Coronavirus Pandemic

1 in 4 residents won’t travel until Covid-19 cure comes: Poll

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on November 13, 2020

(Reuters file)

Expats said the UAE is the "safest" place they could be in the middle of the pandemic.

More than a quarter of UAE residents are not yet ready to travel anywhere until a cure for Covid-19 becomes available, a new study has revealed. Staycations remain the top holiday choice in the country.

A survey by market research firm YouGov found that 27 per cent are unwilling to travel. However, there remains a percentage of residents who are eyeing a break outside their homes: About 24 per cent are considering taking a staycation or a short trip within the country, while 16 per cent are up for a longer domestic holiday that can go for a week or more.

Speaking to Khaleej Times on Thursday, expats said the UAE is the “safest” place they could be in the middle of the pandemic.

“I feel safer here in the UAE. I am planning to travel for a holiday only when the pandemic has been eradicated or health conditions have normalised, especially after the Covid-19 vaccine has been made available to everyone,” said Ashraf CP, a 45-year-old Indian project manager in Abu Dhabi.

Ugandan expat Sam Kintu used to travel home for his annual leave every November but, this year, he is not going anywhere.

“I chose to spend my leave in the UAE. I feared the pandemic as many new cases of Covid-19 are still reported everywhere, including my home country,” said Kintu, who works at a popular hypermarket chain in Abu Dhabi.

“Besides, there are many travel restrictions and guidelines due to the pandemic, including the Covid tests and quarantine.”

Egyptian expat Muhammad Hussein has also shelved the London vacation that he was supposed to take in December. “I will spend my holiday here with family. We might have a trip to Fujairah or Ras Al Khaimah and spend a few days there.”

Yes to budget travel

Some residents (20 per cent) are comfortable travelling to international destinations where tourists are welcome, while others (12 per cent) are ready to venture only into places with low Covid-19 infection rates.

Even though a number of people are now willing to travel, they remain cautious about their safety as well as their spending. Close to a third (30 per cent) prefer budget hotels that follow all the safety norms. Just under a fourth (23 per cent), on the other hand, would opt for five star hotels.

The YouGov Omnibus data was collected online among 1,011 respondents in the UAE between October 12 and 19 this year, using the firm’s panel of over six million people worldwide.


The boredom of staying and working from home has inspired a new form of travel called ‘workation’ or travel to a new or off-beat destination where one can work, as well as relax.

One in eight (12 per cent) UAE residents are looking forward to going on a workation during the pandemic, the YouGov survey found.

This particular form of holiday seems to be more popular among high-income households (those earning Dh40,000+), with one in three out of these individuals (29 per cent) wanting to take a workation.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

ERROR: Macro /ads/dfp-ad-article-new is missing!
MORE FROM Coronavirus Pandemic
MORE FROM Khaleej Times
CurrentRequestUnmodified: /coronavirus-pandemic/coronavirus-uae-reports-2188-covid-19-cases-2150-recoveries-5-deaths macro_action: article, macro_profile: ,1913,1000 macro_adspot:
KT App Download
khaleejtimes app

All new KT app
is available
for download:

khaleejtimes - android khaleejtimes - ios khaleejtimes - HUAWEI AppGallery