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UAE: Over 80% of expats buying one-way air ticket

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on March 9, 2021
KT Photo: Juidin Bernarrd

Uncertainty due to Covid-19 compels residents to buy one-way ticket

More than eight out of 10 people in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are buying one-way tickets due to uncertainty surrounding their travel plans amidst Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new survey.

Amit Taneja, chief commercial officer of Cleartrip, said 81 per cent of people bought one-way tickets between September 2020 to January 2021 as compared to 63 per cent during the same period last year.

“People are not certain that they will come back in time. People are going to emergencies but they are not sure how many days they require in their home countries. Also, they think that they could get Covid-19 positive, hence, they will have to extend the leave. All these reasons are prompting UAE and Saudi expats to buy one-way tickets,” Amit said at the launch of the survey on Tuesday.

Around 19 per cent of UAE residents bought return air tickets during the September 2020 to January 2021 period as against 37 per cent during this period last year.

The survey covered 5,678 people, of which 42 per cent were Indians, 22 per cent were Filipinos, and nine per cent were Pakistanis and other nationalities.

New travel trends

Around 72 per cent of people in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are willing to travel with friends and families in the next six months while 16 per cent of residents are only comfortable travelling once they get vaccinated, says the survey.

Around 35 per cent of respondents said that easy quarantine rules and affordability would be the most sought after combination when selecting a destination.

Around 42 per cent of respondents stated that the duration of their next trip would be five days or less, while 38 per cent respondents will opt for a duration of six to 11 days.

“While it is encouraging that travellers are eager to travel again, it is the responsibility of the industry to build confidence and enable customers to make the right travel decisions with accurate real-time information on safety and travel requirements,” said Stuart Crighton, founder and CEO of Cleartrip.

For UAE residents, Singapore, Maldives, Georgia, Turkey and India are the top popular destinations to visit.

Around 46 per cent of people prefer beach holidays, 28 per cent will opt for adventure holidays, 17 per cent want city holidays and nine per cent are looking for theme parks.

Prior to booking their destination, 60 per cent of people will have cleanliness and safety as their top priority, while 20 per will consider quarantines rules clarity and 15 per cent will take affordability into their consideration.

waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com





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