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Indian Low-Cost Airlines increase competition for departures to Dubai from Mumbai

India has had a long connection with the United Arab Emirates ever since the British Raj, which administered both these regions (not simultaneously) between 1820 and 1971. The Indian Rupee was the official currency of the Persian Gulf since the 19th century up until 1966, when these countries adopted their own currencies of Dinars, Dirhams and Riyals.

For centuries, the port of Dubai has served as a transfer point for goods from all over the world, bound for India. Gold and Textiles were, and have remained the most important commodity traded between the two regions.

Today, India and the UAE remain closer than ever. Dubai continues to attract millions of Indians, with a promise of financial prosperity and a glitzy lifestyle.

Indians constitute about 30% of the population of the UAE, ie. approximately 3 million people out of a total of approximately 10 million. Immigrants from Kerala and Tamil Nadu form the largest majority amongst the Indians. Today, a sizeable population of UAE-born Indians are of the third generation. Therefore, airline connections between the UAE and India will be of prime importance for several decades to come.

The demise of Jet Airways and India at the edge of losing its national Airline, Air India; however, has been propitious to India’s largest low-cost airlines: IndiGO, SpiceJet, Vistara and GoAir in expanding their operations and taking over abandoned routes.

Choosing Mumbai to expand into new routes is easier due to Mumbai’s location within India and its reach to almost all airports in the country.

Earlier this year, SpiceJet announced the addition of one flight between Mumbai and Dubai, commencing on August 3, 2019. The departures for these flights SG5 and Sg6 are in daylight hours, which was a welcome addition to the red-eye departures of flights SG13 and SG14.

Flight #DepartsArrives
SG5Mumbai at 9:05 amDubai at 11:10 am
SG13Mumbai at 11:30 pmDubai at 1:30 am
SG6Dubai at 12:10 pmMumbai at 5:05 pm
SG14Dubai at 2:15 amMumbai at 6:45 am

Andrew Thomas from Shrewsbury, UK [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Shortly after SpiceJet’s announcement, IndiGO airlines announced that they were also adding a third Mumbai-Dubai flight to their existing route. Flight 6E-83 departs just after mid-day between the early morning flight 6E-63 and the evening 6E-63.

Only a month later, IndiGo announced a fourth flight, 6E 1768, to depart late at night from Mumbai and arrive at Dubai early in the morning. IndiGO advertised this flight to business and leisure travellers, who wanted to get the most out of their morning in Dubai

Flight #DepartsArrives
6E 1768Mumbai at 1:55 amDubai at 03:35 am
6E 63Mumbai at 7:50 amDubai at 9:40 am
6E 83Mumbai at 12:30 pmDubai at 2:05 pm
6E 61Mumbai at 7:35 pmDubai at 9:15 pm
6E 1769Dubai at 4:35 amMumbai at 9:10 am
6E 64Dubai at 11:30 amMumbai at 4:15 pm
6E 84Dubai at 3:05 pmMumbai at 8:05 pm
6E 62Dubai at 8:25 pmMumbai at 1:30 am

Vistara and GoAir expand to Dubai

Amid some celebration, Vistara inaugurated its first flight to Dubai from Mumbai on August 21st 2019. Vistara is the only low-cost Indian airline offering a Business Class and Premium Economy.

As of writing, Vistara operates a single departure from Mumbai in the late afternoon, returning just after midnight.

Flight #DepartsArrives
UK 201Mumbai at 4:25 pmDubai at 6:15 pm
UK 202Dubai at 7:15 pmMumbai at 12:15 am

Mumbai based GoAir announced its expansion to Dubai from July 24, 2019 by first serving passengers bound for the North Malabar region. Keralites constitute more than one-third of of the Indian population of Dubai. However, GoAir is entering a market where it is already in competition with IndiGo, SpiceJet and Emirates.

GoAir’s daily service departs from Kannur in the evening and reaches Dubai by bedtime.
The return trip, however, is a red-eye flight.

Flight #DepartsArrives
G8 57Kannur at 7:55 pmDubai at 10:20 pm
G8 58Dubai at 11:20 pmKannur at 4:50 am

GoAir also announced Abu Dhabi as its second destination in the UAE, however, these flights will depart from Mumbai and Delhi respectively.

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Dubai: The City of Gold

Founded as a fishing village and a centre for pearl harvesting on the Arabian Gulf more than a thousand years ago, Dubai is today, famously known as the city of gold. Its Gold Souk is the of the largest markets of its kind in the world, where you will find close to 400 merchants dealing in Gold Jewellery. Dubai Gold is known for its exceptional design, purity and quality, which remains unmatched worldwide.

Over a span of 50 years, Dubai transformed itself into an international hub of Arab culture, arts, entertainment and tourism, aviation and shipping. The superlatives "biggest", "largest" and "tallest" apply to many of Dubai's attractions such as the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Aquarium, the Dubail Mall and the Dubai Fountain.

Dubai Airports

With its vast network, Emirates has made Dubai International Airport (DXB) popular with travellers from the west who are transiting to their next destination further east. This made DXB the world's busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic.

In 2010, the Dubai government opened a second airport in Dubai South, to relieve some operations off DXB. This new airport, Al Makhtoum International Airport (DWB) is even larger and will be able to handle more passengers and air traffic when it will reach its capacity.

Hotels in Dubai

Some of Dubai's hotels are iconic and instantly recognizable around the world. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is the most opulent and one of the most expensive hotels in the world. Each floor comes with its own butler who takes care of the guests every want and needs.

One of Dubai's landmark hotels is the magnificent  Atlantis The Palm with a fairytale-like setting on the apex of the Palm Jumeirah, and nothing obstructing its view of the Arabian Gulf. The Atlantis features its own water-park, free for its guests to enjoy. It also boasts the largest open-air aquarium in the world, shared by over 65,000 marine animals.

The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, also has a hotel in its first 39 floors. The Armani Hotel as it is called has every room furnished with the Armani Casa line of products.

If you are on a budget, there are many hotels for cheap, available in the old part of Dubai, such as near the souk and in the neighbourhoods of Al Rigga and Al Muraqqabat. You will also find there familiar names like the Ramada Deira, Hyatt Palace Dubai Al Rigga, Radisson Blu Deira Creek, Hilton Garden Inn Al Muraqqabat and Ibis Al Rigga.

Mumbai: The City of Dreams

Mumbai is the largest city in India. More than 12 million people live and work within its municipal boundaries. It is the financial and entertainment capital of India.

The Bombay Stock Exchange is the oldest stock exchange in Asia. Mumbai is one of the top 10 centers of global commerce and trade. It is the economic hub of India with many of its important financial institutions and private conglomerates located here such as the Reserve Bank of India, Reliance Industries, Tata Group and Life Insurance Corporation of India.

Mumbai is known worldwide as the home of Bollywood, India's motion picture industry. It produces around 200 films every year at studios in Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagri. India's premier entertainment channels such as Zee TV, Sony Entertainment, StarPlus and Sony ESPN are also headquartered in Mumbai.

Mumbai has many attractions and places of interests such as colonial buildings, museums, beaches, zoos, gardens, markets and religious places. Some of the most famous landmarks of Mumbai include the Victoria Terminus, Haji Ali Darga, Maratha Mandir (cinema hall), The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and the Gateway of India.

Mumbai Airport

Mumbai is served by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM). Domestic travel outnumbers International travel at Mumbai. It is a hub for Air India, Jet Airways, GoAir, IndiGo and SpiceJet.

The most popular domestic destinations from Mumbai are to New Delhi, Bangalore, Goa and Chennai. Whereas the top international destinations from Mumbai are to Dubai, London, Singapore and Bangkok.

Hotels in Mumbai

Mumbai offers many options for accommodation, however for those new to the city, it is best to stick to established brand name hotel chains. Many are easy to find around the airport as well as in South Mumbai, where most important businesses take place.

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