Dubai, Turkey top destinations for Bahrainis

August 25, 2012

Dubai and Turkey were the top destination for Bahrainis this summer, travel agents have said.

Dubai remained a favourite travel destination in the region for short trips despite competition from other Gulf capitals while Turkey in general, and Istanbul in particular, was favoured by travellers looking for longer stays.

Other destinations that attracted Bahrain-based travellers were London and Paris, Sri Lanka and Malaysia and Morocco, the agents said.

“We have had to apologise to around 200 people who wanted to go to Istanbul for not being able to book them with our agency,” Jassem Abul, the chairman of Mawasem, said. “There was also high interest in other destinations, especially Dubai, Sri Lanka and Europe,” he said, quoted by local Arabic daily Akhbar Al Khaleej on Saturday.

Short trips to perform Umrah in Makkah were also popular.

According to travel agents people wanted to take advantage of the three-week period before the start of the school year to travel abroad.

“We could not travel before or during Ramadan, so we thought about using the ‘grace period’ that we have before the back to school pressure begins,” Ines, said.

“We like spending Eid in Istanbul where religious and local traditions combined with the splendid weather offers us a great atmosphere and wonderful memories. Being in Istanbul, to me, is like being in a dream.”

Arab infatuation with the Turkish city has taken place in the last decade after several Turkish dramas were broadcast in the region. The shows feature characters with Arabic names and the actors speak an Arabic dialect instead of the unrealistic literary Arabic — and focus on themes that are close to those of Arab families. The shows have become a phenomenon in the Arab world with millions of young and old people avidly following them. Most of the series are filmed in Istanbul and so the city has become an instant tourist destination for Arabs looking for similar settings and landscapes.

In Asia, Kuala Lumpur remains a favourite destination and is also appreciated for its culture and traditions during the Eid.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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