Expedia says 86% UAE residents travel for leisure

Average number of leisure trips is approximately three per year, with an average length of 15 days

Image courtesy: Earth Times.
Image courtesy: Earth Times.

Expedia.com’s local survey, conducted with more than 1000 UAE residents, revealed that Emiratis travel for leisure more frequently than the other nationalities represented in the local population. For business travel, westerners lead in frequency closely followed by Emiratis.

The majority of UAE residents (53%) take at least one business trip per year. On average, UAE residents take two business trips annually and spend roughly eight days on each trip.

In terms of frequency, westerners travel most often for business, taking on average 2.7 business trips per year. This is closely followed by Emiratis, who travel on average 2.5 times per year for business. Asian respondents travel least frequently for business; averaging 1.7 trips per year.

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Looking at the length of stay, 47% of business trips are less than four days, 33% last between four to seven days, and the remaining 20% of business trips last more than a week.

The age of respondents also influenced the length of trips. Respondents aged between 30 and 39 take the longest business trips, lasting on average nine days, while those aged between 18 and 29 years take the shortest trips, averaging six days.

The study also showed that 86% of all UAE residents report traveling for leisure at least once per year. The average number of leisure trips for UAE residents is approximately three per year and the average length of holidays for UAE residents is 15 days.

Across all nationalities, Emiratis take the highest number of leisure holidays per year (average of four), followed by Westerners and Arab expats who take three trips a year, followed by Asians, who take on average two trips per year.

As for length of stay, Asians take the longest stretches of holidays with an average of 16 days, followed by westerners and Arab expats (15 days) and Emiratis (12 days). 48% of UAE residents report taking holidays that last more than two weeks.

Family structure was also a factor influencing leisure travel. Comparatively, married couples with children take on average two holiday trips annually, married couples without children take the most holidays annually (four trips), followed by singles (three trips).

When families with children do go on vacation, they take longer breaks than their counterparts, with an average trip of 17 days – singles average 13 days. Older UAE residents aged 40 years and above take the long holidays as well with an average of 17 days. Those aged 30-39 take 16 days, and those aged 18-29 take the least with 14 days.

Expedia director of e-commerce Eman Barhoumeh said: “The study also asked UAE residents who they travel with. 60% of UAE residents reported that they travel with their families — including 65% of Arab expats, 61% of Asian residents, 54% of Emiratis, and 45% of Westerners. 20% of residents (30% of Westerners) reported they travel with their life partners.”

In a separate 2014 global study from Expedia that analysed vacation days used by workers around the world, UAE workers were identified to be given, and take a full 30 days of vacation each year, compared to other countries where their peers spend less time on vacation. In fact, UAE workers take twice the number of vacation days as their nearest peers across Asia-Pacific.

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