According to Preferred Hotels & Resorts, with the Eid holidays on the horizon UAE residents are gearing up for a short getaway with easily accessible destinations the top choice as summer winds down.
A recent survey of over 1,500 people in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, conducted by YouGov revealed that 43% of Emirates’ residents are planning to travel during the Eid holiday.
“The economic slowdown hasn’t seemingly deterred UAE residents from their annual travel plans and with a wealth of cultural, relaxing and city destinations reachable from Dubai in under four hours by air, we are seeing a surge of interest for stays at our member properties in destinations ranging from legendary India and the natural beauty of Georgia to pure relaxation in the Maldives,” said Saurabh Rai, Executive Vice President of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest independent hotel brand.
According to YouGov four and five-star hotels are the top choice for families with 32% of accommodation requests by UAE residents for four-star options and 48% choosing to go the full luxury route.
Popular destinations winning the public vote include India, just 3.5 hours away which, with the recent introduction of the e-Tourist Visa has seen rising numbers of UAE visitors since 2015.
In India, the growing line-up of Preferred hotels include Chennai’s stunning The Leela Palace Chennai. This five-star hotel combines Indian tradition and contemporary comfort. Guests can enjoy the Spectra restaurant which boasts seven interactive kitchens and views overlooking the Adyar River and Bay of Bengal.
The Greater Caucasus, with its dramatic mountains and abundance of outdoor activity options is becoming increasingly popular with regional travellers. Just a three hour’s flight from the UAE is Georgia, which attracted over 17,000 UAE visitors in 2015, up 687% year-on-year according to Georgian National Tourism Administration.
Home to Georgia’s historic viticulture community, the five-star Hotel Kabadoni, located in the picturesque cobbled street town of Sighnaghi is one of Georgia’s most exclusive country hotels. Overlooking a vista of terracotta roofs and colourful balconies, guests can relax in the traditional Georgian interiors style in any of the 21 guestrooms or enjoy a local glass of grape at the rooftop restaurant.
Egypt is another perennial favourite in the under four-hour bracket, and the country’s tourism ministry figures revealed 180,000 MENA region tourists in the first quarter of 2016. UAE visitors topped demand, with 100,000 visitors, boosting the Egyptian economy to the tune of an average US$140 per night.
The ultimate R&R destination, the Maldives may be at the high end of the affordable short break spectrum, but is also a preferred destination for UAE travellers, just 4.25 hours away. Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu in the Maldives is another Preferred hotel that defines luxury escapism in every sense of the word.
“The availability of low cost carriers is also helping boost demand, with Air Arabia and FlyDubai’s route networks adding new destinations all the time, and opening up a number of new and exciting destinations to intrepid travellers,” said Rai.
Data released by global aviation leader Boeing, revealed that in 2015 Asian low cost carriers recorded average annual growth of 24.5% over the previous decade against just 13.4% by European carriers.
“Staycations are also a popular alternative, and with 23% of local residents unable to travel due to work commitments, a stay at our partner property Palazzo Versace, could be just the answer for 72 hours of upscale downtime,” said Rai.
Newly added to the Preferred portfolio, Palazzo Versace Dubai enjoys a prime waterfront location on the Dubai Creek in the heart of the upcoming Culture Village development. With its architecturally noteworthy exteriors and interiors already attracting a host of local VIPs and international celebrities, guests enter an all-Versace environment complemented by an Olympic-sized pool and collection of on-trend restaurants.
For more information on Preferred Hotels & Resorts, its member hotels, programmes, products, and services, visit www.PreferredHotels.com.