Travellers visiting Expo 2020 or quarantine passengers on their way to Saudi Arabia make up a large chunk
Air ticket prices for travel between cities in India and the UAE have soared as Dubai Expo 2020 officially opens on October 1. Travel agents have said that one-way airfare prices from South Indian sectors such as Kozhikode and Kochi are as high as Dh 2,000 close to departure.
Travellers from India are arriving in UAE in large numbers to visit families, seek better job opportunities, and visit the Dubai Expo 2020, agents have said. A huge chunk of the travellers are quarantine passengers on their way to Saudi Arabia.
Demand from Bangladesh to UAE skyrockets
Furthermore, since the issue of pre-travel RT-PCR rapid testing has been resolved at international airports in Bangladesh.
“Demand and airfare prices from Dhaka is very high as well,” Malik Bedekar, operation manager of Smart Travels told Khaleej Times.
He explained, “The prices are averaging at Dh 2,000 and above close to travel dates since the issue of rapid PCR has been resolved at the airports. Most of the travellers are stranded expatriates who want to return to their jobs in the UAE.”
Raheesh Babu, the group chief operating officer of Musafir.com, an online internet agency, said, “The situation is same from most sub-continent countries. Since air travel regulations into the UAE have completely eased and since Covid-19 cases have dropped as well, the Emirates has become an extremely favourable travel destination.”
India-UAE flight prices
India to UAE flight prices and demand is very high at the moment, according to Babu. “One-way tickets are priced at Dh 1,500 to Dh 2,000 from destinations such Kozhikode and Kochi. There are two reasons for this phenomenon – tourists are welcome back into UAE and a lot of demand is from Saudi quarantine passengers,” he explained.
The passengers wishing to travel to KSA are staying in the UAE for 14-15 days and experiencing tourism attractions here in the meanwhile. “We are accepting applications for an average of 2,000 tourist visas every day,” said Babu.
Expo demand to surge mid-October
The demand from Indian sectors is evenly spread. “You have high demand from Mumbai, Delhi, and all the South Indian states. We are also seeing a boost in charter operations to Ras Al Khaimah as well,” he added. However, agents have also said the chunk of the Expo2020 travel demand will shoot up after October 15. “The Expo rush from India will begin towards the end of October and the first week of November once the weather improves,” he added.
Badekar said, “We are already selling Expo 2020 package deals. We predict that by mid to end October, a majority of the Indian travellers would come once the air ticket prices stabilize.”
Rashid Abbas, the managing director of Arooha Travels, said, “The prices of one-way tickets are very high. The travellers are mostly families, job seekers, and people who want to visit Expo 2020. On Thursday alone, we submitted 800 tourist visa applications. That’s how high the demand is.”
A few Indian expatriates planning their trips from India said they will definitely visit the Expo pavilions.
“Not only is it a massive tourist attraction, but the Expo has immense business potential. If you can combine them both, especially during the pandemic, I think that’s a win,” said Ebaad Ashraf, a Delhi-based businessman. He will arrive in Dubai on October 8.