UAE residents all prepared to make vacation plans once again

 Saturday, December 19, 2020 


To say adieu to 2020, over 200,000 visitors are anticipated to fly into Dubai as the desert city is all set to get the results of a planned opening up of its travel and tourism sector. However, it won’t just be about the incoming visitors only.

With each passing day, the UAE residents are getting over their anxieties of returning to the skies after almost one year of stressful living with the pandemic. Outbound flights are getting busy, and a greater part of the upcoming traffic will be those who are keen to take an end-of-year break.
“I don’t mind flying during the pandemic,” said Theresa Karpenter, a resident. “I haven’t been on an aircraft in a year, I will take the chance. I opted for a beach destination – Zanzibar.”

In general, it’s not about looking for a sandy beach somewhere far. It’s an opportunity to reconnect with their family members and just heading back to places they are so familiar with. “I have booked a flight to travel home to London,” said Kathrine Spencer, another long-time resident. “Although they had announced a lockdown there, I would rather be with my family for Christmas.”

The companies related to airlines and hotel operators are doing things to a limited extent, offering special rates, expecting that this will induce more people to get back to the sector and opt for booking stays at destinations. Airline tickets to London are available at over Dh2, 300, as those to Maldives for around Dh3, 000. Hotel operators are witnessing some of that need to travel and be somewhere else shows up in their bookings.

“Our resorts in the Maldives and Thailand have seen stellar numbers from October through to December,” said Sonu Shivdasani, CEO of Soneva, which owns the resorts Soneva Fushi and Jani in the Maldives and Soneva Kiri in Thailand. “We already have a lot of inquiries for 2021.

“In fact, in this quarter, our bookings are better compared with previous years. We are noticing strong demand from the US, Russia, India and the GCC. And what is very noticeable is that guest bookings are becoming more and more direct, not through agencies.”

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