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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Egypt ranks as most popular destination for Mena travellers

India, Saudi Arabia and the UAE also feature in top five list, according to Wego study

Egypt maintained in the second-quarter of this year its number one spot in Wego search engine's list of the most popular destinations for Mena travellers. Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

Egypt was the most popular destination for travellers from the Middle East and North Africa in the second quarter of this year, with India, Saudi Arabia and the UAE close behind, according to Wego.

India jumped two positions from the year-earlier quarter to rank second in the list, boosted by the number of Indian expatriates based in the Arabian Gulf who travelled home for the holy month of Ramadan, the Singapore travel search engine said on Sunday in its latest Traveller Destination Leaderboard report. Pakistan jumped two places to ninth from 11th last year for the same reason.

Egypt maintained its top spot from the second quarter of 2017, “thanks to the continued patronage of both leisure and business travellers from the Mena region, and Egypt’s excellent value for money”.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia dropped one place to third position, but remains a popular destination among domestic and international visitors who travel for business, leisure and Umrah pilgrimage.

Turkey also dropped one spot in the second quarter of this year to fourth position. “But the nation is looking especially affordable for GCC-based travellers this year, owing to continued currency weakness and tourism numbers reflecting strong demand”, Wego said.

Meanwhile, the UAE retained its spot as the fifth most popular destination, which it has held for the past four quarters. Its ranking was boosted by a rise in visitors from Saudi Arabia.

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Indonesia and Jordan retained their sixth and seventh spots, while the Philippines was in eighth place, a rise of two places on last year. This rise may also be due to expatriates travelling home during Ramadan, as well as marketing efforts by the Philippines Department of Tourism and the opening up of new airline routes to the country in the past year.

Lebanon, ranked 11th, was the quarter’s biggest gainer – up by four places as expatriates based in the GCC returned home for summer and others sought to escape the summer heat. Azerbaijan climbed three spots to rank 17th – the result of new direct flights, good weather and cultural familiarity.

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