Study: UAE residents keen to return to malls, beaches and parks – but not live concerts

A new YouGov survey shows that many of those living in the Emirates are keen to get out and about as restrictions ease

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When it comes to where UAE residents are looking to head when leaving home, it seems we can expect wallets to be getting a workout.

According to a new YouGov survey, while residents are less likely to visit leisure and entertainment venues compared to this time last year, when they do, it's the shopping malls the majority are bound for.

The study, which uses data from YouGov's daily brand tracker, BrandIndex, discovered that 64 per cent of survey respondents were very or somewhat likely to visit malls in the near future.

Fifty-six per cent of participants were likely to visit beaches, while 53 per cent were keen to visit parks and gardens.

More than half of respondents (52 per cent) were also very or somewhat likely to dine in a restaurant in the near future.

When it comes to the venues that UAE residents were least likely to visit in the current climate, however, enthusiasm was the lowest for concerts, shows or music events, with 56 per cent of those surveyed saying they were somewhat or not at all likely to attend.

Art galleries fared a little better, but 48 per cent of people surveyed said they were not planning to visit such venues in the near future.

YouGov collected data from 1,090 respondents in the UAE between June 29 and July 5 for the study, in a bid to ascertain residents' intent to visit attractions as restrictions around the country ease and businesses reopen.

Shopping malls were where most respondents were most likely to visit in the near future. YouGov

Of those surveyed who said they were likely to visit shopping malls, 49 per cent have already done so in the past month, while an additional 25 per cent said they would during July. Thirty per cent of respondents had eaten out in restaurants in the past month, while 22 per cent had already visited a beach.

While interest may currently be lower for museums and exhibitions, the future looks bright, as 33 per cent of those surveyed said they would be more likely to visit come August or September.

Survey repondents were asked what safety measures would make them most comfortable when visiting a destination. YouGov

Respondents were also asked about which safety measure gave them added confidence when visiting a leisure venue or attraction.

The mandatory wearing of face masks and gloves came out on top, with 57 per cent of people citing it as their top requirement, while 55 per cent of respondents said increased sanitisation of shared spaces and equipment.