Turkey has risen as one of the most favoured destinations as its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture has captured interest of UAE residents, making it their top choice for leisure and adventure, said travel industry experts.

Rashida Zahid, VP-operations, Musafir.com, said that Turkey is among most in-demand destinations for UAE residents. “You can see that our Turkey holiday packages for Eid Al Adha have already sold out ahead of time. However, there was a slight drop during Eid Al Fitr 2023, the demand for the country is back to its 2022 numbers,” said Zahid, adding that this year’s demand trend for Turkey as a holiday destination is on par with last year’s numbers — there have been no dips observed.

During the Eid Al Adha break, the holiday packages to Turkey offered by popular travel websites like Holiday Factory and Travel Wings are showing as sold out.

Popular destinations in Turkey

Experts mentioned that the most popular cities for UAE residents in Turkey are Istanbul, Antalya, Bodrum, Trabzon, Cappadocia and Uzungul.

Istanbul has some of the most prominent tourist destinations including its highest hill Camlica Hill and the Blue Mosque. The Hagia Sophia and Sultanahmet district have been popular tourist spots while Cappadocia, which is famous for its hot air balloon rides and cave hotels, has always been a favourite place for visitors. To add to it, Bursa is known for its enriched greenery and nature.

“During summers, Bodrum, Trabzon and Uzungul are very popular as they are coastal cities. Bodrum, in particular, is a popular choice due to its turquoise expanses, renowned seafood, boating activities, and fairytale views,” said Zahid.

Connectivity, a primary reason

Industry experts highlighted that one of the primary factors behind Turkey's popularity among UAE residents is the convenient air connectivity between the two countries.

“Major airlines have significantly expanded their flight routes, offering direct flights from UAE cities to Turkish destinations such as Istanbul and Antalya. These improved travel connections have made the journey more convenient and contributed to the rising number of UAE visitors to Turkey,” said Deepak Kaushik, marketing manager, Tours on Board.

“With affordable accommodation, dining, and shopping prices, UAE residents can enjoy a high-quality travel experience without straining their budgets,” added Kaushik.


Prices of packages to Turkey on a popular website starts at Dh3,300, but during Eid Al Adha break, these packages go up to Dh 3,999.

But the current price, according to Zahid, starts at Dh4,500, which is all-inclusive holiday package per person on twin sharing basis. “This includes return flights, 4 to 5-star hotel accommodation, city tours to some of the most famous and prominent destinations in Turkey like Istanbul, Cappadocia etc. as well as flights to Cappadocia (or other internal flights), daily breakfast, selected meals, activities, entry tickets, airport transfers, English-speaking guide and much more.”


However, packages to Turkey do not include visa fees, PCR tests for unvaccinated residents, and optional tour prices. “We receive many inquiries for a visa to Turkey which has to be taken separately. Travellers of selected nationalities with valid UK, USA, or Schengen visas can get an e-visa to Turkey,” said visa specialist Dhas Anthony, general manager of Rejoice Travel and Tourism.

“It takes up to 15 working days for Turkey’s visa with all valid documents.”

Documents required

A no-objection letter from the company/sponsor of the applicant

An attested copy of your 6 months bank statement

Travel insurance

Original passport

Previous visa copies to other countries

A copy of your hotel reservation at your destination

Travel ticket along with return ticket

Two passport-size photographs

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SM Ayaz Zakir