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Middle East/GCC

Middle East / GCC

Market Performance 

Outbound travel from the Middle East to the island of Ireland has seen significant growth in recent years. Tourism Ireland estimates there were over 70,000 visitors from the Middle East to the island of Ireland in 2018. Emirates Airlines reported a 7.9% increase in total business coming from the UAE to Ireland since January 2019. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) includes six countries; United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain. 
 

Direct Air Access 

A key factor influencing the growth of visitor numbers from the GCC to the island of Ireland is the significant advances in air access. There are now four airlines operating direct flights from the Middle East to Ireland:  
  • Emirates Airlines offers fourteen direct flights (4956 seats) from Dubai to the island of Ireland weekly.  
  • Etihad Airways offers seven direct flights (2884 seats) from Abu Dhabi to the island of Ireland weekly.  
  • Qatar Airways offers eleven flights (2,794) from Doha to the island of Ireland weekly.  
 

Why should you target this market? 

An important factor influencing growth in visitor numbers from the UAE to Ireland was the Government’s decision to allow visa free travel for all UAE nationals from the 31st of January 2018. Emirates Airlines reported a 7.9% increase in total business coming from the UAE to Ireland since January 2019 which they attribute to the lifting of these visa requirements. As a result, Dnata Travel has seen 58% more bookings to Ireland in first half of 2019 while room nights booked increase by 72%.  

Tourism Ireland continues to work hard to promote the island of Ireland in the Middle East. We hope to continue to work with island of Ireland industry in 2020 to promote your business and grow holiday bookings from this fast-growing market. 
 

How to work with this market 

Throughout the year there are many ways we can work with you to promote your product or service in the Middle East through e-marketing promotions and in-market events. These opportunities offer great value for investment and are tailor-made to drive success for your business. 
 

Upcoming Activity 

  • UAE & India Sales Mission in 2020.  
  • Expo 2020.  
  • Increased focus on our digital marketing strategy to optimise our presence in the GCC markets. 
  • Increased co-op marketing with trade and airline partners and media activities generating more high-value publicity opportunities.  

Click here to view our complete market profile for the Middle East. 

Market contact: Siobhan Naughton