The excitement among UAE residents planning to travel to popular tourist destinations during the Eid Al Fitr holidays has been dampened by a sharp increase in airfares. As residents prepare for the longest public holiday of the year, potentially spanning nine days, reports indicate a significant spike in ticket prices, soaring by nearly 400 per cent for some countries.

Firoz Maliyakkal, founder and CEO of Tahira Tours and Travels, explained that the price rise can be attributed to several factors. "The price increase is because of the ease of travel to many countries, visa-on-arrival facilities, affordability, and the weather, making it a perfect short trip for UAE residents," he said.

Firoz highlighted the sudden sell-out of tickets due to overwhelming demand, "leaving only a limited number of airline and via service tickets available currently that are also filling fast."

UAE authorities announced the Eid holidays for private sector employees; if Ramadan lasts 30 days, the break is from Monday, April 8 (Ramadan 29), till Friday, April 12 (Shawwal 3). If one factors in the Saturday-Sunday weekends before and after the break, that's nine days off. The break will then be from Saturday, April 6, to Sunday, April 14.

Libin Varghese, Operations Head at Rooh Tourism and Travel, said the high demand is due to the longer break, allowing residents to plan flexibly. "With schools also on holiday, it presents a perfect opportunity for families to embark on trips together.

"Additionally, the beautiful landscapes of the Caucasian countries with the favourable weather during this period further fueled the travel demand," Vargehese said.

The travel expert added, "These countries have always been in high demand, and packages are selling out rapidly in these destinations during the Eid holidays. We have seen a surge in bookings, with many packages to a few countries already sold out due to the high demand."

A comparison conducted by Khaleej Times across various ticketing platforms unveiled the extent of the surge. On Saturday, March 6, the one-way airfare to Tbilisi in Georgia skyrocketed to Dh1,500, drastically increasing from the usual rate of nearly Dh300.

Similarly, flights from Dubai to Yerevan in Armenia listed an average airfare of Dh1,100 during the Eid break. While Baku showed a slightly lower average airfare of Dh800 for a one-way ticket during the holiday period, airfare to Serbia is on the rise, with prices soaring from the regular range of Dh400 to 500 to over Dh1,400 during the weekend.

In contrast, airfares to India and Pakistan sectors have remained relatively stable, with agents reporting a modest increase of 40 to 50 per cent during the Eid break.

Raheesh Babu, COO,, said that with the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday season, they are observing a notable surge in travel demand from the Gulf region to India, with an increase of 30-35 per cent compared to previous periods. "This rise in demand is largely attributed to the extended 9-day Eid Al Fitr holiday and coinciding school spring break. Interestingly, this surge surpasses last year's figures and pre-covid travel volumes, marking a 15-20 per cent increase in bookings.

"Notably, India remains a top-choice destination during this period for Gulf travellers, driven by the significant expatriate communities in the region. However, accompanying the heightened demand, airfare prices have seen a notable uptick, with increases ranging from 40 per cent to 50 per cent on certain routes during the Eid al-Fitr season," added Raheesh Babu.

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