A 484% increase: UAE travellers rush to chilly Helsinki for Eid Al Adha holidays

Stockholm, Oslo and St Petersburg are also among the most popular holiday destinations this Eid Al Adha as holidaymakers head for the cold

Old Town pier in Helsinki, Finland
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Travellers from the UAE are escaping the summer heat by booking holidays to cooler climates this Eid Al Adha, according to data from Skyscanner. The travel aggregator revealed the most popular places that holidaymakers are visiting this year. Topping the list was Helsinki.

The Finnish capital is set to welcome 484 per more travellers from the UAE this year, compared to the same period last year.

Oslo, St Petersburg, Zagreb and Stockholm rounded out the top five destinations that have seen an increase in travel bookings from the UAE, according to Skyscanner data.

Nordic call

Aerial panorama of Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki comes alive in the summer and UAE travellers are increasingly heading to the Finnish capital. Courtesy Skyscanner 

Tourists headed to Helsinki for Eid Al Adha can expect average temperatures in the high teens, a welcome respite from summer temperatures in Dubai. Open-air concerts, streetside cafes and tree-lined parks and esplanades make it a popular summer choice. Economy fares from Dubai to Helsinki this Eid start at around Dh3,343, and the flight takes just under seven hours.

Akershus Fortress and radhuset
Norway's capital look set to welcome 450 per cent more UAE travellers this EId when compared to the same period last year. Courtesy Skyscanner 

Finland wasn’t the only Nordic country topping the list of popular destinations. Norway’s capital also saw a 450 per cent increase in UAE travellers visiting this year.

In Oslo, summer means rooftop concerts, outdoor museums and picnics in the park, with temperatures averaging around 20°C. Fares start from Dh3,452 and the journey takes seven hours.

Secondary cities: St Petersburg and Zagreb 

Saint Petersburg, Russia
St Petersburg in Russia is welcoming an increase of 369 per cent in visitor numbers from the UAE. Courtesy Skyscanner 

Elsewhere, Russia’s St Petersburg is set to welcome 369 per cent more travellers from the UAE this Eid Al Adha than it did last year. Travellers to Russia's most visited city after the capital, Moscow, can delve into history as the entire centre is a Unesco World Heritage Site. Flights from Dubai take six hours and fares start from Dh2,634.

Zagreb, Croatia
Croatia's Zagreb saw the fourth highest increase in traveller numbers. Courtesy Skyscanner

One slightly warmer destination that made the cut was Croatia's Zagreb. With plenty of festivals and cafe-lined streets, plus lakes, forests and more museums per square metre than any other European city, the Croatian capital has seen a 331 per cent increase in travellers from the UAE this year. August temperatures average around 28°C and fares for the six-hour flight from Dubai start at Dh3,706.

Sweden's capital: more travellers heading to Stockholm

Aerial panorama of Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm in Sweden saw a 139% year on year increase in travellers from the UAE according to Skyscanner. Courtesy Skyscanner

Not to be missed from the Nordic favourites, Sweden also saw a huge increase in visitor growth from UAE travellers. The capital Stockholm recorded a 139 per cent increase in tourists set to visit for Eid Al Adha. The green city offers nature, history and long days of sunshine, with temperatures averaging around 20°C. Flights start at Dh4,536, and the journey takes six and a half hours.

Public and private sector workers in the UAE will have four days of holiday for Eid Al Adha this year (including the Saturday). That means that a five-day weekend is on the cards for the majority of people, many of whom will travel overseas.