In both the UAE and the KSA, the intent to travel domestically or within the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region increased from 53 per cent in 2020 to 57 per cent in 2021. However, intent to travel abroad has more than doubled since last year from 11 per cent to 26 per cent.
The YouGov data was collected online among 2,515 respondents in the UAE and the KSA between March 24 and April 1, 2021.
Meanwhile, around a fifth of consumers is unlikely to travel in 2021 — a number which nearly halved since 2020 when it stood at 37 per cent, indicating a recovering appetite for travel among residents.
UAE residents are keener to explore international travel while KSA's are looking at staycations this year.
Among those who have travelled or expect to travel in 2021 in the UAE, visiting family and friends emerged as the biggest motivation to travel this year.
The survey showed that Dubai is the first choice for a holiday among UAE residents, followed by the Maldives. Abu Dhabi has also emerged as a popular destination for UAE residents for holidays.
“With travel bouncing back globally and many countries easing travel restrictions, we see more international destinations making it to the wishlist of the UAE travellers. Along with the Maldives, Switzerland, Singapore, Canada, the USA and Japan are some of the other destinations currently being considered by UAE residents for their next holiday,” said YouGov.
Around 10 countries are offering quarantine-free entry to Covid-19 vaccinated UAE residents such as Seychelles, Bahrain, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia and Iceland, among others.
For KSA residents, the UAE is the most popular option, particularly Dubai, outside the kingdom for foreign holidays.
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