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Emiratis travel the most in UAE

Asians take longest stretches of leisure holidays, followed by Westerners.

By Issac John (associate Business Editor)

Published: Thu 18 Jun 2015, 11:49 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:18 PM

Emiratis take the highest number of leisure holidays per year, at an average of four. KT file photo
Emiratis take the highest number of leisure holidays per year, at an average of four. KT file photo

Dubai: Emiratis travel for leisure more frequently than other nationalities in the UAE, results of a local survey among residents show.

The survey released by Expedia.com shows that for business travel, however, Westerners lead in frequency, closely followed by Emiratis.

The survey, conducted in Dubai by global market research company YouGov, asked a series of questions in relation to travel patterns and revealed differences across different demographics and nationalities residing in the Emirates.

The survey found that the majority of UAE residents (53 per cent) take at least one business trip per year. On average, UAE residents take two business trips annually and spend roughly eight days on each trip.

In terms of frequency, Westerners travel most often for business, taking on average 2.7 business trips per year. This is closely followed by Emiratis, who travel on average 2.5 times per year for business. Asian respondents travel least frequently for business; averaging 1.7 trips per year.

In the length of stay, 47 per cent of business trips are less than four days, 33 per cent last between four to seven days and the remaining 20 per cent of business trips last more than a week.

The age of respondents also influenced the length of trips. Respondents aged between 30 and 39 take the longest business trips, lasting on average nine days, while those aged between 18 and 29 years take the shortest trips, averaging six days.

With expatriates making up a large portion of the UAE population, UAE residents are accustomed to frequent travel, whether on holiday or to visit family members in their home countries. Eighty-six per cent of all UAE residents report travelling for leisure at least once per year.

The average number of leisure trips for UAE residents is approximately three per year and the average length of holidays for UAE residents is 15 days.

Across all nationalities, Emiratis take the highest number of leisure holidays per year (average of four), followed by Westerners and Arab expats who take three trips a year, followed by Asians, who take on average two trips per year.

As for length of stay, Asians take the longest stretches of holidays with an average of 16 days, followed by Westerners and Arab expats (15 days) and Emiratis (12 days). Some 48 per cent of UAE residents report taking holidays that last more than two weeks.

Family structure was also a factor influencing leisure travel. Comparatively, married couples with children take on average two holiday trips annually, married couples without children take the most holidays annually (four trips), followed by singles (three trips).

When families with children go on vacation, they take longer breaks than their counterparts, with an average trip of 17 days — singles average 13 days. Older UAE residents aged 40 years and above take long holidays as well with an average of 17 days. Those aged 30 to 39 take 16 days, and those aged 18 to 29 take the least with 14 days, according to Expedia director of e-commerce Eman Barhoumeh.

“The study revealed that 60 per cent of UAE residents travel with families — including 65 per cent of Arab expats, 61 per cent of Asian residents, 54 per cent of Emiratis and 45 per cent of Westerners,” he said.


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