What's new in the UK?


This small but mighty island remains one of top 10 outbound destinations for GCC travellers

The UK might be a small island, but it packs a powerful punch in touristic appeal. Beautiful coastlines, historic city hotels, countryside sanctuaries, a glut of Michelin-starred restaurants, and world-class theatres, galleries and museums are all brought together with a pinch of British eccentricity.

In London, Big Ben and Tower Bridge (pictured) take the top spots among the capital’s attractions, according to data sourced by Mabrian, while further afield Scotland accrues the most social media tags for the Highlands, Edinburgh Castle and the Isle of Skye. Yes, there may be rain, but there are also must-do, quintessentially quirky, weatherproof driving tours. Take in London’s iconic landmarks on a smallcarBIGCITY vintage classic car ride, or see Edinburgh with a Cab-arette tour – a one-woman show on wheels that injects a sense of humour into the city.

London's smallcarBIGCITY tours

VisitBritain’s forecast for 2024 predicts an increase in inbound visits, with 39.5 million forecast, up 5% on 37.8 million in 2023. With a busy year ahead, British Airways has announced new routes, including Abu Dhabi and Izmir to Heathrow, and Agadir to Gatwick.


New Attractions
In 2024, the National Gallery celebrates its 200-year anniversary. On 10 May, 12 simultaneous exhibitions will open across the UK, each centred around a National Treasure. Other celebrations include an exclusive Vincent Van Gogh exhibition and a summer festival in London’s Trafalgar Square.

Arguably the biggest musical of all time, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s multi-award-winning, high-energy show Hamilton, embarks on its first UK tour throughout 2024, playing in Edinburgh, Dublin, Plymouth and Cardiff, among other cities.

Open in spring, Manchester’s new Co-op Arena will boast the largest floor space of any indoor venue in the UK. The £365mn arena has Olivia Rodrigo, Stevie Nicks, Nicki Minaj and Liam Gallagher on its 2024 line-up.

Set to become the world’s longest coastal trail, the King Charles III Coast Path is extending its reach to cover all 4,350km of England’s coastline once fully open by the end of 2024

New Hotels
London’s hotel scene never sleeps and there are plenty of exciting new abodes to entice travellers. Just opened in 2023, the BoTree, tucked down a side street where Marylebone, Mayfair and Soho meet, is a bohemian bolthole and member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts’ prestigious Legend Collection. It features 199 rooms including 30 suites. The BoTree Suite, with its floral ceiling, romantic dressing room and outdoor terrace, is a rare gem. For a taste of the place, dine at its Italian restaurant Lavo or sip a cocktail at the BoTree Bar. Supermodels have already been spotted here.

Raffles London at the OWO opened in September 2023, breathing new life into the Grade-II listed Old War Office in Whitehall with 81 rooms and 39 suites, nine restaurants and Guerlain’s first London spa.

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The BT Tower, one of London’s most recognisable structures, is being converted into a high-end hotel following its £275mn sale to US operator MCR Hotels. Thomas Heatherwick architects have been charged with the conversion – and preservation – of the 177-metre, Grade-II listed tower.

Another retreat setting London’s hotel scene alight is Mandarin Oriental, Mayfair, which opens this spring in Hanover Square. Designed by Roger Stirk Harbour + Partners, the boutique hotel will have just 50 rooms, butler service, a spa, a rooftop bar and chef Akira Back’s first namesake restaurant in the UK.

Looking outside of the capital to Northamptonshire, Escapade Silverstone is revving up for a July 2024 opening. Overlooking the iconic race circuit, 60 residences designed by Twelve Architects are available for short-term let, alongside an ESC Clubhouse serving the best of British from chef Adam Bateman.

Travel and tourism data intelligence provider Mabrian shared insights on Azerbaijan as an outbound destination for GCC travellers:


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