Millions expected to travel from UAE as school holidays coincide with Eid

An estimated two million travellers will use Dubai International Airport over the weekends of June 30 and July 7, with the traditional holiday rush for Eid Al Fitr boosting school holiday numbers.

An estimated two million travellers will use Dubai International Airport over the weekends of June 30 and July 7. Dubai Airport via AP
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DUBAI // Millions are set to fly out on summer getaways next week as the start of school holidays coincides with Eid Al Fitr.

Almost two million travellers are forecast to use Dubai International Airport over the weekends starting July 1 and 8.

Premjit Bangara, general manager at Sharaf Travel in Dubai, said this was the busiest time of year for travel agencies and many people would take extra days off work to ensure a longer Eid break.

“This time of year sets the benchmark in terms of profitability for the rest of the year and, as a result, it’s very important,” Mr Bangara said.

“It’s a unique situation and we’ve found that travellers have planned accordingly. People are now adding the Eid holiday to their usual summer vacations but booking a couple more days off work.

“So, for example, if the Eid holiday is three days, they are taking a further two days to make it a five-day holiday.”

Demand for destinations, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, has grown as airlines open up routes.

“We’ve found that there is growing interest in visiting Georgia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Armenia, and Sarajevo in Bosnia,” Mr Bangara said.

Families keen to avoid the summer heat are going on longer stays in Europe and North America and the subcontinent remains popular, as does the Far East, he said.

About 900,000 passengers are expected to pass through Dubai International Airport from June 30 to July 3, and the same from July 7 to July 10.

“Nearly a quarter of a million passengers will be passing through our facility every day during the two weekends,” said Anita Mehra, senior vice president of communications at Dubai Airports.

“While we are very happy with the growth in traffic, we want to make sure that our customers can make the most and have a comfortable and memorable start to their holiday.”

To help cater for the increased demand, the airport will have more staff on duty and is working with airlines and other partners to help travellers.

Eugene Barry, executive vice president of communications at Dubai Airports, said: “We anticipate high volumes that are more or less on par with what we saw during last year’s summer peak, if not a bit higher.”

Dubai Airports’ the Hangout@DXB campaign will provide daily updates on entertainment, prizes, giveaways and travel tips.

Those booked on departing flights are advised to leave extra time to travel to the airport, as the roads will be busy.

They should arrive three hours before their flight and check in online, if possible, to avoid queues.

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