Travel intent to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is beginning to show a strong uptick, and flight search levels to the country have increased dramatically since the end of May. Although all search volumes to the region remain below those seen last year, searches to the UAE now stand at 57% down year-over-year, compared to -88% in mid-April, showing positive signs of recovery as restrictions continue to be lifted.
An example of such an announcement is that Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management announced easing of restrictions on activities across Dubai, including lifting the restriction on those above 60, or under 12, entering shopping malls as of June 18. With regards to travel into the region, air bridges with European countries are due to be announced this week which will allow travellers to visit various countries, without quarantine. In addition, Dubai residents can return from June 22 with General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs approval, and tourists are welcome from July 7 under new air travel protocols. With announcements such as these, we can expect global travel intent to the Middle East and Africa (MEA) to rise to all countries affected by the lifting of restrictions, followed eventually by an increase in bookings once traveller confidence returns. Given the recency of some of these announcements, we will likely see more of an impact in the coming weeks.