Mexico, Malta and Albania top UAE travellers’ bucket lists

Latest data from Skyscanner reveals that people are planning to go big for coming holidays

Famed for its rich history and stunning landscapes, the island of Malta has had a 290 per cent increase in flight bookings. Photo: Visit Malta
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Bucket-list trips are back on the agenda as travellers look to get back to properly exploring the world, after the easing of the majority of Covid-19 restrictions.

A new survey from online travel agency Skyscanner found that 37 per cent of global holidayers are planning bucket list travels this year.

Of the 4,000 travellers surveyed, more than 41 per cent are planning to go somewhere new this year, and in the UAE — the number one coveted destination is Mexico.

Flight bookings from the UAE to Mexico have increased 348 per cent, compared to 2019 figures. Famed for its rich culture, much-loved cuisine, beautiful beaches and Mayan history, Mexico leads a list of the top trending destinations for flight bookings from the UAE. Emirates restarted flights between Dubai and Mexico City in July last year, and the airline recently announced it was boosting capacity on the route to a daily service, with more than 2,000 seats each week.

Malta is the second most popular destination for those planning a getaway from the UAE. The tiny island destination is famed for its rich history and stunning landscapes which might be what’s driving the reported 290 per cent increase in flight bookings to the archipelago.

Undiscovered Albania is the third most popular destination for travellers from the UAE this year. Nestled between northern Greece and Montenegro, Albania offers stunning coastlines, snow-capped mountains and myriad archaeological sites. Flight bookings to the capital Tirana are up 275 per cent from the UAE compared to pre-pandemic data.

Top trending destinations for UAE travellers

1. Mexico

2. Malta

3. Albania

4. Colombia

5. Austria

6. Bosnia and Herzegovina

7. Canada

8. Greece

9. Portugal

Far-flung destinations on the radar

Flights between the UAE and Mexico have a journey time of nearly 24 hours and Skyscanner says more travellers are booking longer flights for travel this year and the next, with Canada and Colombia also featuring in the top 10 list of destinations.

Holidaymakers in Saudi Arabia are also craving big trips, with flight reservations to some of the world's best-known paradisiacal destinations on the up. Bookings from the kingdom to the Maldives and Mauritius have increased 59 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively in 2022, compared to 2019.

Destinations in Europe and South Africa round up the top 10 places that Saudi travellers want to go to in 2022 and next year, according to Skyscanner.

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Updated: July 20, 2022, 10:44 AM