UAE Residents Embrace Travel as Airfares Rise and Long-Term Holidays Trend

UAE Residents Embrace Travel as Airfares Rise and Long-Term Holidays Trend

Title: UAE Residents Embrace Travel as Airfares Rise and Long-Term Holidays Trend

Subtitle: Strong demand for travel among UAE residents drives airfares past pre-Covid levels, while longer breaks and international exploration become the new norm.

Date: June 17, 2023

As the UAE steadily recovers from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, a surge in travel demand among its residents has resulted in airfares reaching heights surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Popular holiday destinations such as Turkey, Thailand, London, Indonesia, Singapore, and various European cities have seen a significant increase in ticket prices, now standing at least 15-20 percent higher than in 2019.

According to data from the Airports Council International for the Asia-Pacific region, the UAE experienced a staggering 34 percent increase in ticket prices between Q4-2019 and Q4-2022. Among the countries analyzed, India recorded the highest spike with a 41 percent increase, followed by the UAE, Singapore with 30 percent, and Australia with 23 percent.

For instance, return economy rates from Dubai to Istanbul for travel between July 1-20 now average Dh1,741, compared to approximately Dh1,500 in 2019. Return airfares to Bangkok on Emirates are currently priced between Dh3,965 and Dh4,384, compared to the Dh2,154 rates observed four years ago. Similarly, flights to London range from Dh3,019 to Dh4,252 on British Airways, whereas they were priced at Dh1,779 in 2019.

Despite the notable surge in airfare prices, there seems to be no slowdown in the demand for travel among UAE residents. A recent survey conducted by Skyscanner revealed that 55 percent of UAE residents expressed a desire to explore new destinations during the upcoming break. Ayoub El Mamoun, a representative from Skyscanner, stated that a significant 87 percent of surveyed travelers (with a sample size of 1,000 UAE residents) are planning to get away for the upcoming holidays.

Interestingly, UAE travelers are now opting for longer breaks, a trend that has emerged in the post-Covid era. Previously, the average holiday duration did not exceed 5-7 days; however, today's travelers are seeking extended stays of 15-20 days at their chosen destinations. This change is indicative of a shift towards immersing themselves in local culture, interacting with locals, and exploring their travel destinations more thoroughly.

Moreover, the desire for longer breaks is not limited to a specific age group, as travelers from all walks of life are embracing this trend. Home country travel is no longer the top priority, with UAE residents increasingly opting for immersive experiences abroad.

Ghassan Al-Khatib, Head of Products and Partnership at ember Lifestyle, a luxury travel and concierge service, highlights the growing interest in European nations, despite delays in obtaining new Schengen visas. Al-Khatib believes that the allure of travel and the eagerness to explore new horizons are compelling applicants to overcome any challenges they may face.

In conclusion, UAE residents are displaying a strong desire for travel, driving airfares to levels surpassing pre-Covid rates. The demand for longer breaks and a penchant for international exploration is evident across different age groups. As the UAE continues its recovery, residents are eagerly embracing the opportunity to create lasting memories and explore the world around them.

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