YouGov monitors Middle East travel trends

MUMBAI, India, 31 May 2023: Residents of the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) are likely to spend more time in their own countries this summer, according to YouGov data.

“Growth in the leisure and entertainment sector has reduced the need to travel as much during the hot season, developing the region’s proposition as a year-round destination,” says YouGov.

The research shows that the large majority of residents in UAE and KSA (71%) intend to spend more time in their country of residence this summer (June to September) compared to the last season.

The growth in the Leisure & Entertainment sector in both countries has opened more entertainment opportunities for people, contributing to the development of UAE & KSA as more year-round destinations for tourists and residents.

“Therefore, it is not surprising to see that half of the people in both countries want to spend more time in their country of residence during the summer due to increased opportunities to indulge in leisure and entertainment activities now than before. This is a more dominant reason among KSA than UAE residents (50% vs 42%),” the report explains.

Stay home factors

Many people in both countries do not find the summer heat bothersome and therefore do not plan to leave during the hot season (32%). Work commitments (32%), expensive cost of travel (23%), and family obligations (19%) are some other reasons for spending more time in their own country this season.

Even though people intend to spend more time in their country of residence, the data shows that most residents plan to take a vacation outside their country this summer season, and only one in five (19%) do not intend to take one. When it comes to the duration of the holiday, three in 10 (30%) said they would travel for one week or less, and just about the same (29%) said they would take longer holidays (around a month or more).

Short or long trips?

The data reveals stark differences between the two countries – KSA residents being more likely to take shorter vacations of up to a week or less (37%). In contrast, UAE residents plan to take longer holidays, around a month or more (35%).

The data by age shows that young adults between 18 and 24 years in both countries are most keen to take shorter trips, while 35+ adults are looking at taking longer vacations.

Asian destinations top for summer travel

When asked about their summer travel destination, half of the residents in both countries said they plan to travel to some place within Asia (50%). Europe is the next popular destination (35%), followed by Africa (15%). Those taking shorter trips are more likely to travel to Europe, while longer trips are more likely to be in Africa.

(Source: YouGov)

Learn more about YouGov surveys here.

*Results based on YouGov Surveys: Serviced on a sample of 2005 residents in UAE & KSA in May 2023