Explained: Emirati travel sentiments

The specialised brand for Emirati travelers, REHLATY by dnata Travel, shared current insights and travel trends. Rehab Mansoor, General Manager, REHLATY by dnata Travel, spoke with TRAVTALK about the most popular destinations and sentiments of the Emirati travellers.

Shehara Rizly

Where do UAE nationals (Emiratis) want to travel?

There are typically two traveller demographics: one of which includes travellers open to travel to any destination, which is open and accessible to them, and the other being those who are willing to travel to places, which
are more remote and offer the comfort.

In REHLATY’s 2020 ‘outbound travel’ survey, 48 per cent of travellers indicated a ‘want to stay away from crowds in their travel’ experiences in the near future. Getaways in the mountains, countryside or secluded beach resorts will be amongst the most popular travel trends from the UAE, in addition to destinations that have imposed enhanced health and safety measures. The mountains of Switzerland, Bosnia and other parts of Europe, and wildlife and beach experiences in the Indian Ocean islands are offering travellers what they are looking for at this time, and the popularity of these destinations, which are becoming more and more familiar to travellers, will continue.

We have seen an increase in enquiries for future travel including for this winter and on to 2022, where
we have received particular interest in travel updates for Bali, the parts of Thailand yet to open, and Mauritius.

How do the Emirati tourists travel now?

We have witnessed a steady mix of traveller types booking with us. We have also seen a rise in late. This has included uber-luxurious stays in private island resorts, with added extras, from dining on private sandbanks to over-water villa stays with retractable roofs in locations including the Maldives and Seychelles.

What activities interest them in the post-COVID era?

Private tours across European hotspots are on the rise. We ensure to assign the best quality tour guides and experiences on the ground. Once-in-a-lifetime activities and ‘Instagrammable’ locations are particularly
popular with the Emirati traveller community.

Earlier they preferred long-haul and longer holidays; what do they look for now? How many days do they spend?

When we ran our travel intent survey – almost 40 per cent customers want to travel anywhere around the world as soon as possible. Only 17 per cent iwould rather travel to places that are closer to home. This indicates a pent-up demand for international travel, short or long-haul. We have also noticed for our travellers making international
holiday bookings, the length of stay has been considerably longer.

At dnata Travel on the whole, we are witnessing high demand for destinations as they open up for tourism, regardless of the flight time.

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