Gulf tourists flock to Maldives for Eid

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The Maldives is among the top destinations for Middle East tourists to spend the Eid holidays as travel from the region picks up with pent-up demand over the pandemic.

Travellers from the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have been booking vacations in the Maldives, Mauritius, Dubai, Bangkok, Cairo, Paris, and London, reported AlArabiya News, citing airlines and travel agencies.

A UAE-based operator observed a “considerable increase” in bookings with an average Eid holiday of four to five days whilst Emirates saw “a further surge in demand due to the relaxation of travel restrictions” in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

“The Maldives continues to receive an increasing number of tourists from the UAE. This trend is not just during the festive season like Eid and other national holidays but all throughout the year,” Aminath Shabeena, Ambassador of Maldives to the UAE told Khaleej Times.

The Maldives has remained a number one destination of choice with a spike in demand witnessed in early March from the island nation removing PCR-testing requirements for fully-vaccinated travellers,” Emily Jenkins, general manager, dnata Travel Leisure, told the paper.

“Eid Al Fitr holiday packages have been sold out and the bookings for the next three months including for Eid Al Adha have already started. We provide both affordable and luxury tour packages,” said Mathive, marketing manager, Luxury Holiday Maldives. “We are looking for a stronger 2022,” he added.

In 2021, the Maldives welcomed 91,413 holidaymakers from the Middle Eastern market with Saudi Arabia ranked as the seventh-largest source market for tourists. Growth from the relatively new market is on track to continue with more than 19,000 arrivals during the first two months of the year. 

Eid feast