Dubai is top destination for Saudis during Eid, say industry experts

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Saudis who traveled abroad for the Eid al-Adha holidays were divided between Dubai, Turkey, Malaysia, Jordan and some European countries, a Saudi newspaper reported, quoting industry sources.

“Dubai has topped the most favorable spots for the Saudis. Reservations to the United Arab Emirates began very early this year. The political events in some favorite traditional Arab countries have encouraged Saudis to proceed to Dubai,” Dr. Nasser al-Tayyar, president of al-Tayyar Tourism and Travel Group, said to business daily, al- Iqtisadiah.

He added that other favorable destinations for Saudis included Malaysia, Turkey and some European countries. “Some Saudis preferred to spend the Eid with their families and relatives inside while others opted to perform the hajj,” he said.

Mihaidib al-Mihaidib, chairman of a Saudi Arabia-based travel and tourist company, criticized hotel rates in Dubai which range between 2,000 Saudi Riyals ($533) and 5,000 Saudi Riyals ($1,333) per individual per night, according to him.

Al-Mihaidib warned Dubai that these high prices will not be in its interest in the long run. “The Saudis may develop a negative mental picture about hotel prices in Dubai,” he said, while asking the UAE hoteliers to revise the prices otherwise the Saudis may consider going elsewhere. According to him, more than 140,000 Saudi tourists visited Dubai during the Eid Al-Fitr holiday this year, spending more than 120 million Saudi Riyals ($320 thousand).

Hazim Abdul Hameed, chairman of EgyptAir office in Riyadh, said the recent stability in Egypt had attracted a growing number of Saudis to spend the Eid holidays there. “We have four daily scheduled flights. We also make additional flights to meet the increasing demand,” he said. Abdul Hammed said EgyptAir’s increasing of flights from the Kingdom are a good indicator that the influx of the Saudis towards Egypt has started.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Oct. 14, 2013.

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