More than half of Twitter users in the UAE plan to travel this summer, according to researchers from the social media platform.
With peak travel season just around the corner, Twitter Insights Survey asked users in the UAE and Saudi Arabia about their thoughts on international travel.
In the UAE, 56 per cent of people feel confident about travelling in 2022, compared to just 31 per cent of users in Saudi Arabia. A third of those using Twitter in the kingdom are still uncertain how they feel about travelling internationally.
For those who do plan to travel, spending time with family is the most popular reason for booking.
After two years of missing milestone occasions like weddings and birthdays, 51 per cent of UAE respondents and 46 per cent of those in Saudi Arabia don’t want to lose another moment with loved ones.
The data comes from a the survey commissioned in May, which quizzed people in the two countries on a range of travel-focused topics.
Trying new experiences and escaping everyday life were other main motivators for travel, cited by more than half of all respondents.
However, the rising cost of flights and other expenses will curtail an even bigger travel comeback this summer.
Saudi Arabia residents cited high expenses in new destinations as one of the main reasons they will hold off on making travel plans.
Rising flight prices is the second highest reason for people to curtail holidays this summer in Saudi Arabia, ranking above other issues like safety, public health and geopolitical situations.
Interestingly, UAE residents placed safety as the number one factor that could hamper summer travel, according to 39 per cent of respondents.
Flight prices, geopolitical situations and high expenses at destinations around the world are also factors that UAE Twitter users will think twice about when making summer plans.
Public health ranked as the lowest threat to travel for those in the emirates, with only 24 per cent of people admitting it will factor into travel plans.
Last minute getaways remain popular in the UAE and Saudi Arabia
Despite travel experts advising people not to wait for last minute travel bargains, Twitter users in the UAE and Saudi Arabia continue to prefer last-minute getaways.
Some 33 per cent of UAE users book travel one month in advance; while 30 per cent of those surveyed in Saudi Arabia book with just two weeks left.
This may explains why only 4 per cent of those in the kingdom had actually booked flights when the survey was commissioned. Another 48 per cent said they had not booked anything and planned to stay local this summer.
It was a slightly more positive scenario in the UAE where 21 per cent of respondents have booked flights and more plan to follow with 50 per cent saying they will be flying somewhere this year.
And while UAE users love Emirates airline — with 79 per cent naming the Dubai carrier as their favourite — and Saudia ranking as the most popular airline in the kingdom, ultimately it is the price of flight tickets that will dictate who travellers book with.
Both markets ranked the price of the ticket as the most important criteria when booking flights.
Dubai ranks first for Saudi Arabia Twitter users, UAE travellers prefer Asia
Short-haul international travel is most popular for Twitter audiences in Saudi Arabia with a majority 24 per cent of those questioned ranking Dubai as the most appealing destination this year.
Switzerland was a close second, with visitors swapping Saudia Arabia for the alpine destination famed for its natural surroundings, luxury shopping and culinary delights.
Travellers in the UAE preferred long-haul travel with Asia — which was broadly categorised as one option in the survey — ranked highest as a destination, followed by Turkey which was a close second.