Contemplating a trip during the Eid Al Adha holiday without having booked your flights yet? Be ready to shell out nearly four times the regular airfare, as reported by Khaleej Times. Indian expat Shahbaz Ali secured his family's tickets to Bengaluru a month prior, paying Dh2,700 per person for business class. He didn't include himself initially due to scheduled meetings, which later got canceled as his clients planned their own travels. Upon deciding to join his family, Ali was stunned to find the fare had skyrocketed to Dh8,500 per person. 'I regret not booking earlier,' lamented Ali, CEO of Reliance Aluminium and Glass Works.

Similarly, Adel Anarboyev, another expat, initially booked a one-way ticket to Samarkand, Uzbekistan, for Dh450 but had to cancel. With plans changing and family gatherings now set, the cheapest ticket he could find for June 15 was over Dh800 for a 25-hour journey, with quicker options costing over Dh2,500. 'I wish I hadn't canceled my tickets,' Anarboyev reflected.

Travel experts anticipated this sharp rise in airfares, given the proximity of the Eid Al Adha holidays to the start of summer vacations. Many UAE families are choosing to travel earlier and for extended periods. Geoffrey Salatan, CEO of Geof Travel, noted that those who booked flights from Dubai to Manila months ago secured fares between Dh1,500 and Dh2,000, while current prices start at Dh2,500 and can reach Dh5,000.

Salatan predicts that airfares will remain high post-Eid, with flights to the UAE potentially more affordable. Limited availability adds to the woes of last-minute travelers, with a surge in demand leading to high prices and scarce seats. Mir Waseem Raja, manager at International Travel Services, highlighted that package prices for destinations like Georgia and Azerbaijan have risen from Dh2,799 to over Dh4,000.

An analysis by Khaleej Times showed a three to sevenfold increase in ticket prices from the UAE to various destinations. For example, a one-way ticket from Dubai to Mumbai that cost Dh350 in February now costs Dh1,300, and a ticket to London that was Dh700 in March now ranges from Dh3,265 to Dh8,612.

The most significant fare hikes are seen for popular destinations like Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, with increased demand during the festive season leading to notable price increases, according to Ramy Badr, sales head of Dopamine Travels.