How will UAE travel in 2024? Top trends revealed
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Top travel trends for 2024: Study unpacks UAE traveller habits

Top travel trends for 2024: Study unpacks UAE traveller habits

From choosing sustainable travel options to making up to two outbound trips in 2024 are some of the trends being followed by UAE travelers

Gulf Business
UAE travel trends

UAE travellers are digitally savvy, plan to travel despite rising costs, are looking at sustainable options and could make up to two outbound international trips in the coming year. That is according to a study published by global payments platform Visa.

The Global Travel Intentions Study by Visa also revealed that UAE residents chose to travel to India, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia the most in the past year.

The findings and trends highlighted are based on a survey conducted among UAE residents between the age groups 18-55 who traveled overseas for leisure in the past year and intend to travel further this year.

Salima Gutieva, vice president and country manager for the UAE, Visa, said: “The latest Visa Global Travel Intentions Study reflects the UAE’s robust travel sector and a strong shift towards digital payments, signaling a surge in consumer confidence.”

“UAE travellers increasingly seek to enhance their travel experience, which they can do by taking advantage of Visa’s privileges and discounted offers. We are dedicated to using these insights to meet the changing needs of global travellers with secure, convenient, and innovative payment solutions.”

Here are the findings of the Visa study:

Image credit: Visa
Image credit: Visa

Travel for travel’s sake:

The study, which surveyed over 1,000 travellers spotlighted that UAE outbound travellers prefer relaxation trips (58 per cent), followed by visiting family and friends (42 per cent), exploring new destinations (33 per cent), and seeking adventure (33 per cent).

Independent travel preference:

61 per cent of surveyed travellers favour independent travel over packaged tours, citing greater flexibility and control over arrangements while 40 per cent are willing to pay higher prices for flexibility in trip plans.

Travel spending patterns:

Families with older kids are the biggest spenders at destinations (66 per cent), while Gen Z travellers tend to spend most before trips.

Fashion, restaurants, and accommodation are the largest spending categories, with digital wallets (70 per cent) playing a significant role alongside credit cards.

Payment concerns pre-trip:

85 per cent of travellers express payment concerns before trips, including worries about card acceptance, currency conversion costs, and ATM withdrawal fees.

Gen Z worries most about card fraud (62 per cent), while affluent travellers (68 per cent) are concerned about cash-related issues.

Embracing sustainable travel:

73 per cent of travellers are aware of eco-friendly travel, with 49 per cent actively seeking sustainable options during recent trips.

Sustainable accommodation (32 per cent) and energy-efficient transport (27 per cent) are top priorities, although accessing relevant information remains a challenge for 73 per cent of respondents.

The trends and diverse sample gives a strong insight into the various age groups who spend on travel as well as provides a comprehensive understanding of traveller demographics and behaviors in the UAE. 

Read: DXB sees passenger traffic soar in 2023, welcomes 86.9 million travellers

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