According to the latest travel trend report published by tajawal, a Dubai-based online flight and hotel booking platform, South East Asia is the summer hotspot for UAE travellers.
With its wealth of culture and vibrant street life, Bangkok leads the way with flight bookings up 164 per cent versus 2018, closely followed by the cosmopolitan island paradise of Bali, up 150 per cent over the same period. Outbound bookings to dynamic Kuala Lumpur with its gleaming skyscrapers and food stall-lined streets have also rocketed by 130 per cent versus 2018.
The popularity of South East Asia supports this year’s wider trend of UAE residents choosing overseas destinations over local staycations for their holidays.
International hotel bookings on tajawal have increased to 74 per cent this year from 45 per cent in 2018, whilst domestic stays declined to 26 per cent versus 55 per cent last year. Mid-range boutique and upscale four-star hotels have also increased in popularity versus their luxury counterparts as travellers seek authentic experiences in cities across the globe.
Closer to home, Istanbul with its rich history and lively entertainment holds its position as one of the leading destinations for UAE travellers and South Caucasus tourism continues to grow with culture seekers and outdoor adventurers heading to Baku in Azerbaijan.
tajawal is also seeing the trend of multiple short breaks declining, with UAE residents taking longer holidays overseas. The average length of stay based on flight booking data has increased by 70 per cent to 17 days, as travellers look further afield to explore diverse cultures and climates. Many are also capitalising on the longer public holidays in 2019 to make the most of their vacation time.
“It’s interesting to see more UAE residents and citizens heading overseas this year and particularly to South East Asia, which is a relatively short flight away and incredibly rich in culture, cuisine and diverse landscapes,” said executive vice president, tajawal, Muzzammil Ahussain. “City breaks remain the most popular choice for holidays from the UAE, with places like Singapore topping the list alongside Bangkok and Istanbul.”