UAE residents opting for regional getaways this holiday season


According to a report released by Dubai-based online flight and hotel booking platform, tajawal, UAE residents are flocking to nearby regional destinations this holiday season.

A paradise for nature-lovers, Sri Lanka continues to be one of the favourite vacation hotspots, with increased flight bookings to Colombo, followed by Oman, Muscat, for its rich heritage, dazzling souks, superb seafood and diverse terrain including majestic mountains, dramatic deserts, sandy beaches and serene coastlines.

Vibrant and fascinating historical cities, such as Istanbul in Turkey and Baku in Azerbaijan, are amongst the top five destinations that UAE residents are planning to explore during the December holidays. Interestingly, the data also demonstrated growth in the number of people heading to London.

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As per the flight bookings on tajawal, the majority of UAE holiday makers are travelling for an average period of nine days to either explore destinations that are affordable and a relatively short flight away from the UAE, or visit their hometowns in Beirut, Amman and Cairo.

Executive vice president, tajawal, Muzzammil Ahussain spoke on the report: “In terms of travel trends for the upcoming holiday season, we witnessed a boom in flight bookings to regional and close-to-home destinations, as UAE residents and citizens explore Oman, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Sri Lanka. Although low-cost airlines continue to gain popularity amongst travellers with their value-for-money fares, the full-service airlines have emerged as the preferred choice with 43 per cent of total bookings.”

Tajawal observed that residents are opting for extended holidays with the average length of hotel stays up from four to six days, compared to 2018. The data also indicated a robust growth of 15 per cent in demand for three-star accommodations, with 34 per cent bookings as compared to 19 per cent in 2018. Upscale four-star hotels have also increased in popularity with two per cent.

Finally, the demand for full-service network carriers have soared by 11 per cent, as 43 per cent customers booked a full-service flight, versus the 32 per cent recorded in 2018.