Travel from the United Arab Emirates to Ireland has experienced massive growth in the six months between 1 January this year and 30 June, according to statistics that have been released by the longest-standing travel agency in the UAE, dnata Travel. In comparison to the same time period last year, locals and residents in the UAE have been heading off in much greater numbers to take in the vast, green landscapes and natural beauty, with an increase of 58% in the number of bookings made via dnata Travel’s platforms over the first two quarters of 2019, with room bookings also increasing by as much as 72%.
Further data demonstrates that sales of trips to, and accommodation in, Ireland have almost doubled during the period of Eid Al Fitr alone in comparison to 2018, with the travel provider pointing out that online searches for holidays in Ireland have skyrocketed 675% in the first half of 2019. Dublin is the most preferred destination for travellers from the UAE, with 95% of dnata Travel hotel bookings being for the capital city, with the cosmopolitan city of Cork coming in second place. Visitors from the UAE have also been reinforcing their liking for luxury accommodation when in a foreign country, with 47% of hotel bookings being for five-star hotels, followed by four-star and three-star properties respectively.
The vice president of retail and eCommerce for dnata Travel UAE, Antonio Fellino, says that the company’s trips to Ireland offer travellers from the UAE the unique chance to do things such as staying in grand castles or small cottages in colourful villages, and explore scenic and rugged landscapes akin to those seen in the popular TV fantasy series Game of Thrones. Fellino adds that earlier in 2019, the company brought to life a mini-Ireland within the dnata Travel store located in the Dubai Mall that came with a wind dome full of prizes waiting to be caught and even its own castle, which brought forth a fantastic response from the public.
The chief executive officer of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons, says that Ireland has a lot to offer the people of the UAE, including unique experiences, adventure and scenic landscapes, the combination of which has resulted in the increase in tourist figures in this market every year. Gibbons went on to say that with the increased exposure of Ireland to UAE residents, Tourism Ireland is hoping to continue to be able to welcome more guests to the nation and help them to appreciate its friendly people, wide array of attractions and rich culture.
Among the most important travel hubs in Ireland are the iconic cities of Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Derry/Londonderry and Galway across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Any UAE residents hoping to visit Ireland will need to take out travel insurance in order to ensure protection from the likes of accidents, illness or theft of personal property while overseas.