Leading online travel agency Musafir.com says UAE travelers are shifting their preferences to ‘affordable luxury’ experiences this summer.
For example, Musafir.com observed a surge in bookings for 5-star stays, premium economy or business class flights. It also noted an increase in bookings for exclusive private tours.
Data gathered by the company also shows hotels and hotel apartments are the preferred choice for accommodations. This reflects the demand for comfort and convenience among UAE travelers.
Other highlights of the study include travelers’ preference for seamless visa processes and favorable weather conditions for choosing the destination.
According to Musafir.com, UAE travelers are mixing leisure trips with visits to family and friends. It says 80 percent of travelers are planning family vacations and family-oriented travel experiences.
“Previously, home country vacations were the norm, but we are witnessing a remarkable shift as people now opt for 1-2 leisure trips combined with visits to loved ones. Many are choosing to elevate their travel experiences with premium economy flights and minimum 4-star accommodations, seeking the perfect balance of luxury and affordability. Even for those opting for staycations within the UAE, short getaways across the country are gaining popularity,” said Raheesh Babu, COO of Musafir.com.
In addition, Musafir.com noted that travelers are keen to explore new destinations and novel experiences. This is creating a positive outlook for the UAE’s travel and tourism industry, it added.
Residents in the UAE usually take their extended vacation in August. During this period, airline prices are reduced. Moreover, travel agencies offer a wide range of affordable travel packages to sought-after destinations.
With an average budget of AED3,500-4,500 per person and an average trip duration of 5-6 nights, some are even extending their getaways to 10 days, Musafir.com noted.
Affordable luxury destinations
The top destinations of choice include Bangkok, Georgia, Baku, Salalah, Abha, and AlUla in Saudi Arabia. The popularity of visa-on-arrival options has also significantly increased. This has, in turn, allowed travelers to enjoy better flight fares, even with just a single layover.
“This year, we have witnessed an exceptional rise in leisure packages booked, with over 15,000 packages sold, more than doubling our pre-Covid numbers. The growth momentum is expected to continue, driving double-digit growth in the coming years,” said Babu.
Musafir.com’s study also revealed travelers’ inclination to indulge in adventure sports and cultural immersion. Eco-friendly experiences are also a preferred choice for travelers, to add a unique element to their holiday.
Meanwhile, Musafir.com says technology continues to reshape the global travel industry. Travelers are embracing more online bookings and mobile apps to plan and book their trips with ease and convenience, the report said.
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