With the end of Ramadan drawing closer, speculation is rife that UAE residents will enjoy an extended weekend by the end of the month. One thing is for certain, the country’s tourism industry will benefit immensely from a long Eid Al Fitr holiday, analysts said. Astronomers have said that Eid will start on July 28. If Eid falls on a Monday, UAE residents could enjoy a five-day break, from Friday July 25.
Eid holidays for UAE have yet to be confirmed, but Kuwait has reportedly announced workers in the public sector will have a five-day holiday from July 27 to July 31.
Several media reports have quoted the Sharjah Planetarium as saying that the first day of Eid Al Fitr is expected to fall on July 28, with the Shawwal crescent moon showing up in the early hours of July 27.
In the UAE, residents anticipating a long Eid break this month have already started booking out-of-town breaks. “The rooms are slowly filling up,” Premjit Bangara, general manager of Sharaf Travel Services told Gulf News on Wednesday.
“There are still rooms available, but the rates are slightly higher now. As the week goes in the next two or three days, we’ll get a clear picture,” he said. A long Eid break is seen to benefit the local tourism industry, especially hotels across the emirates, as residents in the UAE will have some time to spend a few days off out of town.
“Families across the UAE are looking forward to celebrate Eid together and many of them will use the occasion to travel. Especially the Saudi travelers are very likely to visit the UAE during those days,” said Kathrin Reinthaler, worldwide marketing director for Jannah Hotels and Resorts. Bangara said the top source of tourism revenues during Eid will likely be the visiting residents from Saudi and Oman. “We’ll have some visitors coming in from Oman. You’ll find visitors from Saudi, Bahrain and other countries from the GCC, for sure,” he said.
“There will also be people [from UAE] expected to make some last-minute bookings, when the holiday dates are finally announced.”