They are also more confident that they will be safe when they venture out, unwind, and explore the luxuries that hotels are offering at good rates.
Hoteliers in the country have reported a spike in bookings for the upcoming Eid Al Adha holidays, showing that residents are now ready for a relaxing staycation, after months of hunkering down at home because of the coronavirus.
With all the plans they shelved and the time they lost to Covid-19, residents have started booking again, creating a steadily growing demand in the hospitality sector. They are also more confident that they will be safe when they venture out, unwind, and explore the luxuries that hotels are offering at good rates.
Dubai resident Deepika Soman said: “I would be really interested in the amazing offers that many of the hotels in the city are coming up with for Eid. Covid-19 cases in the UAE are gradually dropping, so I feel much safer now stepping out. Besides, travelling abroad is still really not an option, but we certainly need a break.”
Another expat, Younes Yangui, agrees that it’s high time that people took a break.
“We are going to the office, we are going to shopping malls, so why deprive ourselves of a holiday? I have been on a staycation earlier.about a few weeks ago and I am keen on fully utilising the upcoming Eid holidays in a similar way. I feel all hotels are following strict measures with regards to the Covid-19 safety protocols. Therefore, Eid Al Adha is an ideal time to treat yourself for a beach break or going to a hill resort,” said Yangui.
Others continue to be cautious but affirm that hotels are adopting the best approach to assure clients of safety.
Indian expat Arijit Nandi said: “The Covid-19 situation is much better controlled in the UAE as compared to many other countries. So, I wouldn’t be so worried going out. But having said that, I would only want to consider a five-star hotel in the given situation. I feel the top hotels will implement additional hygiene protocols to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their clients.”
While globetrotting isn’t an option for everyone, many still dream of escaping their homes, thus leading to a return of domestic leisure travel. And hotels are making sure their guests would get the best value for their money.
David Todd, head of operations for Middle East and Africa at IHG, said: “I believe it is important to think about the audience and design the offers keeping their needs in mind. This is exactly what we did when we came up with a ‘playcation’ package for our guests at InterContinental Dubai Festival City.
“By booking this package, our guests and their children can settle into a fully appointed suite with a playhouse and family games that provide a change of scene and gives families a few fun activities to do together in a safe environment. This offering has been a huge success with a significant uptake from our domestic guests.”
Many of the current hotel deals in the market are valid until the end of September. So, if people won’t make it for Eid Al Adha, there could still be a host of summer staycations to be enjoyed.
Family packages are certainly a big hit, hoteliers said, with some offering an entire package for about Dh500.
Haytham Osama, hotel manager of LEVA Hotel Mazaya Centre, said that their promo for families even comes with “a 40 per cent discount at the spa, 30 per cent discount on food and beverage, 20 per cent discount on laundry services, free late check-out and other freebies”.
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