefer to holiday in snow and cooler weather climates which are in close proximity.

Aga Pytlik, General Manager, Panworld Travel
In alignment with the preferences of our clients who prioritise quality, privacy, and sophistication, the chosen outbound destinations post Ramadan this year cater to these esteemed values. The Maldives and Seychelles epitomise exclusivity while European cities like Geneva and Milan, along with London, provide access to refined experiences, including renowned Michelin-starred restaurants for culinary experiences.

Mariyam Kapasi, CEO & Founder, Amore Travel and Tourism
Post Ramadan, destinations such as Maldives, Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan are in high demand. Clients who are well organised with travel have booked Schengen countries. Easy visa requirements have made it easy for clients to book holidays last minute. People are booking solo holidays, looking for new destinations and out of the box things to do in destinations, guests are are looking for more environmental friendly ways to travel.

Asif Hussain, Manager – Outbound Leisure, Al Tayer Travel
The key destinations still seem to be Russia, Poland, Turkey and Thailand for Emirati travellers. The expats are keen to visit CIS countries, Kenya, Zanzibar, and the GCC cruising are going full. Visa free seems to be the key to a destination’s success, given the hassles expats go through to get visas for Europe, Canada, and USA. We have seen a change, the clients are inquiring early for summer.

Compiled by Dr. Shehara Rizly

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