SriLankan Airlines, the National Carrier of Sri Lanka and a member of the oneworld airline alliance, offers travellers from the Middle East, the wide variety of Sri Lanka’s abundant wildlife and natural beauty. All of which are just a short flight away from the region’s capitals.
With 68 weekly flights to the Sri Lankan capital from the cities of the GCC, SriLankan Airlines is rolling out the red carpet for Middle Eastern travellers looking for a brief stopover on their onward journey or for a more comprehensive island getaway this summer.
Late summer is also the ideal time to witness the biggest wildlife spectacular that the Emerald Isle offers, the Minneriya Elephant Gathering, the largest coming together of Asian elephants at any one time in the world.
The Gathering takes place annually during the months of August and September, when herds of elephants and other wildlife from across the island make their way to the Minneriya Tank – a man-made lake that holds water even in the dry season – to drink from the sweet water that is always in abundance there, even in the driest of weather.
This spectacular coming together of herds of elephant, deer, buffalo and other animals in search of water and fodder, gives tourists a grandstand view of the wonders of nature, as the animals drink, frolic and play in the evening sunlight before heading onward. Minneriya National Park is situated in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka, close to Habarana, the Cultural Triangle and the Sigiriya Rock, all of which are top attractions for tourists, and have a range of accommodation and dining options.
SriLankan Airlines is already popular with Middle East travellers, having gained a reputation for fine service and excellent hospitality and efficient connections to Colombo and onward to Asia and Australia. Responding to growing demand from the region, SriLankan Airlines today has daily flights to Colombo from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh, Muscat, Bahrain and Kuwait. Recent figures indicate that Sri Lanka received 107, 635 tourists from the GCC countries in 2017, a growth of 6.5%, with the UAE figuring as the major source market in the region.
Responding to growing demand from the region, SriLankan Airlines has recently boosted its services with daily flights to Colombo from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh, Muscat, Bahrain and Kuwait to 68 flights a week. The airline is also looking at increasing connectivity to other parts of the Gulf depending on demand.