As the world opens up, many residents dust off their bags and go out and roam the world
All my bags are packed and I’m ready to go … on vacation!
Yes, many UAE residents are dusting off their forgotten suitcases and making plans to see the world after a year of being locked in their homes due to the raging pandemic.
This year’s summer vacation saw a significant increase in the number of people making the courageous decision to get out and travel the world. Much of this confidence is due to the UAE’s strong vaccination campaign. Now, armed with a vaccine, literally people can indulge in what was once a passion. It’s a new normal, but in a sense it’s a return to what was once a normal world.
There is no doubt that there is still a lot of uncertainty when traveling to countries in the Red and Green List categories, but there are still a number of destinations that travelers can choose from.
âTraveler confidence has increased, especially in travel to destinations that have been open for some time and with clear regulations, which offer travel without quarantine and direct flights,â said Emily Jenkins, UAE recreation manager at dnata Travel, told Khaleej Times.
âLeading up to the summer travel season, we have seen an increase in destinations easing requirements and opening up to vaccinated travelers. With the impressive UAE vaccination campaign, our residents have seen a number of open destinations to explore, âshe added.
The UAE’s 10 Most Booked International Travel Destinations, with dnata Travel, include Maldives, Seychelles, Turkey, Greece, Tanzania, Russia, United States, Georgia, Italy and Cyprus .
Emily also revealed that island resorts such as the Maldives, Seychelles and Zanzibar are also popular among travelers.
âWith a short flight time from the United Arab Emirates, easy access and the aspect of social distancing naturally provided by their island resort sites, the paradisiacal Indian Ocean islands of Maldives, Seychelles and Zanzibar continue. to be popular vacation destinations of choice for UAE travelers. ,” she said.
Europe is also at the top of the list, said Emily. âTravelers’ confidence and interest in travel to Europe is at an all time high as its popular locations continue to open up to international tourists. Each country has its own set of guidelines, but trends remain consistent when it comes to relaxed requirements for vaccinated travelers.
âThe most popular for travel from the UAE are Turkey, Greece and Russia, which have been open for some time. Travelers opt for Istanbul or the Turkish Riviera, the major Russian cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, and Greece, its ever popular islands, including Santorini and Mykonos. City and country retreats in Italy and Georgia are also gaining ground, alongside beach stays in Cyprus, while search demand and bookings are on the rise for locations that have opened more recently, including France, Spain and Malta, âEmily revealed.
Albania, a new destination
A new destination this summer is Albania, nestled in south-eastern Europe.
âThis time, travelers prefer a new destination, Albania. We have a lot of requests for Albania. UAE residents can get a visa upon arrival and there is no quarantine, and you just need to take a PCR test. So, because of this, Albania is one of the main destinations during Eid, ârevealed Raheesh Babu, Managing Director of Musafir.com.
Some of the other top destinations, according to Babu, are Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Turkey, and Bosnia.
âWe had blocked more than 500 places for Eid in these countries and 90% of them were sold. And the seats are full for Albania. That’s a great answer, âBabu said.
Travel demand has been unusually high during this Eid (Eid Al Adha) compared to Eid Al Fitr, according to Babu.
âThis time the demand was higher. For example, if we sold more than 400 packages in the previous Eid, the demand doubled that Eid. It’s a good sign. One of the reasons being that a lot of people, who were supposed to travel to India, changed their plans, âhe said.
“The main thing travelers are looking for when traveling this time are countries where there is no quarantine and hassle-free visa, and Green List countries, so they can re-enter easily.” Babu added.
The United States on the rise
Emily said travelers also opted for the United States, particularly New York and Orlando.
âTravel to the United States is on the rise, particularly to the ‘theme park capital of the world’ Orlando and the bright lights of New York City. With more destinations set to open for UAE travelers later this month, including Thailand’s recently opened largest island, Phuket, we anticipate the UAE’s top ten most booked vacation destinations may change. by the end of the summer, âshe said. .
“However, with the Indian Ocean only gaining popularity with the launch of Mauritius in July and of Europe with the announcement of Switzerland, Ireland and other plans to reopen in across the continent – these are areas that are likely to remain trendy with UAE travelers through the summer and beyond, âEmily added.
Zurich is open to tourists
Babu said families were also opting for Zurich after the Swiss capital opened tourist visas.
âZurich has opened visas for tourists. And there is no quarantine for vaccinated travelers. So many families also prefer Zurich. Many of our clients have visa appointments. Travelers who do not prefer the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries opt for Zurich and it is the ideal summer destination. Visa processing takes around 10-14 days and many families are planning their trip in August, âhe said.
Hello everyone … here we are
“Let me take you far away, you would like a vacation.” Swap the cold days for the sun ‘. The hit song by legendary German rock band Scorpions, is perhaps what many UAE residents are feeling right now. Except that in their case, it replaces the sun with the cold!
And for Sunita Singh, it is still necessary to sink into the fact that she is traveling after two years. “I still can’t believe it,” Sunita said of her long-awaited trip with her family to the Serbian capital of Belgrade. âAfter two years, we dust our bags, pack our bags and go on vacation. The last break was in the summer of 2019 in Mauritius. But because of the pandemic, we haven’t been able to travel anywhere all last year, âshe added.
Sunita said the increase in travelers’ confidence was due to the UAE’s stellar vaccination campaign. âMy husband and I are fully vaccinated and it gave us confidence to get on the plane. The fact that the UAE has established a travel corridor with a number of countries means that we can choose from a number of destinations without quarantine for the holidays. Serbia has also relaxed its Covid security protocols, âSunita said.
Sunita said that even though Serbia has eased restrictions, it will continue to hide itself. âPeople are free to walk in open public spaces such as squares and parks without masks. It is only in shopping malls and stores that you have to hide yourself. Surely it is a heartwarming thought that we are slowly moving towards pre-Covid normalcy, âshe added.
Likewise, Emirati Madiah A is eagerly awaiting her trip to Egypt. âI am going to Egypt during the Eid holidays with my family. It’s a long-awaited trip, âsaid Madiah.
âWe haven’t really been anywhere since February of last year. Fortunately, there are direct flights and no quarantine requirements. We have booked a resort and will be staying there for our four days in Egypt, âshe added.
Madiah also says she will take the necessary precautions.
âInternational tourism is opening up, but I don’t think we’ve come out of the woods yet. We plan to take precautions as much as possible. I am vaccinated and my daughter too. My son is not yet eligible for vaccines, âMadiah said.