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DUBAI: A survey commissioned by Twitter in May revealed key trends among travelers from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ahead of the peak season.

With summer already here, many people in the Middle East are looking to travel abroad. Until recently, travel was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as more countries begin to open up, travelers are once again eager to travel.

Twitter’s survey uncovers the opinions, feelings and potential behaviors of its users in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia regarding international travel.

One of the key findings from the survey is that consumers are looking for new experiences. More than 50% of Twitter users in the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom are motivated to travel to escape everyday life.

Many people have not been able to travel and meet family and friends in the past two years, which is why the most popular reason for traveling is family vacations, according to 46% of respondents in Saudi Arabia and above 51% in the United Arab Emirates.

Despite the long break in travel, people are still price-conscious. In Saudi Arabia, travelers were most concerned about high spending at destination (46%), followed by ticket prices (40%).

Additionally, price ranked much higher than other factors, such as security (35%), geopolitical situations (29%), and public health (19%).

In the United Arab Emirates, on the other hand, security was the main factor (39%), followed by ticket prices (36%), geopolitical situations (35%) and high expenses at destination (35%). Public health, however, is ranked as one of the lowest threats to travel plans for UAE respondents at 24%.

Still, price was the most important factor when choosing an airline in both countries (75%). Unsurprisingly, the most popular airlines were Saudia for residents of the Kingdom (67%) and Emirates for residents of the United Arab Emirates (79%).

In both countries last minute bookings seem to be more popular. Most people in the United Arab Emirates said they would book a trip about a month in advance (33%), while people in the Kingdom said they would book less than two weeks before their trip (30% ).

In fact, when it comes to international travel this summer, only 4% of people in the Kingdom have already booked flights, while 48% said they were unlikely to travel. On the other hand, 21% of people in the UAE have booked flights and 50% said they are likely to travel.

Additionally, 31% of Saudis versus 56% in the UAE are now confident about air travel, suggesting a significant difference in overall confidence between the two markets.

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