Budget-friendly travel, trips to Manila and last-minute bookings were trending
Data released by giant travel metasearch engine Skyscanner has shown the most popular booking options of UAE travellers in 2023.
Last year, ‘budget’ was among the key considerations when booking travel from the UAE. According to Skyscanner, more UAE travellers opted for "budget-friendly destinations that still deliver on culture and cuisine".
With budget top of mind, the Turkish capital of Ankara was one of the cheapest flight destinations with return flights costing just US$134 on average in 2023.
After analysing prices across thousands of destinations globally, Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, India was revealed as the cheapest city for a three-star hotel stay, costing approximately US$25.
Meanwhile, the Romanian capital of Bucharest offered the cheapest car hire, with UAE travellers paying on average just US$19 per day.
Other findings showed a considerable 38% of UAE travellers booked their travel less than a week before departure, with June being the most popular month to travel.
Manila, the capital of the Philippines (pictured), came out top as the most popular destination in 2023 for UAE travellers. While its mix of historical landmarks, street food and sandy islands attract holidaymakers from around the globe, many travelling from the UAE will be the expat Filipino workforce returning home to visit family and friends.
Based on the most-booked routes from the UAE from January to December 2023, Cairo takes the second spot as being the most popular, while Jordan’s Amman comes in third – both historically and culturally rich destinations.
Skyscanner trends expert Ayoub El Mamoun said: “Looking back on the year shows how the UAE has embraced the freedoms of international travel despite the pinch on purse strings. Value will remain a key consideration in 2024, but not at the expense of cultural exploration. Travellers are simply being savvier with how they travel.
“Next year will see UAE travellers planning trips to budget-friendly cities that offer delightful cuisines, landmark attractions and good weather, with Osaka, Japan coming out as the top trending destination for 2024.”