With Europe experiencing one of its coldest winters in recent memory, flights and holidays to sun soaked destinations are on the rise during the pre-Christmas period. Among popular destinations, analysts have noticed a spike in reservations to UAE destinations, including luxury hotels and flights on the new Air Emirates first-class sleeping cabins.
The popular hotel comparison website, HotelsCombined.com has recorded a record number of bookings to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other popular Emirates destinations. With massive growth in the number of luxury hotels and exclusive holiday packages over the past several years, the Gulf has emerged as a popular destination for European travellers. In light of the current financial climate, many Gulf properties have had to reduce room rates, and ambitious online travel companies are webhosting combination flight, hotel and destination activity deals.
Among destinations in the Arab Emirates, the most traffic has been to Dubai, followed by Abu Dhabi, Manama and, finally, Doha. All of these destinations have seen 100 percent year on year growth, with some Emirates properties having experienced booking increases of up to 250 percent over the previous twelve months.
The marketing director for HotelsCombined has suggested that cash-strapped property owners offering heavily discounted prices has been the driving force behind the increase in bookings and holidays to the Gulf States. The director, Hichame Assi, explained the new trend by saying “boosted by big price drops by hoteliers online, Dubai remains the most popular destination for business and leisure, but Sharjah and Kuwait City both showed more potential with significant year-on-year growth.”
Domain hosting igures released by Hotels Combined showed a 24 percent fall in prices at Dubai hotels across the board, with similar reductions at other Emirates properties.
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