So Emirates is having an SA-exclusive flights sale, but is Dubai on a budget possible?

2018-09-18 20:00 - Selene Brophy
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(Photo: iStock)

Dubai International is the world’s busiest airport for International travelmaking it a layover hub of note. 

It currently holds this ranking, after seeing some 88.2 million passengers in 2017, a 5% increase from the 83.6m passengers it served in 2016.  

But its ambitions are far from waning, even if international travel has slowed to previous 2009 growth records

The airport, which overtook Heathrow in 2015 as the busiest, has set itself the benchmark of unseating the World’s busiest airports for combined international and domestic travel in Atlanta and Beijing, by 2020.

Atlanta, which has held the title since 2000 due to its robust domestic traffic in the US, served some 103m passengers in 2017, followed by Beijing with some 95m.

But Dubai’s gravitas as an international travel connector does not end there. In fact, it has a homegrown challenger, with Dubai’s second airport Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) set on becoming world’s largest airport, with the capacity to serve up to 160m passengers per year.

As Emirates launches its exclusive deal for South Africans, we did a price comparison across two of SA’s online booking agents as well as with the airline directly to see what would come up. The search was based on the following: 

  • Departing Johannesburg, 05 November to Dubai, returning 11 November for an economy class return flight for one person (Fares correct at time of search on 18 September 2018). 

SEE: Emirates launches all-Inclusive special deal exclusive for South Africans   

Comparison search on Dubai flight sale

(Screengrab: Emirates)

Comparison search on Dubai flight sale

(Screengrab: TravelStart)

Comparison search on Dubai flight sale

(Screengrab: FlightSite)

Here’s what we found:

An Emirates direct search showed pricing that was slightly more expensive by some R43, when compared to the cheapest fare listed. It is however useful to note that Emirates will hold your searched fare for you for up to 72hrs.

TravelStart came in cheapest, when compared to FlightSite by some R150 – but booking an extra-leg flight from Dubai separately, when searched across all of these sites to the likes of Croatia or Thailand could set you back anything between R5K to R8k extra (this search is not detailed above). It does help that FlightSite offers 24/7 telephonic support with its flight bookings

Interestingly enough, both of these flight searches returned cheaper fare options with Egypt Air (FlightSite has the correct Egypt Air logo displayed though) - But the difference of about R530 for the Emirates sale price means you are travelling on board the airline voted best for 2018, according to the World Transport Awards.

The sale booking validity is available until 27 September – and valid for travel up until March 2019. That’s a wide window in which anything can happen, which makes TravelStart’s anytime cancellation paid for service useful– with the product and processing fees charged per person and added to your flight ticket at check-out - so keep an eye out for that.

Also, it might just be worth your while to consider destination packages for Dubai, offering you value-adds through combined flights and accommodation deals – Click here for more Dubai package options

The final verdict? This sale is great if you’re planning to go directly to Dubai, and only Dubai. Check out this budget-friendly guide to three days in Dubai if you do go.

*Disclaimer: Traveller24 lists flights and package deals in partnership with FlightSite