UAE: Average spend per person on holiday expected to rise by 15-20 per cent in 2023

The average annual business travel spend of small and medium-sized enterprises in the country is also expected to grow by the same percentage next year


Nandini Sircar

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File photo: Koh Samui
File photo: Koh Samui

Published: Mon 26 Dec 2022, 3:29 PM

Last updated: Mon 26 Dec 2022, 8:31 PM

The average spend per person on a holiday is expected to rise by 15-20 per cent from Dh2,500 in 2022 to Dh3,000 in 2023 – mainly due to increased airfares.

This was revealed by one of the UAE’s leading online travel agencies,, which also states that the “International Travel” segment will enjoy a faster growth path in 2023 as compared to the previous year.

The average annual business travel spend of SMEs in the UAE is also expected to grow by 15-20 per cent in 2023.

The GCC, India, UK, EU countries, and the USA will continue to remain the key inbound and outbound destinations for business travellers in the region.

Sachin Gadoya, co-founder and CEO of and Musafir Business, says, “The travel sector constitutes nearly 10 per cent of global GDP and authorities across countries have been collaborating synergistically to put in place the levels of safety, hygiene, and comfort required for the sector to regain its lost ground.”

Gadoya adds, “Consequently, FY 2022 witnessed a steady recovery for leisure as well as business travel, on the back of a significant reduction in pandemic-related risk, eased travel regulations worldwide, enhanced traveller confidence and the desire at corporate levels to resume productive in-person engagements. The trend [will] only strengthen in 2023.”

The data and trends, gathered through queries and bookings on the Musafir Business platform, forecast business travellers will continue choosing First and Business class, despite a rise of about 15 per cent in airfare.

The Premium Economy mode of travel further augments the choice repertoire for such travellers.

The average corporate travel budget in 2023 would rise by 15-20 per cent, bringing it to a level comparable to pre-pandemic days.

“Insights obtained from the Musafir Business platform establish very clearly that organisations in the UAE prefer face-to-face interaction for building trust and longevity in their business relationships.

With considerably eased travel regulations these days, the average annual business travel spend of SMEs in the UAE is expected to grow by 15-20 per cent in 2023 – from Dh185,000 in 2022 to Dh220,000 in 2023 – which is indeed very close to the pre-pandemic figure of 2019 at Dh250,000.”

Cruise to be one of the most important tourism trends in 2023

It’s said that cruises will become one of the most important tourism trends in 2023, providing a unique opportunity for travellers to explore new destinations combined with a plethora of activities that suit everyone on a cruise ship.

On the leisure side, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Serbia, Albania, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan were key choices for holiday destinations in 2022 for passengers coming from the UAE. expects CIS countries to continue being the top preference for leisure travellers from the UAE.

“Passengers from the UAE enjoy visiting these countries due to the colder weather and acceptable flight duration of three-four hours. Not only are these places appropriate for holidaying with families and kids, but there are also plenty of budget hotels and value for money deals in these destinations to choose from.

Overall, these holiday destinations provide customers with extremely good value for their money,” added Gadoya.

Gadoya also highlighted the expected increase in leisure travel to the UK and EU countries in 2023, especially Britain, France and Switzerland, as compared to going back home.

“Pandemic-led travel restrictions and visa challenges didn’t permit many travellers to visit these destinations. We envisage the budget versus luxury travel demand to remain stable at 50 per cent each. With the situation easing out, the demand for holidays across the UK and EU countries will soar in 2023.

Additionally, leisure travellers from the UAE prefer visiting countries that offer hassle-free easy visas, which could be e-visas, visa-on-arrival or visa-free destinations.”


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