Sustainability, digital apps and new discoveries among travellers’ priorities
New research from digital travel platform Booking.com has revealed UAE travellers’ wish-lists for 2024.
Booking.com’s Travel Predictions 2024 report revealed that travellers living in the UAE are seeking sustainability, sleep, financial savings and culinary experiences when they go on both business and leisure trips.
Booking.com VP and Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Carlo Olejniczak (pictured), said: "Nearly 28,000 travellers across 33 countries took part in the research, with the UAE included for the first time."
Just over 500 UAE residents of various ages and nationalities were questioned about their travel preferences and plans for next year, and here are the trends that were identified.
Trend #1: Cooling off
With the UAE’s year-round hot weather, 75% of UAE-based travellers are opting for cooler climates when they go away, compared to 56% of all participants in the survey. Booking.com expects a growing trend towards water-centric trips as more travellers learn about the benefits of floating yoga, ice therapy and the fascination of under-water hotels.
Trend #2: Sustainability
With 2023 being the Year of Sustainability in the UAE and COP 28 just around the corner, responsible, eco-friendly travel is more top of mind among the country’s citizens and residents than ever before. More than 75% of UAE travellers want to see sustainability in action and will be choosing hotels with wow-factor sustainability innovation, compared to 53% of all travellers questioned.
Trend #3: Wellness
UAE travellers are planning to get plenty of sleep when they travel in 2024. Around 70% say that uninterrupted sleep will be the main focus of their holiday next year, compared to 58% of all participants and 75% of UAE-based travellers will use their next vacation as pure ‘me time’, going solo and leaving their partners and children behind to re-group, prioritise their wellbeing and catch up on sleep.
Trend #4: Immersive dining experiences
With two Dubai restaurants featuring on this year’s World Best Restaurants list and a dedicated Michelin Guide for Dubai, the UAE is firmly established as a world-leading destination for the best in culinary experiences, but Booking.com’s research shows that travellers want to unearth new culinary experiences outside of the country, too. More than 85 percent of UAE-based travellers want to try indigenous cuisines wherever they go, boosting income and instilling a sense of pride in local communities in the process.
Trend #5: Cheaper travel, richer experiences
Travellers in 2024 are looking for cost-effective vacations combined with luxury experiences, according to Booking.com. In the UAE, 70% of holidaymakers are looking to reduce the cost of their vacation by choosing destinations where day-to-day life is cheaper than in their home city, or travelling to less far-flung places to avoid the expense of long-haul flights. However, travellers are willing to pay for short-term luxury experiences when they arrive at their destination: 62% of UAE-based holidaymakers will pay for a day pass for a five star resort rather than actually staying in one.
To download the Travel Predictions 2024 visit wwww.globalnews.booking.com/