Several UAE residents are travelling abroad for the Eid Al Adha long weekend, however, the demand for local staycations is going strong, according to industry experts.

The demand comes not just from local residents but also from international travellers.

dnata Travel has revealed that 25 per cent of their overall travel bookings for the anticipated Eid Al Adha break this July are for staycations, with an up tick in demand for new hotels.

“We have certainly witnessed a rise in multi-night staycation bookings this year,” said Meerah Ketait, Head of Retail and Leisure UAE at dnata Travel. “A trend we are witnessing is that travellers are booking more from our one-stop travel shops in advance, from additional nights, to enhanced meal plans such as all-inclusive packages, resort transfers, in-resort activities, and more, to truly make the most of their travel plans in 2022.”

UAE residents will get a long weekend in July as the country marks Eid Al Adha. As per astronomical calculations, the Islamic festival is expected to be from Friday, July 8, to Monday, July 11. It will most likely be a four-day weekend for public and private sector employees in the UAE. The actual dates will be determined by the sighting of the crescent moon.

Other hotels in the country are also experiencing an increase in demand for luxurious offerings. “We are seeing a shift in guests’ preferences with most seeking out private and exclusive spaces with a bespoke vacation or staycation offering,” said Olinda Morais, Senior Director of Sales & Marketing at Madinat Jumeirah. “There is a strong appetite for suites and penthouses within the hotel environment.”


For the upcoming summer break, the hotel is gearing up to meet demand for higher, more exclusive room categories. “These include personal experiences such as private butlers and curated personalised attention,” said Olinda Morais. “Offering daily breakfast, sundowners and afternoon tea to club room, suite, and penthouse guests only, the popularity of our Club Lounges is testament to the fact that guests desire exclusive privileges and experiences now more than ever. In addition to this, guests prefer resorts that offer a vast array of culinary experiences.” The hotel has also seen an increase in demand for intimate room offerings from multi-generational families.

These observations are echoed by other industry insiders. “We can see that families have started looking for more luxurious experiences and accordingly we’re seeing increased demand for our Royal residences,” said Sarah Hammond, Director of Sales, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. “There’s also demand for higher room categories with access to the Club Lounge for additional F&B experiences like the afternoon tea and evening beverages and canapes in addition to a dedicated area for breakfast.”

In terms of length of stay and kind of travellers, most hoteliers have observed the same kind of trends. “We have certainly witnessed a rise in multi-night staycation bookings this year,” said Meerah Ketait. “There is also a rise in family bookings this summer for UAE staycations, which is evident in the top-choice hotel properties.”

Sarah Hammond has also observed similar trends within their hotels. “As Eid is all about family and family gatherings, many have opted for a staycation within the country,” she said. “The average at our hotel is 3 to 4 nights for UAE locals, while visitors usually take a longer break and the number of nights booked could go up to 5 or 6 nights.”

In addition to this, there are more tourists who work remotely coming into the country, according to Daria Kucheriavaya, General Manager of Aloft Dubai South.

“Our long-stay option is gaining popularity with the remote work crowd who are travelling from other countries and need flexible accommodation options with easy access to facilities and amenities and without any long-term commitment,” she said. The hotel has also been seeing a steady flow of tourists and residents taking advantage of competitive room rates and offers this summer.


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