According to online travel agencies and industry experts, UAE residents are now choosing countries in the East and the Indian Ocean, as delays and difficulties in obtaining Schengen visas are increasing all the time.
In addition, airfare to Europe is expensive, and British and European airports are increasingly experiencing disruptions due to strikes.
Therefore, there is a situation in which most popular destinations for travel in the second and third quarters moved to the Asia-Pacific region. These are mainly Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Taiwan.
The only popular European destination in the top 10 today is tiny Albania.
Experts say that only those who already have visas can travel to Europe this season, and the only option to avoid a long wait is to apply to the Schengen area at least six months before the trip.
The EU Delegation to the UAE confirms: “Applicants for a Schengen visa can apply six months before the intended trip. This will allow individuals to plan their travels in advance and mitigate the effects of delays in the appointment system.
One of the possible reasons for the delay in issuing visas may be due to the transition to a digital procedure for issuing Schengen visas online, although more and more they say it will take another two years before it is fully implemented.
One of the reasons for the reorientation to Asia is believed to be stable airfare prices. While UAE carriers are seeing a surge in their flights to Southeast Asian airports, airfare prices have remained flat.
Direct flights to Thailand range from €164 to €242 from June 23 to 30, when Eid al-Adha holidays are celebrated, a ticket to Bali can be bought for 645 euros, and to Jakarta for 297 euros.
Destinations like Japan can cost about 300 euros, non-stop flights will cost twice as much – at 610 euros. From July 1, as soon as the summer holidays begin, fares for most destinations in Southeast Asia will increase.