More than a fourth of UAE residents are apparently unwilling to travel until a COVID-19 cure is available.
That’s according to a survey by YouGov which found that women were more likely to say this as compared to men (32% vs 25%).
Both young adults aged between 18-24 years, as well as those aged 45+ years showed similar levels of apprehension about travelling during the pandemic (35% and 33%, respectively).
Meanwhile, among those planning to travel, nearly a quarter (24%) said they are considering a staycation or shorter trips within the country.
Around 20 per cent said they are comfortable travelling to international destinations where tourists are welcome, while 12 per cent are only ready to venture into places with low COVID-19 infection rates.
Scenic locations such as beaches or mountains top the list of preferred travel destinations during the pandemic (at 45%), followed by luxury resorts (33%), wildlife sanctuaries (29%) and health & wellness retreats (27%).
Even though many people are now willing to travel, they are being cautious about their safety as well as their spending. Close to a third (30%) prefer budget hotels that follow all the safety norms. Just under a fourth (23%), on the other hand, would opt for five-star hotels.
Private villas (15%), private flats on rent (12%) or staying at a friend’s house (12%) are some of the options people seem to be comfortable with in terms of their accommodation.
The boredom of staying and working from home has also inspired a new form of travel called ‘Workation’ or travel to a new or off-beat destination where one can work as well as relax.
One in eight (12%) UAE residents are looking forward to going on a workation during the pandemic. This particular form of holiday seems to be more popular among high-income households (earning AED 40,000+), with one in three out of these individuals (29%) wanting to take a workation.
The study also found that although people have opened up to travel, they are still not comfortable with being around other people. A majority of residents (59%) are comfortable travelling only with their immediate family members.
One in six (16%) are happy travelling with a smaller group of friends or family, and just as many (16%) prefer travelling solo during the pandemic.
The data for the survey was collected online among 1,011 respondents in the UAE from October 12-19 using YouGov’s panel of over 6 million people worldwide.
Data is representative of the adult national population in the UAE.