Shopping, entertainment and health drives Middle East outbound travel

Published on : Tuesday, December 8, 2015

arab-travelersThe Middle East outbound travel market is one of the fastest growing ones in terms of diverse holidays and incentive based business trips. What makes the Middle East travelers travel remained a pivotal point of study for the ITB World Travel Trends Report published in collaboration with surveys from the IPK World Travel Monitor.



Shopping, entertainment and health

Many UAE residents have about 30-40 days a year available for holidays and often go on two or three trips a year, including one major international trip outside the region. “The outbound travel market is driven by factors as culture, entertainment, accessibility and the desire to visit cities,” explained Ramzi Maaytah, Partner of IPK International Middle East. With a high proportion of young couples, families and also more women travelling from the region, entertainment, shopping and other leisure activities are popular destination activities.


Health-related travel is also a notable trend with well-off Arabs often going on long trips for medical purposes, accompanied by a large number of family members. In addition, Arabian tourists often book serviced apartments, for example, where a maid does the cooking and cleaning. “There is also an interesting trend for people to visit long-haul destinations offering Islamic hospitality, such as Malaysia and Indonesia,” Maaytah pointed out.


Dr. Martin Buck, Messe Berlin’s Senior Vice President/Director Travel & Logistics ITB Berlin, commented: “The Middle East outbound market is developing into a lucrative niche market, especially for European destinations which can offer the right kind of products and services that high-spending Arabian travellers are seeking. There is plenty of growth potential for this market in the coming years.”


The results and findings in the ITB World Travel Trends Report are based on presentations and discussions at the annual World Travel Monitor® Forum in Pisa, which is supported by ITB Berlin. Initiated at the invitation of consultancy IPK International, more than 50 tourism experts and academics from around the world present the latest figures and current trends in international tourism.


Additional results of IPK International’s trend surveys from January to August 2015 together with the estimates of 50 tourism experts from more than 20 countries and the key data from the World Travel Monitor® are published exclusively by ITB Berlin. The detailed results will appear at the beginning of December in the ITB World Travel Trends Report under The World Travel Monitor® final results for the year, including the latest outlook for 2016, will be presented at the ITB Convention by Rolf Freitag, President of IPK International. The World Travel Monitor® is based on representative interviews with more than 500,000 people a year in more than 60 travel markets worldwide, and has been regularly conducted for more than 20 years. It is recognised as the largest continuous study into global travel patterns.

Source: ITB Berlin.

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