As we approach 2024, the world of travel is on the cusp of a remarkable transformation, driven by the evolving preferences of UAE residents.
Hilton’s highly-anticipated 2024 Trends Report, a global study that delves into traveller behaviour, provides captivating insights into how the concept of the “modern traveller” is undergoing a paradigm shift.
The report highlights the emergence of solo travel as a prominent trend, the increasing desire for spontaneity, and a renewed commitment to health and wellness among UAE residents.
Solo Travel: The Rise of Personal Exploration
In an era marked by unprecedented global connectivity, solo travel has emerged as a significant trend among UAE residents. According to the report, a staggering 75% of respondents have embarked on solo journeys in the past year, with an additional 61% considering taking a solo trip within the next three years.
The driving force behind this surge in solo travel is multifaceted. A remarkable 61% of respondents cite the desire to unwind and relax in solitude as their primary motivation. Self-discovery ranks high at 40%, followed closely by a keen focus on individual well-being and enjoyment at 38%.
For solo travellers in the UAE, the world is their oyster. Top destinations sought after by solo adventurers include Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi, London and Istanbul.
When planning their solo journeys, UAE residents are particular about their accommodations. Hilton.com reported a notable 10% increase in searches for solo travel in the UAE compared to the previous year (2022).
The most sought-after amenities for solo travellers include complimentary breakfast, access to executive lounges and proximity to picturesque beaches.
Surprisingly, while solo travellers seek solitude, a significant 54% of UAE respondents express the desire to post on social media at least once a day during their journeys. High-speed Wi-Fi surpasses room service and balcony access as the most crucial in-room amenity, resonating with 64% of travellers.
In 2024, UAE residents are avidly seeking novelty and excitement when planning their vacations. An overwhelming 85% of respondents express eagerness to visit places they’ve never been to before when booking a holiday, underscoring their insatiable curiosity and sense of wonder.
For 28% of respondents, prioritizing a bucket list or once-in-a-lifetime experience is a decisive factor when selecting travel destinations, emphasizing the importance of crafting unique and unforgettable travel memories.
Over 55% of travellers have embraced spontaneity, choosing to plan their holidays just a month or less in advance. This spontaneous approach reflects a growing trend towards flexible and freedom-centric travel plans.
Influence of Social Media
The impact of social media and popular culture is undeniable. 79% of UAE respondents admit to booking their vacations based on trends they spot on social platforms, television shows, books and other digital channels, linking the sway of influencers and digital marketing to their quest for novel and exciting travel experiences.
The pursuit of holistic well-being and a heightened commitment to sustainability are central to the next-gen UAE traveller’s ethos. An impressive 93% of respondents consider environmental credentials, such as TripAdvisor Green Leaders and GreenKey Global, as “somewhat or very important” when booking a holiday, reflecting a growing eco-conscious approach to travel planning.
Dining Choices for UAE Travellers
Dining plays an integral role in travellers’ experiences, with 42% indulging in room service daily and an additional 38% ordering it often for convenience and comfort.
An intriguing aspect of dining choices reveals that 48% of UAE respondents actively consider food waste while travelling, with 31% prioritizing healthy dining options and 41% showing a preference for locally sourced ingredients.
Following the success of Hilton’s groundbreaking “Green Ramadan” initiative in the UAE, travellers are increasingly attuned to how their dining choices can impact the environment and the communities they visit.
In the words of Aligi Gardenghi, Vice President, Operations, Arabian Peninsula, Hilton, “We’ve witnessed the dynamic resurgence of the travel industry in recent years, and it’s evident that traveller perceptions are continuously evolving worldwide. As a leading global hospitality brand, Hilton is committed to understanding and catering to the changing preferences of our patrons.”
The insights revealed in the 2024 Trends Report serve as a compass for Hilton’s approach to customer excellence and guest satisfaction.
In a world where UAE travellers prioritize solo journeys, working holidays, unique destinations, and environmental responsibility, Hilton remains steadfast in delivering innovative hotel experiences that redefine modern hospitality and lay the groundwork for the future of discerning and perceptive travelers. The UAE’s travel landscape is evolving, and Hilton is leading the way.