Pent-up demand and the Dubai Expo are driving bookings from the UK, says expert
Bookings for flights from the UK to the UAE exceeded pre-pandemic levels in September, after the Emirates’ removal from Britain’s red list kick-started a dash to Dubai.
According to Skycanner, Dubai was the second most-searched city for return travel from the UK in October, November and December 2021.
The online travel agency also saw a 2,351% surge in searches for flights from the UAE to the UK last month after the UK government announced it would simplify its travel rules.
The resurgence of demand in both directions is so high that one travel expert is predicting UK to UAE travel could top 2019 numbers.
ForwardKeys VP Insights at airline data analysts Olivier Ponti said: “In the eight weeks since [the UAE’s red-list removal] on 4 August 2021, flight tickets issued from the UK to the UAE climbed from 9% to 85% of 2019 levels.”
Ponti went on to say that in the past two weeks, tickets issued from the UK to the UAE surpassed 2019 levels, and that, subject to no further waves of Covid-19, he’s cautiously optimistic that there will be a combination of pent-up demand and the Dubai Expo driving travel from the UK to the UAE to record levels in the final quarter of this year.
The UAE can also expect a noticeably larger influx of people from Britain for two weeks starting from 11 October as a result of the autumn half-term holidays in the UK.