Are UAE residents paying more for airfares?

Top 5 most expensive plane tickets in the world, and the UAE’s carriers are included

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Dubai: When purchasing airline tickets, timing is everything. Or is it?

To buy a plane ticket at a fair deal, several factors has to be taken into consideration, which include: checking fares early and often, book at the right time, and be mindful of seasonality and holidays.

On a recent video posted online Khalaf Al Habtoor, the Dubai-based businessman added location as another factor, arguing local UAE carriers charge passengers more than double for outbound UAE flights than those inbound to the the emirates.  

The chairman of the Al Habtoor Group claimed that a first class ticket from Dubai to London costs around Dh35,000, which is more expensive than cost of a flight from Mumbai to London via Dubai at Dh18,000.

To test the theory Gulf News took a quick look at prices for inbound and outbound flights, and whether there was any significant difference between the two.  

Return flights from February 1 to 15, 2017:                           The following are lowest possible price combination                                                     


Emirates Airline: Dubai International Airport to London Heathrow Airport. Economy: Dh2,260 / Business: Dh14,450

Etihad Airways: Abu Dhabi International Airport to London Heathrow Airport. Economy: Dh2,330 / Business: Dh14,480

When you compare the two, inbound flights are cheaper in both economy and business class tickets.

Emirates Airline: London Heathrow Airport to Dubai International Airport. Economy: £360 (Dh1,622) / Business: £1,778 (Dh5,308)   

Etihad Airways: London Heathrow Airport to Abu Dhabi International Airport. Economy: £358 (Dh1,613) / Business: £1,779 (Dh8,016) 

Prices of inbound and outbound flights were once again looked at, during the summer period.

Return flights from June 1 to 15, 2017:                                         The following are lowest possible price combination


Emirates Airline: Dubai International Airport to London Heathrow Airport. Economy: Dh4,470 / Business: Dh17,680

Etihad Airways: Abu Dhabi International Airport to London Heathrow Airport. Economy: Dh3,710 / Business: Dh14,340

And when you look vice versa:

Emirates Airline: London Heathrow Airport to Dubai International Airport. Economy: £362 (Dh1,620) / Business: £1,782 (Dh7,975) 

Etihad Airways: London Heathrow Airport to Abu Dhabi International Airport. Economy: £408 (Dh1,826) / Business: £1,784 (Dh7,984)

In a statement, an Etihad Airways spokesperson told Gulf News: “It is important to note that air fare pricing is complex – and this complexity is what enables airlines to offer a wide range of fares from very low sale fares available only at certain times, to more expensive, fully flexible fares available year-round.”

Etihad further added: “Pricing is managed route by route, based on a range of factors such as directional seasonality and market conditions, and there is usually a range of conditions attached to the fare; like the ability to refund tickets, change dates, or avail special promotions.

“The key thing for us at Etihad Airways is to be competitive in every market we serve and it would be unsustainable as a business for us to either over price or under charge our air fares.”


The world’s most expensive plane tickets 2015                                      All prices are for one adult passenger in First Class 

1. Los Angeles to Dubai with Emirates: Above $30,000 (Dh110,000)

2. San Francisco to Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways: For $28,090 (Dh103,000)

3. New York to Beijing with Korean Air: Starting from $27,000 (Dh99,000)

4. Hong Kong to New York with Cathay Pacific: For $26,572 (Dh97,500)

5. New York to Singapore with SWISS: For $22,265 (Dh81,700)

Source: Hopper.com 


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