Faster Visa Processing & Lower Airfare Make Europe Trips Easier For UAE Travellers In 2024

Heading to Europe? Now is the ideal time to plan your trip.

by Deeplata Garde
Faster Visa Processing & Lower Airfare Make Europe Trips Easier For UAE Travellers In 2024

UAE residents eyeing a holiday to Europe are in for a double treat. Airfares to key EU destinations are witnessing a decline, and, equally significant, the Schengen visa processing time has reverted to a swift two weeks or less. This is a substantial improvement from the prolonged visa appointment timelines experienced from October to the end of December.

Swift Visa Processing For European Escapes

schengen visa italy
Credits: Canva

If European travel plans are on your horizon, seize the moment as European embassies in the UAE have opened booking slots, with visa processing times averaging a mere two weeks. According to Monaz Billimoria, Regional Head of VFS Global, the official agency for Schengen nation visa processing in the UAE, visa demand exceeded pre-pandemic levels in 2023.

Affordable Airfares For UAE & Europe

Schengen visa
Picture credit- Canva

Airfares to various European cities have dipped below Dh3,000. With April demand surging due to Eid holidays, popular destinations like Spain, Switzerland, Italy, France, and Germany are now more accessible. Travel demand to Europe in the previous year was 40-50% higher compared to 2019 levels.

Hyper-competitive Airlines
Airlines are intensifying competition on key routes, leading to reduced fares. For instance, Economy fares from Dubai to Paris now range from Dh1,424 (Wizz Air) to Dh2,965 (Emirates) for travel between January 10 and January 24, a significant drop from the December highs of Dh4,500.

Advice to Book Early
While airfares become more pocket-friendly, Monaz advises UAE residents to book their visa processing appointments well in advance to circumvent any potential delays. Despite inflationary pressures and a 22% increase in travel expenses to Europe, the continent remains a sought-after destination for UAE travellers.

Also Read: United Airlines & Emirates Partner Up; US-Dubai Route To Open In 2023

Spending Trends

Credits: Canva

World Trips reports an average expenditure of $7,687 (Dh28,232) for European travel in the past year. Earlier, it was $6,869 (Dh25,228.46) in 2022. Europe’s enduring allure continues with reduced airfares and expedited visa processing. The continent beckons to UAE travellers seeking unforgettable experiences. Shanawaz Khan, the founder of Trips Away, specializing in travel packages to Europe, anticipates a surge in demand during the Eid holidays in April. This comes after a remarkable winter travel season, witnessing a significant influx of UAE and GCC residents to European holiday destinations for Christmas and New Year. However, these travellers faced extended wait times for Schengen visa appointments, exceeding one month.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva

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