Dnata Travel, the UAE's longest-standing travel provider, is revealing its most popular destinations in 2019 and where 2020 looks likely to take the UAE's growing traveller base.

In 2019, the top 10 most popular destinations for UAE travellers booking with dnata Travel were: UAE (for staycations), Thailand, Turkey, UK, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Italy, Egypt, Switzerland, and Azerbaijan.

Experts at dnata Travel predict this hotlist of countries to remain popular in 2020, with UAE travellers becoming more adventurous and likely to venture out with the usual locations of choice.

Emily Williams, head of product at dnata Travel UAE, commented: "The UAE remains on top as travellers across the country opt for staycations at the world-class hotels on their doorstep, with beach, island and desert resorts proving most popular. Staycations will undoubtedly remain popular in 2020, culminating in the launch of the highly anticipated The Royal Atlantis Resort.

"For international travel, Thailand remains a favoured choice, a year-round destination offering city and island life. More travellers are spending time in Koh Samui and we predict this will continue in 2020. Turkey's cultural capital, Istanbul, is ever popular, with the 2020 UEFA Champions League Final in May set to drive more traffic this year. London remains a hotspot in the UK, whilst more traction is being witnessed across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to the rugged, epic countryside and vibrant cities.

"Religious tourism drives travel to Saudi Arabia, with a recent shift towards leisure tourism to its incredible, untouched landscapes only set to continue. The Swiss Alps offer an escape for world-class skiing and luxury alpine resorts, whilst at only a four-hour flight time from the UAE, both the paradise islands of the Maldives, and vibrant Baku, Azerbaijan, offer their own kind of retreat closer to home. Italy is timeless with beautiful architecture, scenery and cuisine, and Egypt, a land of history, will welcome more visitors in 2020 to the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum."

Taking in to account destinations that emerged as popular in 2019, major upcoming events, and current booking trends, dnata Travel's experts anticipate that the following destinations will also prove popular in travel from the UAE in 2020: Russia, Vietnam, Japan, the Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.

Williams continued: "Travel to Russia grew extensively in 2019 and we predict this trend will continue in 2020, with cities outside of its largest and most popular, Moscow and St. Petersburg, including its popular leisure destination for its local travellers – Sochi – gaining traction.

"The world's biggest sporting event, the Olympics, will take place in Japan this summer whilst Vietnam will welcome its first edition of the Formula 1 in April – major sporting events sure to drive traffic to these exciting destinations in 2020, as sports travel becomes ever more popular.

"Finally, more travellers are spending time in the Maldives' fellow Indian Ocean islands, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and the Seychelles. Like the Maldives, these places boast world-class luxury resorts and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but offer more opportunities for exploration across varied tropical landscapes as travellers become more adventurous."

To celebrate a new year of travel, dnata Travel is offering holiday packages tailored by its experts to popular travel destinations from the UAE including the UK, Thailand, Egypt and Russia, with prices starting from Dh2,020 ($549.8) which include three or four-night stays in popular four-star and five-star hotels, exclusive added extras, and return flights. - TradeArabia News Service

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