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Where UAE residents will spend Eid holidays

Three-year study finds out what UAE residents love to do during Eid holidays

Image Credit: Francois Nel/Gulf News Archives
Visitors outside Dubai Mall.

Dubai:  The UAE’s local hotspots, beach resorts and hotels are likely to see a bumper demand later this month, as residents are growing increasingly fond of spending Eid holidays in the country rather than abroad.

A study recently analysed Google searches in order to find out what domestic consumers love to do during Eid holidays, and uploaded data from 2016 to 2018 indicated that staycation ranks high on residents’ to-do list.

UAE residents are likely to get five days off later this month, with Eid Al Adha forecast to start on August 22, following Arafat Day on August 21.

Analysts at digital marketing suite SEMrush found that each year, UAE residents make 200,000 online searches for domestic holidays relating to Eid vacations. The company said this only shows that  holidaymakers in UAE favour staycations and that they’re likely to stay within the country during the forthcoming Eid Al Adha holiday.

This is thanks to the UAE’s population mix. At the same time, the UAE’s rich concentration of family-oriented resorts, theme parks and entertainment facilities has led to a surge in interest from residents. Also, with the current downturn, many consumers are opting to stay at home in order to keep their financial outgoings down.

“Many people are taking staycations this year due to a variety of reasons. Firstly, we have very attractive weekend and other good deals for  hotels and resorts within the country and people are spoilt for choice and choose these good deals as they are real value for money,” said Premjit Bangara of Sharaf Travel.

“A second reason would  certainly be due to the current downturn, as some  expats have deferred their summer holiday plans to a later date and are looking art short staycations in the UAE as an alternative,” he added.

A number of new initiatives have been launched in UAE in order to boost travel and tourism across the country. In recent years, the country has unveiled multi-billion-dollar investments in theme parks, tourism attractions, hotels and development of heritage and culture sites.

Just last month, UAE developer Meraas announced the development projects being undertaken to transform Hatta, a mountain enclave known for its rugged mountain peaks, lakes and wadis.

Emaar Properties and Dubai Holding also unveiled last month the construction of Dubai Square, a hospitality, retail and entertainment district in Dubai Creek that will dwarf the size of Dubai Mall and all the other mega malls in the world.

“With the vast majority of the UAE’s nine million population being expatriates, the initiatives to expand the tourism sector with attractive new offerings may yet entice many expat residents to explore cost-effective holiday options inside the UAE,” said Zeidan.

Bangara added that some UAE residents also opt to take short breaks and stay within the country, especially when they have visitors from abroad.

“A few expats take staycations right through the year which is a growing trend in addition to their vacations abroad. They tend to take these breaks when they have visiting families and friends coming in from abroad. These staycations give the visitors a short peek into the country’s famed resorts and culture.”

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