The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are the top destinations in the GCC preferred by business and leisure travellers from the United Kingdom, according to a recent survey. A review conducted by HotelsCombined of the top 10 countries travelling to GCC in 2016 revealed that more than 10 percent of the total visitors to UAE and KSA are from the UK, followed by Australia and the United States. Other travellers are from South Korea, India, Sweden, Norway, Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany. The UAE and Saudi Arabia’s proximity to the UK makes it a convenient destination for travellers seeking warm weather and world-class experience including an extensive range of shopping malls, finest restaurants, luxurious and comfortable accommodation and leisure attractions. The study also revealed that 43 percent of those who booked their accommodation were between the 25 to 34 years old, followed by those aged 35 to 44, which comprised 30 percent of the total numbers.
Statistics from Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) showed that in 2016, Western Europe is the second highest demand driver for travel to Dubai, accounting 21 percent of the total tourism volume, with more than 3.1 million tourists. The UK retained its position as Dubai’s number three market bringing in nearly 1.25 million visitors, while Germany stayed within the top 10 list with 460,000 visitors. HotelsCombined also highlighted that travellers to UAE and KSA are comprised mainly of families, couples and businesses. When searching for accommodation, these travellers look for luxury hotels, food and dining options, as well as sport and leisure attractions, spa and relaxation and other activities for family, businesses and couples.