London is the most favoured destination followed by Istanbul, Paris, Bangkok and Colombo Image Credit: GN Archives

DUBAI: London has emerged as the favourite holiday destination among UAE residents, according to UAE-based travel agencies DNATA and Tajawal. At No 2 is Istanbul.

“London continues to eat up most of the traffic share followed by Istanbul, Paris, Bangkok and Colombo. Traffic to Istanbul grew about 30 per cent in 2017 compared to 2016. Not to forget, Georgia is catching up,” said Rob Arrow, Head of Product at DNATA Travel.

Similarly, Tajawal found Bangkok, Istanbul and London to be the most preferred destinations.

According to the two travel agencies, April to mid-September is when residents travel the most. “In August we clock in about 20 per cent of our annual sales. Starting from June to end of August is the busiest,” said Arrow.

Furthermore, most plans were finalised over weekends. “Final payments and complete plans are usually made on weekends. Saturdays are the busiest days for us,” said Muhammad Chbib, CEO and Founder of Tajawal. Additionally, Emiratis followed by Indian expats travel the most according to information provided by DNATA.

While Tajawal doesn’t assist travellers with their visa applications, DNATA does, with Schengen and Saudi visas making up for more than half the applications in 2017.

“Countries like Georgia and Maldives have visa on arrival for UAE residents and that’s the reason these places are opted by many for quick getaways,” said Arrow.