As the world gears up to enter the holiday season, YouGov's latest survey reveals more than half of UAE residents (51%) are planning to take a domestic vacation in the upcoming year-end holiday time. Just over a fifth (22%) plan to travel to other Middle Eastern countries, two in five (39%) plan to travel overseas, and one in eight (13%) do not intend to take a vacation this holiday season.
Interestingly, holiday preferences vary depending on one's age. Young adults between 18-24 years are most likely than others to travel within the country this holiday season (65%), while older adults (45+ years) are more keen on international travel (46%).
When it comes to the choice of place, YouGov's Destination Index, which tracks public perceptions of destinations across 16 metrics, shows Dubai as the most considered choice for a holiday (in the last 30 days) by UAE residents. Abu Dhabi is the second option for people planning a vacation, followed by the Maldives. As travel is bouncing back and many countries are easing travel restrictions, many international destinations are making it to the UAE traveller holiday wish list. Along with Maldives, Switzerland, Canada, USA, Japan and the Philippines are some of the other destinations currently being considered by UAE residents for their next holiday.
While UAE residents have an appetite for travel, they are exercising caution and close to half said they would avoid crowded places and prefer less crowded or offbeat locations (49%) for their vacation. Many want to avoid staying in shared accommodations (42%), while some (29%) would even refrain from using public transport. To minimise the Covid-19 risks, a few would avoid using public washrooms (27%), ridesharing (27%), closed places (26%) and eating at bars and restaurants (20%) while travelling.
When asked how comfortable they are in sharing public places with tourists, a large majority of UAE residents (79%) reported being comfortable with it. Only 6% expressed concerns while less than one in six (15%) remained unsure. Men are notably more comfortable than women in sharing public places with tourists (83% vs 71%).
With the year-end festivities kicking in, the UAE is geared up to host a lot of exciting activities and events. Among the various activities in the country, a majority of residents said they are most likely to visit the Dubai Expo 2020 site (66%) this holiday season. Many would like to visit their friends and family (53%), followed by a trip to the beach (43%). About two in five (37%) intend to attend the upcoming Dubai Shopping Festival, while some plan to explore other Emirates (24%)
Data collected online among 1009 respondents in the UAE by YouGov's Omnibus between November 3rd- 8th 2021 using YouGovs panel of over 15 million people worldwide