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Time to relax

PicodiJune 10, 2019

Over the decades, travel and tourism have grown to become one of the world’s largest economic sectors, generating about 10% of world GDP. Tourists became a prominent source of revenue for many people. Furthermore, travelling became so popular that some places in the world, like Venice or Dubrovnik, have to deal with the problem of overtourism.

It’s no wonder that now when travelling from one side of the globe to the other is easier than ever, people go on trips more often. According to the World Tourism Organization’s forecasts, international tourist arrivals will reach 1.8 billion by 2030. And while Europe is still the top tourist destination, Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region in recent years.

What impact do these trends have on Emiratis? Picodi Analysis Team decided to find out more about the habits and preferences of Emirati travellers. Read further to learn how often and with whom Emiratis travel, how much money they spend, what are the top travel destinations and Emiratis’ approach to organising trips.

Top destinations

Emiratis' favourite places to spend holidays

According to the survey results, the majority of Emiratis prefer going abroad over domestic travels. 46% of surveyed Emiratis declared that they would rather spend their holidays in their country when 54% opted for international travels.

Among those who decide to travel abroad, the most popular countries to visit were Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Thailand, Malaysia and India.

Once in a blue moon

How Emiratis spend their holidays

When Emiratis go on their holidays? The shoulder season is gaining its fans around the world since it allows to visit the popular tourist attractions in decent weather and with more affordable prices. Its growing popularity was also noticed by Emiratis — 35% of respondents declared that they travel during the shoulder season. 37% chose the high season and the remaining 28% prefer to travel during the budget-friendly low season.

The question remains, how much money Emiratis are willing to pay for their leisure? According to the survey results, an average Emirati spends 3161 AED per travel. However, only 10% of respondents said that they don’t try to save on trips — the rest of them have some smart tricks which make the whole venture more affordable. Among the most popular answers, 55% of surveyed Emiratis declared that they buy tickets in advance and 39% book their stay ahead of time.

It looks like Emiratis prefer shorter getaways as 32% of respondents claimed their trips last less than a week. 34% said that they spend around a week on holidays and another 34% two weeks or more. On the other hand, almost half of the surveyed Emiratis (40%) go on holiday once a year and 38% twice a year or more frequently. 22% of respondents have the opportunity to go on a trip less than once a year.

With whom Emiratis spend their holidays? Majority of the surveyed travel with their family or partner (46% and 28% respectively). 20% go with friends and only 6% prefer to travel alone.

All by myself

Do Emiratis prefer to organise their trips by themselves?

We already know when and where Emiratis travel but how do they organise their trips? The majority of respondents (79%) prefer to organise everything by themselves while only 21% rely on travel agencies.

The main reasons for self-organised trips pointed out by Emiratis were the cheaper price (51%) and the ability to match everything according to preferences (42%). Those who travel with agencies mention that it is more comfortable and they feel safer when agency organises everything (43% each).

Explore the unknown

Travelling habits of Emiratis

We asked Emiratis whether they prefer to go somewhere new or re-visit their favourite places. The results show that most of them (76%) would rather explore new places and only one-fourth of respondents (24%) chose to go back to places they already know.

When it comes to organising a trip, are there any differences between women’s and men’s attitude? It turns out that women are more spontaneous in the matter of organising journeys. Nevertheless, most people prefer to plan in advance — 72% of men and 69% of women.

Sunbathing on the ravishing Bali beaches, exploring the old alleys of Paris or surfing the waves of the Australian coast? When asked about the favourite way of spending holidays, almost half of the Emirati respondents (40%) chose lying on the beach as their favourite activity. It was followed by sightseeing (37%) and the least popular — active rest (23%).

When in Rome, do as the Romans do – the old proverb says. However, there are different approaches when travelling, especially when it comes to means of transportation or food. Among the surveyed Emiratis, 51% chose taxi as their favourite way of transport, followed by local public transport (26%) and renting a car (17%). As for food, 53% try the local cuisine, 28% look for places that serve familiar dishes and 12% eat at the hotel.

In theory, taking a holiday is a way to rest from work. However, sometimes it’s impossible to break free from incoming calls or emails. It turns out that 2 out of 3 surveyed Emiratis are willing to perform job-related tasks during their holidays.

Around the world

How much money travellers around the world spend on holidays

We asked travellers from 41 countries how much money they spend on average per holiday. Based on the answers, we prepared a ranking which indicates the biggest spenders.

An average Emirati spends 3161 AED per person on a holiday, which converted into USD amounts to $860. It places the UAE quite high in the ranking. Australians spend the most money on holidays — $1,505 per holiday. They are followed by Hongkongers and Finns.

The most frugal travellers come from Indonesia and Pakistan — they spend $207 and $191 respectively.

Methodology

This report is based on the survey conducted in April and May 2019 among over 20 000 respondents from 41 countries. For the currency conversion, the average exchange for May 2019 was used.

Sources

  • https://www.wttc.org/economic-impact
  • https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/overtourism-solutions/index.html
  • https://www2.unwto.org/content/why-tourism

Public Use

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