UAE World Cup package sales 'buck global trend'
MMI says last few World Cup packages 'expected to sell out'
Sales of FIFA World Cup packages in the UAE have "far exceeded expectations" according to MMI Travel, the official World Cup tour operator in the country.
MMI Travel had a target to sell 300 packages - costing between Dh12,000 (US$3,267) and more than Dh39,550 per person for tickets, accomodation and air fares to the World Cup in South Africa, but ended up selling 450 packages. The tour operator says there are now only five packages left for the final and a few more for the semi-finals "which are also expected to sell out".
“In the past several weeks prior to the start of the World Cup we have seen an uptake of sales of our FIFA travel packages. As we conclude the sales cycle, our analysis shows that we bucked a global trend having sold over 450 packages, far exceeding our target of 300 packages,” said Mayank Dhingra, manager, MMI Travel.
Dhingra admitted that many football fans held out till the very last minute to book packages to the event and said he anticipated another late flurry of interest as the World Cup final on July 11 draws nearer and fans looked to snap up late deals.
“We have always been a traditionally late booking market and this was borne out again by the sudden spike in demand after the first week of June. We even added two additional staff to our sports team to cater to the enquiries coming in.
“As the excitement around the event continues to grow and once the teams advancing to the quarter-final rounds are announced on 25th June, we will see a second spike."
Dhingra said that MMI's World Cup campaign had started early, kicking off last December and had peaked around February / March. “This gave us sufficient time to pace ourselves and ensure sustained sales throughout the six-month period. When demand picked up around April-May we had achieved top-of-mind-recall with clients and were well poised to cater to the anticipated surge.”