Three reasons why arrivals to the GCC from Europe to increase
Research from Colliers says Europe will be a key source market ahead of Expo 2020, with visitor numbers rising by 17 percent
Flydubai's European network includes 24 destinations and will add flights to Krakow this month: 1. Extra flights and more routes: Emirates will launch its latest route to London in June when Stansted airport is added to its roster, while Flydubai will add the likes of Krakow in Poland to consolidate its services to Eastern Europe. Etihad also announced a codeshare with Swiss International, part of the carrier’s partnership with the Lufthansa Group, which will increase traffic to the capital. 2. Mid-market hotels: According to Simon Press, exhibition director at ATM, there are a growing number of leisure and business travellers from Europe who want three- and four-star hotels, a sector under-represented in the GCC. Brands like Aloft, Centro, Rove and Studio M are coming onto the market in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and the sector is predicted to grow by 19.1 percent a year to 2020. 3. Low-cost carriers: In addition to greater choice driving down the price of flights, there is also a greater number of budget airlines serving the region. Sharjah-based Air Arabia is expanding its routemap in Eastern Europe, Air Arabia is reportedly mulling a Moscow service to add to its Sarajevo route, Latvia-based AirBaltic now flies to Abu Dhabi, and Wizz Air connects Dubai to four Eastern European countries. Good news.