UAE is most popular destination for Indian tourists

Eudore R. Chand

NEW DELHI 22 December 2021: The UAE is the most popular destination in the world for Indian tourists, according to figures submitted to Parliament by the Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan.

Answering a volley of questions from eight members of the Lok Sabha, the lower House of Parliament, Muraleedharan said 314,495 Indians left on tourist visas for the UAE in the first quarter of this year, the latest period for which figures were made available to Members of Parliament (MPs).

This represented an increase of slightly more than 50 percent over the corresponding period last year until India suspended all international passenger traffic into and out of the country on 23rd March 2020 following the global outbreak of Covid-19.

The MPs queried the Minister only for the first quarter of this year and the corresponding period last year because flight stoppages caused by the pandemic made data for the remaining periods of both 2020 and 2021 redundant. For most of this year too flights out of India were few because of a second wave of COVID-19 that hit the country.

But the popularity of the UAE among Indian tourists is clear from the figures for the period when flights were going back and forth in the first three months of this year albeit on a reduced scale under bilateral “bubble” arrangements.

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