UAE travel trends: Long-haul destinations back in demand in 2024

Survey reveals names of top cities residents want to visit this year, with 97% keen to explore new places

by

Waheed Abbas

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Published: Tue 16 Jan 2024, 2:11 PM

Last updated: Tue 16 Jan 2024, 3:46 PM

Japan’s Osaka and Tokyo are among the top three cities that UAE residents want to visit in 2024, as a majority – 97 per cent – of them are keen to explore new destinations this year, according to a new study.

Global travel site Skyscanner's new survey released on Tuesday found Osaka at the top of the list of UAE residents searching for travel in 2024, an increase of over 300 per cent, followed by Antalya (273%), Tokyo (250%), Rome (154%), Berlin (96%), Amsterdam, New York, London, Athens and Paris.

Conducted by OnePoll in August 2023, the survey covered views of 1,000 UAE residents. The study found that travel search demand among UAE residents is up by over 54 per cent in 2024 as people increasingly look at long-haul destinations.

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“Long-haul destinations are coming back in 2024 because 2022-23 saw people travelling to closer destinations after the pandemic. Now there is a more appetite for long-haul travel,” Ayoub El Mamoun, Skyscanner’s travel and destinations expert, said during the launch of the new study in Dubai on Tuesday.

Ayoub El Mamoun
Ayoub El Mamoun

Sharing trends, the study found that 46 per cent of UAE travellers have booked a destination purely on the basis of a specific restaurant that they want to visit. While 72 per cent of UAE travellers will consider travelling to a gig in a different country if it would help save them money while 38 per cent would willingly take a short-haul flight to see their favourite artists live.

In selecting a destination, over one quarter – 28 per cent – of residents use film and television as a source of inspiration.

Around 26 per cent of travellers aged 18-24 now said they bring a Polaroid camera with them on holiday, while 37 per cent of residents said they check their work email during holidays, struggling to switch off from work.

When it comes to celebration vacations, 42 per cent said they struggle to decide on the destination and around the same percentage find it challenging to agree on the cost. While 41 per cent said it’s a struggle to decide on dates.

Some of the best value destinations for UAE travellers are Kuala Lumpur, Hoi An (Vietnam), Tirana (Albania) and Chiang Mai (Thailand), where the average cost for a five-star stay is around Dh374, Dh428, Dh515 and Dh538, respectively.

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