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Business Aviation

Airfares from UAE to Saudi Arabia start reflecting Ramadan travel demand increases

More fare gains likely as Kingdom prepares for ‘23 pilgrimage season

All airlines are listing higher ticket rates from the Umrah season as Saudi Arabia gears for peak travel demand.
Image Credit: WAM Twitter

Dubai: Airfares from UAE to Saudi Arabia have started to record seasonal gains ahead of Ramadan starting next week, and could even rise further closer to the Eid breaks.

Fares to Jeddah on Sharjah’s Air Arabia are showing Dh1,336 for a trip next month, while those to Madinah go up to Dh1,536. Off-peak ticket rates during January and February to Jeddah on the airline were around Dh800-Dh900 and to Madinah at Dh1,100.

As for Emirates, fares to Jeddah are at Dh2,385 and Madinah would be Dh2,125.

Travel agents and Umrah operators in the UAE say the surge in demand from pilgrims has driven airfares, as Saudi Arabia marks the season without any Covid-related restrictions.

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“Fares will go up again in June during Hajj - Saudi Arabia’s peak travel times change yearly as it coincides with Ramadan and Eid Al Adha (ahead of Hajj season),” said Niyas Adiraja, Operations Manager at Smart Travels.

This year, the Umrah packages are going for Dh4,000 per person (all inclusive), and up to Dh45,000 for a 10-day package during the final days of Ramadan.

In fact, “Pilgrims are opting to take bus tours instead of air travel,” said Adiraja. “Even then, hotel rooms are not easily available.”

Umrah and Hajj travel are expected to easily hit pre-pandemic numbers this year as the Kingdom has removed all Covid restrictions. Operators are also saying there is a 70 per cent increase in demand for Umrah travel compared to previous months, thanks to these relaxed visa regulations and removal of all restrictions.

“There is year-long travel demand from UAE to Saudi Arabia due to business and religious travel,” said Raheesh Babu, Chief Operating Officer of the travel portal


With over 70 per cent of travellers looking for trips of between one- and two-weeks, Jeddah is the airport of choice, accounting for 75 per cent of bookings. “As restrictions ease and capacity increases, we are seeing travel demand return to pre-pandemic levels, if not higher,” said Ayoub El Mamoun, who is with Skyscanner.