Survey: UAE is most popular destination for Middle East and Africa Travellers
According to a survey launched by Visa, the global payments technology company, about 16% respondents from MENA chose UAE as their most favoured travel destination within the region in 2015.
“Our latest Visa Global Travel Intentions Study is shining a very positive light on the region and UAE’s industry and what’s interesting to see is that people from this region are serious about their leisure time. People from the MEA region holiday for an average of 13 nights per trip – which is more than the global average, and travellers from Saudi Arabia and Egypt put aside the largest travel budgets per trip,” said Marcello Baricordi, General Manager UAE and Global Accounts Lead at Visa MENA.
Big Spenders in the MENA Region
While globally, respondents say they put aside a median travel budget of US$ 2,281 per trip, those from the MENA region report they will spend substantially more. Of the 25 countries surveyed, travellers from Saudi Arabia said they spend the most – a median of US$ 5,866 per trip – closely followed by Egyptians at US$ 4,917 in second place and Chinese travellers at $US 4,780 in third. Travellers from the UAE put aside a median travel budget of US$ 2,518 per trip which is higher than the global median.
The study also found strong use of payment cards throughout a holiday – both to plan and pay before one leaves and to pay for activities during a holiday. In the planning stage, cards are the most preferred way to pay for holidays with 46% of global travellers using only cards at that stage. While at their destination, eight out of 10 global travellers (81%) use a combination of cards and cash to pay.
While about three out of 10 travellers (31%) from the UAE and Egypt are likely to travel solo, Moroccans are the biggest solo travellers from the region at 36%. These MENA solo travellers have a tendency to have defined travel plans with 83% of them already having decided on their destination before they start to plan their holidays.