Upset about your summer staycation?
…well don’t be! Thousands are flocking to the UAE for a holiday.
May 1, 2011 3:29 by Eva Fernandes
Just the mention of the soon-to-begin Arabian Travel Market makes Kipp think of our next holiday. Torn as we may be between the sandy beaches of Mauritius and the tropical forests of Vietnam, we sorely come back to our senses when we realise we are too poor to afford to get out of here.
We wondered if our readers were in the same boat as us, so last week asked “Are you planning for the staycation in the UAE this summer?” The rather unhelpful findings of the our poll are as follows: The majority, 37 percent, agreed with the statement “stop using the word staycation and use ‘stuck at home’ like normal people.” A quarter of our readers told us they were definitely staycating this summer. And although 12 percent said they weren’t sure, a little over a quarter of our readers (26 percent) agreed with the statement “Are you kidding? My bags are packed and I’m ready to go.”
Yes, unhelpful findings as we said earlier; no real trend to be observed here except to say our readers hate the term “staycation.”
And though the term maybe yuppyishly annoying, it is a route that many expats choose to go down when the summer months hit. And if you, like Kipp, are most likely going to end up in steaming Dubai in the summer, console yourself with the thought that the UAE is seen as an increasingly attractive tourist destination, especially given the unrest in the Middle East.
Peter Goddard, managing director, TRI Hospitality Consulting, told Gulf News: “Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been affected positively from the unrest in the region; Dubai has seen a stronger impact on its tourism market than Abu Dhabi.” Not only did Dubai Airport figures show an increase of 7 percent in passenger traffic during Q1, but Abu Dhabi Airports also announced an increase of 9.4 per cent over passengers in Q1.
But it isn’t just Abu Dhabi and Dubai that has been getting in on the action, so too has their little brother, Sharjah. Speaking at the Sharjah Consultative Council’s 10th session this Thursday, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, the chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority said the number of tourists visiting the emirates jumped dramatically from 600,000 in 2001 to 1.5 million in 2010. He credited the creation of specialised tourism and hospitality university courses as well as the promotion and development of Eastern areas such as Khor Fakhan and Kalba.
Does that make you feel better about your staycation?
No, we didn’t expect it to either.