Many UAE residents plan to go on long holidays without taking annual leave: Study

Most of those polled say they are willing to spend more on vacations this year, with wellness trips at the top of their bucket lists


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Fri 13 Jan 2023, 8:04 PM

Last updated: Fri 13 Jan 2023, 8:18 PM

With remote work now an option for some UAE residents, many have started planning long holidays this year, a new travel trend study has revealed.

Forty-eight percent of UAE residents going on extended holidays highlighted that being able to work remotely allows them to take a longer vacation without having to take annual leave for the whole break, according to the findings of Marriott Bonvoy’s 2023 Travel Trends research.

Nearly a third of those from the UAE — about 31 per cent — even plan to take a ‘work-away holiday’, where they will continue to log on and work while travelling, allowing them to experience a new place without taking any annual leave, the study added.

“Travel trends for 2023 are more interesting than ever due to the unique situation we are in," said Neal Jones, chief sales and marketing officer of Marriott International - Europe, Middle East and Africa.

"What comes across very clearly is a resurgence in the sector based in large part on increased confidence amongst travellers, with most planning to spend more than (they did) last year," he added.


Wellness holidays

Around a quarter (26 per cent) are also willing to shell out more and stay in luxury accommodation, while all-inclusive resorts will also be popular.

As a result, consumers have high expectations with regard to their holiday accommodation — with cost, cleanliness, and location indicated as the three most important factors.

Wellbeing-led holidays will be the predominant type of break for those in the Middle East.

In fact, more than 61 per cent of people in the UAE and 73 per cent in Saudi Arabia seek this kind of travel.

Authentic trips are also key, with many wanting to immerse themselves in a complete change of culture.

To soak up local culture, 30 per cent of those from the UAE plan on taking an extended holiday of three weeks or more in one destination.

When it comes to the destinations they plan to visit in 2023, Turkey will be the most popular destination for those from the UAE, indicating 27 per cent of takers. This is followed by a staycation in the Emirates (26 per cent) and trips to the UK (20 per cent).

“We are also seeing other existing trends come into sharper focus. I’m delighted to see the priority that so many travellers are putting on sustainability, with most taking it into consideration and many shaping their holidays around this," Jones added.


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