Most citizens and residents Muscat Daily spoke to, really feel the exorbitant fares are a dampener. “Getting a few off days prior to Eid means a lot to us. On the occasion of Eid, the whole family heads to the prayer grounds early morning to pray dressed in new clothes before heading out for any activity. This means that we have to plan what to wear and eat. We also have to look for places where we can spend time together. Eid for us is a family affair and because travelling is too expensive now, I have to think of a plan to make use of the holidays in the best possible way,” mentioned Saleh Sultan, a father of 5 kids.
The exorbitant ticket fares to several destinations has also left several expats disappointed. “Just following I came to know about the holidays, I went to 1 of the travel agencies to acquire a ticket to Colombo.
“The ticket which used to cost between RO125 and RO150 is now available at RO435. I was shocked. I can’t afford to spend so much, so I have to stay back in Muscat. It is quite sad that travel businesses are taking advantage of the situation,” Chinthaka Perera, a Sri Lankan resident of Muscat, mentioned. Holiday-makers have a selection of places and activities to select from and appreciate the holidays, say travel operators.
Adnan Rasool, manager at Hatat Travels and Tourism, confirmed that all airlines have hiked airfares by a lot more than 200 per cent. “The demand for air tickets is higher today than ever especially after the holiday announcement with some costing more than 200 per cent of the original price,” he mentioned.
Rasool recommends staycations as an choice to these who can not afford travel to a foreign place. “There are so many places to visit in Oman. Salalah, though far, is an ideal destination for a big family. One can drive down from Muscat to save on air tickets. Some of the other beautiful locales include Khasab, Jebel Akhdar, Sur and Quriyat. Muscat too has many places to spend time,” he mentioned.
For Mohammed al Balushi, who comes from Sohar, Eid al Adha is 1 of the occasions he appears forward to the most.
“I work in Muscat and my family is in Sohar and such holidays are the best time to be with family. Moreover, airfares are exorbitantly high. So, we have planned family outings such as shopping and dinners,” he mentioned.
Information Source: Muscat Daily