Dubai top holiday destination for Saudis

Dubai tops the list of favorite holiday destinations for Saudis to spend short vacations like Eid holidays with Turkey, Malaysia and some European countries coming a close second, according to tourism experts.
Dubai has several attractions such as shopping malls and entertainment cities which draw Saudis to this beautiful city. Political strife in neighboring Arab countries has served to encourage Saudis more than ever to visit Dubai. However, owing to its huge popularity and increasing demand, room tariffs in Dubai’s duBAIhotels have shot up dramatically and the city has gradually become more expensive than European and East Asian countries.
Adel Shaheen, chairman of a Saudi travel and tourist agency, said that many hotels in Dubai offered rooms for as low as SR1,500 per week which attracted many Saudis and expats working in the Kingdom to spend their short vacations in Dubai.
“However, there are other hotels in Dubai which have rooms priced in the range of SR 2,000 and SR5,000 per night and these prices are considered to be the highest worldwide; more than the luxurious hotels in Europe and America,” he added.
“Dubai is the top holiday destination for Saudis owing to its numerous attractions. Secondly, political instability in neighboring Arab countries, which were favored by Saudis earlier, has diverted them to Dubai,” Nasser Al-Tayyar, president of Al-Tayyar Tourism and Travel Group, said.
He noted that some Saudis preferred to spend the upcoming Eid with their families and relatives at home while others had opted to perform Haj this year.
The recent spell of political stability in Egypt has also attracted a growing number of Saudi tourists to spend their holidays there. Earlier, Saudis and tourists from other countries had shunned this Arab country due to the political unrest which has had an adverse effect on its tourism sector.
“We have four daily scheduled flights to Egypt. We also make additional flights to meet the increasing demand,” Shaheen said.
“The flights from the Kingdom to Egypt have reasonable rates and this is expected to improve following the influx of Saudi tourists to the land of the pharaohs which already enjoys a good reputation as an important tourist destination due to its rich culture and heritage,” he said.
Saudis spend an estimated SR40 billion annually on vacations abroad and the number of Saudi tourists visiting foreign countries roughly stands at 12 million visitors, according to a local media.