Operator If Only is expecting an “upswing” in bookings to the Gulf states after the United Arab Emirates was granted a travel corridor with the UK.
The UAE, which includes destinations such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah, was one of several countries to be added to the travel corridor list on Thursday (12 November). Two other regional destinations – Qatar and Bahrain – have also been added to the list.
If Only said it was anticipating a “spike” in winter-sun enquiries for the Gulf destinations for mid-December departures with the hope that England’s current lockdown will be lifted as planned on 2 December.
Alison Murphy, If Only’s product and commercial manager, said: “We are delighted with the news that UAE has been added to the UK travel corridor list, and anticipate an upswing in bookings throughout Arabia, particularly Dubai, which has always been one of our most popular destinations.
“We know from listening to feedback from our agents that having to quarantine on arrival back home has been one of the greatest deterrents to clients booking at present.
“When the PCR testing requirements for Dubai changed at the end of last month, with complimentary testing on arrival, that generated a lot of positive comments and interest, but people still faced the challenge of having to isolate on return from their trip.”
Murphy added that enquiries and bookings for the Maldives “shot up” as soon as the destination was added to the travel corridor list in October. This trend was also seen by other luxury tour operators as well.