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UAE Surprise National Day Gift Sparks Soaring Holiday Bookings

The announcement caused a surge of last-minute travel bookings, forcing airfares and staycation rates to skyrocket.

UAE residents were pleasantly surprised for National Day as authorities declared an additional public holiday, transforming the occasion into a three-day weekend. 

Both private and public sector employees will enjoy an extended break from December 2 to 4, leading to a surge in last-minute travel bookings.

Soaring Airfares and Staycation Demand:

The announcement sparked a rush in bookings for last-minute trips, causing airfares and staycation rates to soar. 

Industry experts note that airfares to popular destinations have increased by nearly 300% for the extended weekend.

Top Five Most Booked International Destinations:

According to dnata Travel, the top five most booked international destinations by UAE-based travelers for the National Day weekend are:

  1. Thailand
  2. Maldives
  3. Turkey
  4. US
  5. Azerbaijan

Thailand claims the top spot, representing approximately 15% of all bookings. 

Azerbaijan is a new entry, witnessing a 50% increase in bookings compared to the same period in 2022. 

Other trending destinations include the UK, Switzerland, France, India, and the Seychelles.

Shift Towards International Travel:

dnata Travel reports that 80% of all bookings are for international travel, indicating a strong desire among UAE residents to explore global destinations. 

Dubai is the most popular choice for staycations, followed by Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah.

Travel Patterns Reflect Exploratory Spirit:

Meerah Ketait, Head of Retail and Leisure UAE at dnata Travel notes a shift in travel patterns, with travelers exploring lesser-known places and new locations within popular hotspots. 

The increased interest in Azerbaijan highlights a growing trend for city breaks closer to home.

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