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UAE tourism: Easier visa process, cheaper tour packages prompt residents to choose African destinations – News

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Kenya, South Africa, Seychelles, Tanzania and Morocco are becoming favorite destinations for explorers


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Seychelles. — FILE PHOTO

published: Sunday, July 9, 2023 at 6:00 am

African destinations such as Kenya, South Africa, Seychelles, Tanzania and Morocco are becoming increasingly popular with UAE tourists for a number of reasons, including ease of the visa process, greater availability of local airlines and cost-effectiveness.

Residents are also keen to explore new destinations, tourism executives said, as many of them have already experienced Georgia, Azerbaijan and other traditional tourist hotspots.

In addition, Dubai Travel is actively launching new packages for residents who want to explore the African continent.

Mir Wasim Raja, events and holidays manager for Galadari Brothers International Travel Services, said they had received an influx of inquiries as more people wanted to fly to Morocco, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa .

“People want hassle-free travel and visas are not an issue for UAE tourists going to Kenya and Tanzania. Traveling to some western countries is a challenge because of visa issues,” said Raja, adding Tanzania and Zanzibar Also popular with UAE nationals.

UAE residents have to wait until September-October to book Schengen visa appointments due to a surge in demand, the Khaleej Times reported earlier.

In addition, he pointed out that African countries have also benefited from the “revenge journey” of the aviation industry after the epidemic.

In 2023, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways recently signed codeshare agreements with six airlines, including Airlink South Africa, to enhance connectivity. Flydubai also launched daily flights to Mogadishu’s Aden Addi International Airport (MGQ) in March. From 1 June 2023, the airline is doubling its flight frequency, becoming the first airline to connect directly between Somalia and the UAE.

September-October is traditionally a very high season for African tourism, when the popular game migrations attract tourists to the Masari Mara and game reserves.

TP Sudheesh, general manager of Deira Travel Agency, said that there are two reasons for UAE residents to choose Africa: one is the difficulty of obtaining visas for Schengen countries, and the other is that most people have already explored or experienced the CIS countries and Georgia.

“The ease of visa procedures to African destinations has made it popular among local tourists. Also, the increase in the number of flights has made it easier for residents to travel to these African countries,” added Sudheesh.

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