Great success…

Yes according to the team at, trip price aggregator and global scourge of travel agents, Skyscanner – the glorious nation of Kazakhstan is the “top trending” destination for UAE travellers this Eid.

It’s not the most-searched-for vacation spot overall, but it does show the highest year-on-year increase (195 per cent) in ‘to’ box interest.

Why Kazakhstan?

I didn’t want to mention Borat because A) he’s a fictional character. B) After the release of Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan in 2006, the country of Kazakhstan made it clear that they felt the Sacha Baron Cohen depiction was disrespectful and entirely unrepresentative of Kazakhstan, and that his (satirical, and more focused on creating a vehicle for ridiculing certain aspects of American culture) depictions of the country were tantamount to defamation.

But – as it turns out, you can’t really talk about recent tourism in Kazakhstan effectively without at least mentioning Borat. The country’s (main governmental) tone softened ahead of the release of the sequel, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020) – realising that they could capitalise on the locational attention (visa applications for Kazakhstan allegedly rose ten-fold after the first movie was released) generated by the film’s buzz.

According to an article on The Diplomat, “A campaign using Borat’s signature line – very nice” was “adopted by tourism officials. The campaign features four promotional videos showcasing the wondrous landscapes, culinary delights, and cityscapes of the country.”

Very nice

And it does genuinely look very nice. The mountains and lakes a strong juxtaposition to Dubai’s sunbaked shores. It’s these rugged outdoor attractions that are more likely drivers behind the surge in popularity. That and the fact Wizz Air are now offering flights there from Abu Dhabi with fares starting at just Dhs286.

Which other destinations were on the UAE wanderlust wishlist?

The SkyScanner data reveals the other top trending destinations to be…

  • Kazakhstan: 195%
  • Seychelles: 115%
  • Cyprus: 99%
  • Japan: 90%
  • Vietnam: 81%
  • Oman: 78%
  • Switzerland: 56%
  • Kenya: 53%
  • Mauritius: 52%
  • Greece: 49%

Let me look on your treasures

A little travel tip for you, if you’re looking for some inspiration, you can plug your travel dates and preferred departure airport into Skyscanner and then opt for ‘everywhere’ – and the aggregators powerful search engine will dredge up a range of price-tiered options for you.

But as everyone knows, if you’re looking to travel over a busy period – the safest rule to work to is: the earlier you book, the better the price.

Images: Unsplash