Staycations gain momentum in UAE

With the summer coming early this year, staycations seem to be a massive hit among locals and expats in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah, offering beachfront resorts, desert retreats, and luxury urban hotels, are some of the hot destinations finding favour with the travellers. Leaders in the industry share first-hand information with TRAVTALK.

Meerah Ketait, Head of Retail and Leisure – UAE, dnata Travel
Trending for UAE staycations with dnata Travel across the summer months of 2024 includes a mix of stays across Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah’s new and established resorts by the beach, or close to popular attractions. We are seeing a mix of traveller demographics on staycation this year, predominantly families, followed by couples, and groups of friends. More families are staying in the UAE for Eid al-Adha and travelling internationally later for the extended summer break. Stays close to the UAE’s attractions are popular.

Prem Sagar, Group General Manager, Al Rais Travel & Shipping Agency LLC
Main areas for staycations: Travellers in the UAE prefer staycations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah, focusing on beachfront resorts, desert retreats, and luxury urban hotels. Travel companions and demographics: They often travel with family, friends, or as couples. Most are UAE residents, including locals and expatriates. Main interests and activities: Their main interests include relaxation, luxury spa experiences, fine dining, outdoor adventures, beach activities, and cultural excursions.

Dinkar Dasaur, General Manager – UAE, Satguru Travel
UAE has evolved to perfection in terms of meeting the tastebuds of local and international travellers. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Ras Al Khaimah offer exclusivity on hotels, parks and service levels. Specific places like Dubai Parks & Resorts, Yas Island, Hotels & Resorts are absolute gems for staycation getaway. There is something for everyone. Families and friends enjoy waterparks, explore city scenes, gastronomy and shopping.

Reji Kurup, Head of Leisure, ATS Travels LLC
In UAE, popular areas for staycations connect well with individual preferences and needs. Dubai with its ultra luxury resorts, beaches, and iconic landmarks stands at number one spot to unwind. Abu Dhabi ranks second offering cultural experiences blended with modern facilities and destination attractions. Ras Al Khaimah ranks third for its stunning mountains and landscapes. Fujairah & Sharjah rank fourth.

Yasser Moussa, General Manager, Al Bustan Centre and Residence
Hotel staycations in Dubai cater to diverse travel preferences, whether you are with family, friends, as a couple, or solo. Families love the luxurious amenities and kid-friendly activities, ensuring fun for all ages. Friends find excitement in the vibrant nightlife, world-class dining, and adventure sports. Couples indulge in romantic getaways Solo travellers relish the city’s rich heritage, enjoying the best shopping destinations and serene spots.

Nuran Kilani, Corporate Director of Commercial Time Hotels
The Middle East offers diverse staycation destinations. Dubai stands out with its blend of modern culture, history, and adventure. Visitors can explore the iconic Burj Khalifa, indulge in shopping, and enjoy desert thrills like hot air ballooning or skydiving over the Palm Jumeirah. Saudi Arabia, with its historic landmarks and gleaming architecture, is another fascinating choice. The pace here is set by prayer times.

Ayman Al Qudwa, General Manager, Falcon Travel
The hottest debate in travel suddenly became whether the term ‘staycation’ referred exclusively to a holiday where to spent? Home, or outside your country. However, still Europe destinations and Turkey are the most preferred for locals in Qatar. Unlike travellers in other regions, who travel in groups, in Qatar are linked by family ties or friends. They visit tourist attractions that they may not have visited before, even though they are close to them.

Sumit Gupta, Hotel Manager, Novotel & ibis Deira Creekside
Great deals of all-inclusive packages is what travellers are always looking for in family staycations. Fun activities/ interactive workshops organised for the kids is something that most parents seek. For couples, services such as exclusive dining and spa offer is a great attraction. In UAE, it is seen that both local and residents enjoy doing staycations. There are so many hotels and resorts catering to all discerning guests.

Elmira Heshmati, CEO, Elaxiom Travel & Tourism
We are about to dive into the wild world of UAE staycations in nature! From desert oases to mountain retreats, we have rounded up the best spots to leave the travellers feeling refreshed, rejuvenated to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Fujairah and Sharjah. As it is a travel experience, the demands are with friends or family depending on the time and the length of holiday. Staycation as a vacation spent at home or nearby would make every day feel like a getaway.

Mariyam Kapasi, Founder, Beyond Bliss Travels
UAE residents are embracing staycations in 2024. Instead of long vacations, many are opting for frequent, shorter breaks to recharge. Convenience, affordability, and exciting activities are top priorities when choosing a staycation destination. Dubai remains the king of staycations. While luxury beachfront resorts cater to those seeking indulgence, family-friendly hotels with water parks make others happy.

Sapna Aidasani, Director Marketing, Pluto Travels
People prefer sleepcations at the luxury resorts or glamping in luxury tents. The camps with all the luxury in wadi areas are trending as well, especially in Ras al Khaimah. Majority of staycations are as family where kids can enjoy a theme park nearby or where the entire family with people of all ages travel for a long weekend as a reunion. Right now, due to Abu Dhabi temple I see a trend where people stay in a resort for staycation, followed by a temple visit next day.

Elias Saad, Hotel Manager, Royal M Hotel by Gewan, Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi’s staycation hotspots this year—Yas, Saadiyat, Al Maryah, Downtown, and Al Ain—are favoured by locals and residents alike, who typically travel with family or as couples. Their interests span beachside relaxation, theme park adventures, shopping, dining out, and exploring cultural heritage. Staycations in Abu Dhabi are spent in hotels and resorts, averaging two-three nights per stay, with peak seasons from October to April.

Ramaii Nanda, Head of Operations, The Travel Makers, Dubai
This year, UAE tourists prefer staycations in Dubai’s luxury beachside resorts, Yas Island hotels with access to amusement parks, and Ras Al Khaimah’s mountain getaways, as well as beach resorts, seeking a variety of experiences within the nation. Staycationers usually travel with family or friends, although many couples and solitary explorers also take part. They are primarily UAE residents looking for convenient and enriching vacations.

Tarek Medhat, Director, Sales and Marketing Shangri-la Dubai
Travellers mainly come from Dubai, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, and Abu Dhabi. They appreciate Shangri-La Dubai’s central location, just five minutes from the metro station, and the shuttle service to Dubai’s attractions. The hotel offers unparalleled and unobtrusive views of Burj Khalifa and the city lights. Dining and restaurant experiences are also a significant draw. Guests enjoy exploring the attractions in Dubai.

Compiled by Dr Shehara Rizly

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