Dubai remains top holiday destination for Middle East travellers
Istanbul came a close second on the list of travellers from Middle East
Dubai retained its top spot as 2017's most popular festive season destination for travelers in the region, according to Wego. A shopper's paradise, Dubai offers some of the most extravagant malls on earth, as well as luxurious hotels and miles of unspoiled beaches.
After aggregating search data from across Wego's network of MENA websites and Android and iOS apps, Wego has compiled a list of top 10 festive destinations for Middle Eastern travelers during the holiday season. Wego search engine analytics indicated that MENA users prefer to spend their holidays not far from the region, particularly in Dubai, Istanbul, Beirut, and Amman.
It comes as no surprise that Dubai leads the data charts, as everything in the city is larger than life for holiday goers. "Festivals, lifestyle, dining, sun, islands, and beaches are the most popular travel experiences for MENA travelers and Dubai offers all of that and more," said Mamoun Hmedan, Wego Managing Director for MENA and India.
"There are other popular destinations for many Middle Easterners, and we find that our hit results make sense, given the family-oriented nature of holiday destinations," Hmedan added.
A close second on the list is Istanbul, where East and West come together effortlessly to add to the beauty and intrigue of the landscape.
Amman has risen to claim forth spot on the list, compared to 2016 when it was in the fifth position. The destination is becoming increasingly popular due to its numerous historical and cultural sites. travelers can get a taste of authentic Jordanian culture, from coffeehouses and bazaars to Roman ruins and awe-inspiring museums.
Lebanon's buzzing capital Beirut ranks eighth on the list, compared to the tenth spot it occupied in 2016, a result of its friendly vibe and beautiful historical landscape that celebrates diversity. Beirut has won the hearts of solitude seekers from across the region owing to its pristine Mediterranean coast, which travelers can soak up as they stroll along the iconic Corniche.
Stepping outside the Middle East, Wego's search reflects the popularity of Asian destinations among travelers. Bangkok ranks third with inventive street food and invigorating temples, while Kochi, where an amalgamation of cultures has left traces of their legacies has risen in its popularity to bag the fifth spot, compared to 2016 when it was eighth on the list. Kochi has a lot of offer, with each district coming alive with distinct personality and alluring sandy beaches that beckon weary souls.
Manila, with its spectacular new malls and rich biodiversity, has dropped from its third position in 2016 to sixth position this year, perhaps due to the political violence that the Philippines have witnessed in the past year.
Another attractive destination for MENA users is Phuket in Thailand (tenth), which is featured on several 'most popular destination' lists, with its spectacular beaches and vibrant nightlife.
The study noted that MENA travelers prefer London (seventh) and Munich (ninth) more than any other European destinations.
"London in December is a jolly winter wonderland, and while many countries replicate Munich's buzzy outdoor markets, nothing beats witnessing the original. Come December, and travelers will be spoiled for choice with festive fairs in both cities," Hmedan added.
Wego's top holiday destinations list is an output of its search engine platform and application, which is among the top five most popular travel apps on iTunes and Google Play stores throughout the MENA region, thanks to its localized experience, more than 30 language interfaces, and comprehensive meta-search options.
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