United Arab Emirates (UAE) residents are choosing different holiday destinations instead of Europe. Countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia have become more popular, especially with the approaching Eid Al-Adha holiday in late June.
According to some digital travel agencies, getting a Schengen visa is becoming more difficult for some UAE travelers. They are facing delays in securing visa appointments, making them look elsewhere.
Airfares to Europe have become expensive, while some airports in the United Kingdom and Europe are facing strikes, which are causing flight disruptions. This adds to the challenges faced by travelers considering European destinations.
Ghassan Al-Khatib, a Dubai-based luxury travel expert, stated that assurances from embassies to resolve visa delays only make travelers consider other places to visit instead.
One reason for the Schengen visa delays could be the transition to a digitalized process called ETIAS. However, it will take about two more years to be fully implemented.
UAE travelers are also satisfied with the consistent airfares to destinations outside Europe. The airfares to South East Asia have remained stable, contributing to this positive outcome.
Direct flights to Thailand range from €164 to €242 from 23-30 June. For Bali, the airfares can be between €645 and €297, depending on the dates.
Traveling to Japan can cost around €300, unless it’s a non-stop flight, which can be more expensive, reaching up to €610.
From 1 July onwards, as the summer holidays begin, the fares are expected to increase from €393 to €694 for most Southeast Asian destinations.