Dubai and London are among the preferred destinations for many Qataris during the Eid al-Adha holiday this year, a number of travel agents have said.
Speaking to Gulf Times, an agent at a leading agency noted that they received a lot of bookings to both the places for the Eid break both from regular and new customers.
“Dubai is a very popular destination for Qatari families, especially during Eid al-Adha because of its proximity to Qatar and its various tourism offerings,” he stressed. “They go to London for many reasons such as leisure, business, and education (for students).”
Besides proximity, he said Qataris can travel to the UAE and other GCC countries, such as Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, with ease. They do not need any visa and several flights are available daily between Doha and Dubai.
The electronic visa waiver introduced by the UK in early 2014 has been attracting many Qataris to visit London regularly, according to the travel agent.
He added that they also received an increasing number of bookings to Baku, Azerbaijan, a Southwest Asia/Eastern European country, which is around 2 hours and 45 minutes direct flight from Doha.
Like Azerbaijan, he stressed that Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly Sarajevo, are also becoming popular destinations for Qataris.
A travel agent from another agency said they also recorded more bookings to these destinations this year compared to last year in the same period.
“Since the Eid al-Adha holiday is shorter than the Eid al-Fitr break, Qataris find travelling to far destinations (long haul flights) as unwise,” he explained. “After the break also comes the opening of classes.”
The travel agent said they also received bookings to Amman, Jordan and Muscat, Oman, with a slight increase in number compared to last year in the same period.
“This is probably because of the good number of expatriates who booked to these two places this holiday,” he added.
He observed that some of their customers have skipped Thailand this Eid al-Adha holiday reportedly due to frequent rains in the South East Asian country.
Qataris travel to Thailand mainly for leisure, medical treatment, traditional, cultural and festivals throughout the year, spa, adventurous activities, sports and shopping, according to the Thai embassy in Doha.
The travel agent added that they also received bookings to some popular European destinations such as Switzerland, France, and Germany.
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