Sunday, July 24, 2005

Saudis Cancel Trip to Resort :: Arab News


Fahd, a tour manager at Zahid Travel, told Arab News that he had spent a good part of the day canceling reservation as call after call came in from worried travelers wishing to either postpone or entirely cancel their vacation plans there.

“In my estimate, every single Sharm El-Sheikh holiday I have booked for this week has been canceled. My phone has been ringing constantly, not only with cancellations, but with calls from Saudis in Sharm El-Sheikh who are trying to return home,” he said.

According to Fahd, the limited flights out of Sharm El-Sheikh have been booked solid.

“Many travelers are being routed through Cairo, but there still remains the problem that there are insufficient number flights out of Sharm El-Sheikh to Cairo, or anywhere else for that matter. At the moment, unless special additional flights are added by the airlines, the earliest I can get anyone out of there is next Wednesday,” he said.

Al-Amin Mahmoud, who was supposed to travel to Sharm El-Sheikh next week, said that his mother forced him to cancel his plans.

“I planned for this trip for many months. I bought a good package from a travel agency and I was supposed to stay there for 5 days starting next week. After everything was in place and I was getting set to go in a few days, I received a phone call at 2:30 am this morning from my mother to tell me about the explosion. I tried to calm her down but she kept on asking me to promise that I would not go.

“Despite my promises to her, she arrived in Jeddah from Madinah in the afternoon and took my passport away from me. What can I say, my plans have been ruined. So I guess I will spend my vacation in the Kingdom this year.”

Habib A., who also had Sharm El-Sheikh travel plans scheduled for August said he changed his mind and would head to Dubai instead. He told Arab News: “Dubai is very hot in the summer. I wanted to go to Sharm because of the nice weather, but because of the explosion, I probably won’t go anywhere near Egypt for the next two years. When I saw how big the explosion was, I became terrified and I kept thinking, what if I was there. I heard about the innocent victims that were killed in the explosion. I could not stop asking myself what if I was one of them, how would my family feel? I am telling you this is terrible.”



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