The popularity of Game of Thrones, the hit TV series filmed in Ireland, has contributed to a surge in visitors from the UAE to the Emerald Isle in the first six months of 2019, according to Dnata Travel.
Travel from the UAE to the island of Ireland has seen strong growth with 58 percent more bookings made through Dnata Travel’s platforms, while room nights booked have also increased by 72 percent.
Additional data also indicates that sales of trips and accommodation to Ireland increased nearly two-fold during Eid Al Fitr alone compared to last year.
This correlated to the travel provider noting that online searches for holidays to Ireland have seen a 675 percent augmentation in the first six months of this year with the most preferred destination for travellers from the UAE market being Dublin and Cork.
Antonio Fellino, vice president of retail and e-commerce for Dnata Travel UAE, said: “Trips to Ireland offer UAE travellers unique opportunities including the chance to stay in a grand castle, or a small cottage at the heart of a colourful local village, or to explore rugged, scenic landscapes that follow in the footsteps of their favourite Game of Thrones characters.”
The ever-strengthening relationship between the two nations, highlighted by visa free entry now available to UAE nationals, also contributed towards the spike in travel figures, he added.
The UAE’s support and celebration of Ireland’s National Day – with numerous UAE landmarks including the Burj Khalifa lighting up in green – further enforced visibility and awareness of Ireland as a top holiday destination.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “The island of Ireland has much to offer to the residents of the UAE, be it adventure, scenic landscapes, or unique experiences, all of which contribute to the rise in visitor figures from this market year on year. Through increased exposure to residents of the UAE, we hope to welcome more guests to explore the island of Ireland and appreciate its rich culture, the friendliness of the people and varied attractions.”