484% increase of UAE travellers head to Europe and Russia for Eid al Adha
29 July 2019| Last updated on 29 July 2019
Summer is in full swing...
And UAE residents are feeling the heat, dampening shirts, foreheads, and summer plans. Elsewhere up north, though, the temperatures are blissfully untouched by 40°C (104°F) weather, making it a pleasant time for some urban exploring, beach retreats, and actual lunch outdoors.
In fact, it sounds so pleasant that there's been a staggering 484% increase of UAE tourists traveling to Nordic countries like Sweden and Finland, and to cities in Russia. St. Petersburg will be welcoming a 369% increase of travelers from the UAE heading to Russia for Eid al-Adha.
According to Skyscanner's report, Oslo, Helsinki, St Petersburg, Zagreb, and Stockholm ranked as the top 5 destinations that received an increase in travel bookings from the UAE.
1. Helsinki, Finland
Temperate, cool Helsinki faced the highest increase in travel bookings from the UAE, and for good reason. Summers in the capital of Finland can go as low as 13°C (55°F) and up to 21°C (70°F), yet despite its chill weather, Helsinki warms the bottom of the heart of every traveler with its tranquil atmosphere, immersive nature, delicious Finnish food, hidden gems, and long history.
For one, it's a fantastic place to witness the northern lights, and visitors can enjoy a relaxing stroll through the deep woods or around the cobblestoned streets of the capital. You can also indulge in any one of the innumerable sauna offers available in Helsinki, jam out to an open-air concert, have an actual lunch outdoors during summer at the streetside cafes, and best of all - the flight from Dubai to Helsinki takes no more than seven hours.
Pictured: Helsinski, Finland
2. St Petersburg, Russia
UAE residents headed to St Petersburg can expect majestic historical buildings including palaces, stunning canals that will make you feel like you're in Venice, beautiful cathedrals that are hundreds of years old, a vibrant local art, opulent shopping districts, and delicious Russian cuisine.
The summer temperature in St Petersburg reach 11°C for low, and 23° for highs.
St Petersburg is the darling of performing arts, photographers, musicians, romantics, and bon vivants because it is, quite simply, Russia's cultural centre. Beautiful activities such as ballet and figure skating is an essential part of St Petersburg's scene, and for years it was even the most popular entertainment - the Russian imperial family and nobles would gather to appreciate ballets during special occasions. Prima Ballerinas are akin to superstars in Russia, even more so in St Petersburg, which is arguably the birthplace of Russian ballet traditions.
Pictured: St Petersburg, Russia
3. Zagreb, Croatia
Game of Thrones fans, this one is for you. Croatia has starred as the locations for many iconic scenes in the HBO series: Dubrovnik - the city forts and walls became the site for King's Landing, Trsteno Arboretum - the Red Keep's gardens, St Dominic Monastery in Trogir - it appeared as the city of Qarth, and the Fortress of Klis - featured in the exterior shots of Meereen.
Beyond the hit TV series, Croatia is home to many ancient historic monuments, UNESCO world heritage sites, and spellbinding natural spots like islands, mountains, forests, and waterfalls. Live like a local and enjoy a slower-paced atmosphere with good food and good people (the locals are very friendly).
UAE residents looking to escape the heat can look forward to 28°C summers that can go as low as 17°C.
Pictured: Zagreb, Croatia
4. Oslo, Norway
Summer temperatures in Oslo are as you'd expect from a Nordic nation - the heat can go as low as 11°C and high as 23°C. To UAE expats who have spent years in the emirates, that's practically winter.
Norway's capital is a friendly destination for solo travelers, couples, and families. Kids will love the Viking museums and perfectly preserved Viking ships that are housed in a 9th-century building. The city itself remains a land of Vikings - you can catch locals with their red blonde hair and love for midday drinks, and most Oslo men still plait their beards.
The local food scene is very active, with plenty of restaurants, cafes, and street vendors - selling elk burgers, rabbit hot dogs, and scallops - to choose from.
Pictured: Oslo, Norway
5. Stockholm, Sweden
The summer weather in Stockholm is what pulls tourists in from the UAE by the boatloads - the lowest temperature is usually 12°C and the warmest is 21°C. The cityscape is striking with its gorgeous waterfront promenades and harbours. Stockholm consists of 14 islands connected by walkways and bridges, making it a joy to stroll around on foot or to hire a bike to ride through. Explore Stockholm's 17th-century Baroque architecture, minimalist buildings, contemporary structures, and wooden cottages.
The abundance of greenery in Stockholm will be a breath of fresh air from the typical steel, concrete, and sandy jungle UAE residents are used to. Parks, public outdoor gyms with gardens, and other spaces filled with greenery make up one-third of Stockholm's geographical area.
Pictured: Stockholm, Sweden
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