Travelers from UAE traveling more and spending more on trips

30 August 2023 2 min. read

A growing number of UAE residents expect to travel in the coming period, and notably, they also plan to spend more money on their (international) vacation: 72% have increased their travel budget.

A report from global consulting firm Simon-Kucher found that more UAE residents were planning to travel in 2023 – 88% as compared with 79% in 2022. That number is higher than the global average, said the survey, which included over 5,000 participants from the UAE, the UK, the US, France, the Netherlands, Demark, and Spain.

Those that said they were not planning on traveling mostly cited financial reasons for why they would be staying home. In total, only 1 out of 10 respondents from the UAE reported they would not be traveling and that it was due to financial constraints.

Plans for summer holiday 2023

As far as budgeting for travel: UAE residents said they were ready to spend more on their trips – an average of 8% more than last year. While 72% of UAE residents said they would spend more on travel, only an average of 58% in other countries said the same.

The survey also found that 54% of UAE travelers booked their trips in advance, significantly more than in 2022 and more than the global average. Of those that book in advance, 45% said they did so in order to bag attractive offers, while 34% said they feared prices would go up due to inflation.

Plans for holidays in 2023

Most UAE travelers opt to book their trips themselves, skipping travel agents. Respondents mostly cited the freedom that comes with planning things yourself, and a dislike for restrictions that can come with pre-planned, all-inclusive-type vacations.

For travel providers, this shift in consumer behavior means that they need to re-align how they connect and engage with travelers. A previous study by Bain & Company found that there remains much room for improvement in the way travel groups design and deliver their marketing strategies.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the UAE has looked to boost its travel industry through investments in infrastructure and technology. This is largely part of the country’s plan to move away from a dependence on oil, towards a more diversified economy, and ultimately towards their net-zero climate goals, which they have pledged to meet by 2050.