Where to look for this summer’s five-star travel bargains
New York is a bit hot in the high summer but either side of this season is likely to provide a great bargain holiday in 2008.
The well publicized sub-prime banking crisis and slump on Wall Street will make the Big Apple even better value than usual for Gulf residents. There are plenty of daily flights to New York from the Gulf, and the variety of hotels and entertainments available is huge.
If you want to stay in a hotel under Middle Eastern management then try the newly refurbished Jumeirah Essex House overlooking Central Park. Safety is also not the issue it used to be in New York; times have changed.
An Emirates Airline spokesman told AME Info that the carrier had experienced no fall in business due to the global economic slowdown so far, but admitted that many airlines could no longer roll-over fuel price hedging and that this was impacting on profits.
However, after the expansion of air travel over the past decade, and particularly among the Gulf carriers in recent years, it is hard to believe that some over capacity will not emerge in 2008 and that will mean competition on price to the benefit of passengers.
It might therefore be a good time to take a very long-distance holiday, especially if you want to have the comfort of premium class travel. Why not then head off to Australia and New Zealand for something different, albeit summer climates can be a little chilly down under and the same can be said of South Africa.
China or Japan
You might instead decide to check out China and Japan. Avoid China in August unless you want to get caught up in the Olympic Games but the development of tourism infrastructure to cope with the latter will make this a good year to see China in five-star style; many new deluxe hotels have opened recently and hotel rates have fallen.
The land of the rising sun is still more expensive than China but still far more affordable than it used to be in the boom years. Again with the Japanese economy coming under strain in 2008, partly as a result of the knock-on effect of the US sub-prime crisis then you should get a good deal.
Finally, the fall of the pound sterling against the US dollar is making Britain a more attractive option for 2008. London remains considerably more expensive than New York but at least the gap is closing, and many Gulf nationals would not be seen anywhere else in July and August.