Malaysia, Dubai top Qatar tourists’ destinations

Manama: Malaysia has remained the favourite tourist spot for Qatar’s Eid holidaymakers while Dubai topped Middle East destinations, travel agency sources have said.

“Malaysia is the most favoured destination among Qataris this Eid,” PN Sathya Narayanan, manager of Mannai Holidays, said. “Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam are also attracting good numbers of Qatari nationals as well as expatriates tourists for the Eid holidays,” he told Qatar Tribune daily.

The Middle East unrest has boosted the movement of Qatar-based tourists towards Dubai this Eid, while their flow to traditionally popular destinations in the Middle East region such as Jordan and Egypt dropped sharply this year, he said.

“For example, not even 10 percent of tourists are travelling to Jordan this year compared with last year,” he said.

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Chetan G Punjani, the Director of Continental Travel, said that Malaysia was “an all-time favourite of Qataris as well as other Arabs.”

“Malaysia is popular thanks to its Islamic heritage, availability of halal food and knowledge of Arab expectations.” However, the ongoing crisis has affected tourism traffic to the Middle Eastern destinations, he said.

“However, I feel that it is also the right time to visit some of the countries of the region. For example, it is right time to visit Jordan as the crisis has subsided in that country and hotels are much cheaper,” he said.