Muscat: Oman’s Great Eid Getaway has begun, say travel agents, as demand soars for flights, hotels and last minute holidays after official dates were announced.
Read here: Eid holidays announced for public and private sectors in Oman
The nine-day Eid break may be the perfect time for a holiday, but you’ll need to be fast to get away from it all at such short notice.
But with flights booking up fast and hotels expecting almost full occupancy, travel agents say a last minute holiday out of Oman or even a ‘staycation’ in the Sultanate could already be out of the reach of many.
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According to travel agents, flight tickets to most of the destinations in Asia are either “sold out” or “very high” if you want to leave Muscat after work on June 22. “Almost all our flights are going full but we have some tickets for Sri Lanka via Kuwait as of today,” said Rajan Jayaraman, manager of Kuwait Airways, Oman.
A spokesperson for Qatar Airways said: “This holiday season, Qatar Airways sees demand coming in for popular European destinations like London, Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin, Madrid and Barcelona.
“In Eastern Europe, Tbilisi, Baku, and Yerevan are top picks. There are substantial bookings to Far East destinations, such as to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Phuket, Krabi, Bali, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Cape Town in Africa and Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland in Australasia, are also showing steady growth.
“Qatar Airways flights to all these destinations remain unaffected and are operating as per normal schedule.”
Wasim Zaidi, General Manager - Oman, Jet Airways, said: “Cost-conscious travellers are turning to exotic destinations keeping their budget in mind this Eid.”
He added: “The surge in bookings will continue until Thursday as in the past we have noticed that there was a large percentage of people who booked packages closer to the travel date.”
Flights to places like Georgia and Goa are either sold out or only offering higher end ticket prices.
“Then there is also huge demand for places like Bangkok, Singapore and Colombo with Jet Airways,” Zaidi said.
Riyaz Kuttery, Chief Operating Officer of Mezoon International Travel, said: “There is a tremendous increase in bookings from Oman for the upcoming Eid holidays with almost all the flights full. The main dates for travel during this period are on Thursday or Friday, leaving Oman and coming back next week.
“The long holidays have once again encouraged people who were in two minds to go for the holidays,” he added.
Meanwhile, hotels are ready to accept guests from Oman and other GCC countries during the holidays. “We are expecting really high occupancy with guests pouring in from other GCC countries,” a spokesperson of a five star hotel said.
Vijay Handa, General Manager, Ras al Jinz Turtle Reserve Centre, which is part of Ras Al Hadd sanctuary, said: “I am fully confident that Eid holidays will bring in more tourists from within Oman and GCC countries as this is time to see turtles laying their eggs.”
Ahmed Al Hooti, member of OCCI, said: “I think it is good for companies to have these holidays but my recommendation to them is to do the work for next week as a lot of services and items such as food have lack of supply during long holidays.
“That is undesirable and we must make sure it doesn’t happen. As for tourism, I think a lot of people will come to visit Oman due to the long holidays.
“GCC residents are also likely to come to Oman and some Omani residents may also go to these countries. The weather may be a problem but it should not affect tourism a lot.”
Muscat’s weather during the holidays will be sunny, with an average high of 39 degrees Celsius, and an average low of 29 degrees Celsius during the Eid holidays.