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Holidaymakers shun turmoil-hit Bahrain, favor UAE

Posted by on March 26, 2011 1 Comment

Saudis usually travel to Bahrain on short vacations, but with the current unrest in Bahrain not so many Saudis are going. Instead, they’re opting for Abu Dhabi.

“Living in Dammam makes it easier for me to go back and forth to Bahrain, to spend a weekend there with my friends,” said Mahmood Abdu, a 20-year-old college student. “Now that spring break is right around the corner my friends and I decided to change our usual destination from Bahrain to the UAE.”

Saudis visiting Abu Dhabi has risen “by 90 percent while there has been a tailing off of hotel guests from Qatar and Oman,” said Lawrence Franklin, Strategy and Policy Director at the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA).

Dubai and Abu Dhabi “have so much to offer that one can have a day filled with fun activities and never get bored,” said Kholoud Bakr, a 42-year-old college teacher. “On this one week vacation I’m taking my family to Abu Dhabi to visit Ferrari World, for I heard it’s the next best thing after Universal Studios in LA.”

Some Saudis find the UAE a good alternative for Bahrain while others say it’s very expensive for a one-week vacation.

“Hotels in the UAE are very expensive comparing it to Bahrain. When you start calculating how much you would spend in a one-week vacation in Abu Dhabi or Dubai you can go crazy because everything is expensive — entertainment, food, hotel and shopping.

I will end up broke from this one-week vacation,” said Abdul Rahman Wali, a 37-year-old banker. “I figured that a vacation for three in Abu Dhabi will cost me around SR1,500 a day, which means I would end up spending SR10,500 in seven days. That I can’t afford.”Agencies

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