DOHA: Most Qatari families have rushed to Dubai to spend Eid Al Adha holidays and all hotels, including five-stars, there are fully booked until August 14, travel and tour operators say.
The other destinations that have attracted Qatari families in large numbers are London and Paris, according to Sunil Menon, from Al Mulla Travels.
He told this newspaper yesterday that due to Arab Spring most preferred Arab destinations, including Syria, have fallen out of favour of Qatari families.
And the widespread flooding in Bangkok has kept Qatari families away from travelling to Thailand this Eid, Menon said.
“We have sold tour packages for Dubai to most of our Qatari customers. The weather is good there, so people mainly preferred to visit the city,” said Menon.
There are hardly any hotel rooms available in Dubai until August 14 when the Eid holidays are coming to an end. The rates of five-star hotels are currently ranging from QR2,400 to QR3,000 there, according to Menon.
Nevertheless, a large number of Qatari families have traveled to the neighboring Dubai to spend Eid holidays, he added.
The other destinations that have attracted Qatari families in large numbers are London and Paris, said Menon.
Meanwhile, a large number of limited-income Qatari families rushed to the nearest Saudi city of Al Ahsa for Eid shopping as consumer items, mainly foodstuff, are at least 40 to 60 percent cheaper than Qatar, Al Sharq reported yesterday.
The daily quoted an official of a shopping complex, Al Humra Mall, in Al Ahsa as saying that he expected a large number of Qatari nationals to come here during the Eid holidays for shopping.
Al Ahsa with a population of an estimated 1.5 million is one of the most preferred destinations for Qatari families. It has many malls as well as some 800 resorts whose tariff per room ranges from QR800 to QR4,000.
The official of Al Humra Mall, Abbas Al Shafi said that he hoped to do sales worth QR150m during Eid holidays with most of the customers expected to be Qatari.
Qatari families mainly buy dates, rice and spices during Eid as consumer items, including foodstuff, are at least 40 to 60 percent cheaper in Al Ahsa as compared to Qatar, said Al Shafi.
Some Saudi families are preferring to spend holidays in Qatar as they find the city safe and peaceful and with a lot of entertainment facilities. The other preferable destinations for Saudi families are Bahrain and Dubai, the daily said.
Qatar, according to Al Sharq, is fast emerging as a tourist destination for Saudi families after Bahrain.
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