Dubai: Eid holiday rates from the UAE to other countries are stable this year as most families are not travelling because of school exams, tour operators said.
On Sunday, the UAE announced public and private sector holidays for the Eid Al Fitr festival, which marks the end of Ramadan. Government departments will close from June 2 to 8, while private companies will close from June 3 to June 6 or 7.
Schools too will close from June 2 to 8, but unlike last year there will still be exams left to attend for some after the Eid break. It means many families are staying in the UAE during the Eid holiday so children can study and rest ahead of their final exams.
“As a result, less families are travelling together for Eid, compared to the situation in 2018. This has contributed to keeping holiday season prices stable this year,” said Arsalan Nazir from Light Speed Travel and Tourism in Dubai.
Hossam Yousuf, director of Dubai-based Adrenaline Travel said tour operators that cater to families have witnessed a slump in bookings because of the exam season.
“What I have noticed is that more young couples and friends are travelling to popular destinations — countries with low visa requirements for UAE residents and low-cost packages for them,” Yousuf added.
According to Jatin Gondali, senior manager for holidays-Dubai at Orient Travel and Tourism Agency, also said fewer families are travelling compared to last year.
“In most cases, there will still be exams left for the children to sit after the Eid holiday. The profile of travellers this season is mostly friends and young couples, less families,” Gondali, who is from Mumbai, added.
The lesser number of families going on holiday has kept Eid holiday packages competitive this year, tour operators said.
Gondali said: “There does, however, seem to be spike in air tickets to Mumbai in India. Schools there are closed but will reopen second week of June onwards. So the families from India who are now on holiday have started travelling back — a lot of them via Dubai on Emirates airline. Also, Jet Airways, which had six flights from Dubai to Mumbai, has suspended flights.”
He added: “So the demand for that sector is there, but the corresponding inventory is not.”
Emirates.com, for example, was offering an economy return ticket for Dubai-Mumbai (June 2 to 8) for Dh5,135.
Regarding Eid holiday packages, the tour operators listed the most attractive destinations for UAE residents as (in no particular order) Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam, Greece, Maldives and Europe.
The packages (quoted per person) typically include the flight ticket, three-night hotel stay at a four-star hotel, breakfast, city tour, and transfer between airport and hotel.
Nazir from Light Speed quoted Dh2,500 as an example of a lower-end package, to Baku. Yousuf from Adrenaline said Dh3,000 to Kyrgyzstan or Egypt was typical for a mid-level package. Gondali from Orient said top-end packages range from Dh10,000 to Dh15,000 for the Maldives.