ArabianBusiness.com - Middle East Business News
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ArabianBusiness.com Travel Survey 2008
Tuesday, 06 May 2008


Over the last few weeks ArabianBusiness.com has compiled a comprehensive survey of GCC travel habits and today (Tuesday) releases the results to coincide with the start of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) , the region's biggest travel and tourism trade fair.

The results of the annual survey provide travel industry professionals invaluable information and insight about an industry that is crucial to the future development and diversification of Gulf economies, especially Dubai, the region's tourism hub.

The survey has been designed to help companies in the industry put plans in place to maximise returns on their investments by providing data that allows them to better target potential customers and capitalise on business opportunities.

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The survey reveals interesting facts about how often residents in each Gulf state travel , how much they spend , their reasons for travelling , what they like to do on holiday and whether they have a preferred airline , to name but a few.

One of the most significant pieces of information to come out of the survey for industry professionals is just how different travel habits are among residents living in each of the six Gulf states, highlighting the importance of a tailored approach when targeting travellers in the region.

Other important data to come out of the survey shows that travel demand will continue to grow over the next 12 months, with the vast majority of Gulf residents saying they plan to travel more often for both business and pleasure this year.

But it is the business travel sector that dominates the headlines of our survey this year, highlighting the growing significance of the Gulf in the global economy.

The ArabianBusiness.com Travel Survey will be compiled annually and one of the most interesting parts of any survey is how trends change over time.

It will be interesting to see whether business continues to dominate the travel landscape in the coming years with the amount of money Gulf states are pouring into developing their tourism industries.

For an overview of the survey's findings you can start in one of two places: access the data from one of the tabs at the top of the page, or visit the frequently asked questions section. Alternatively, you can dive right into our analysis - found in the right hand column.

Prepare your engines for take off by clicking here .


 
Comments (19 )

Emirates Service
Posted by zooey, Riyadh, KSA on 3 June 2009 at 11:55 UAE time

agree with Mr Nair that only the rewards program encourages me to fly EK, which i do, sometimes reluctantly, but frequently. -so my participation in the survey was coloured only by frequency of flying and not by preference

as for Mr Satish of south africa, similar to you, my friends were travelling from Joburg to Dubai, and had the worst service ever; staff unwilling to do anything, and arrogant when they did. These were 2 young American Muslim girls wearing niqab. They were made to feel very bad by the cabin staff. Maybe it's something about the route?? either Durban or Joburg?
influence of low cost carriers
Posted by jaykrishnan, sharjah, u.a.e. on 17 August 2008 at 11:05 UAE time

LCCs play a major role in increasing Gulf states air travel. an average employee who used to travel to home country once in two year is travelling in every year. A person was flying once in a year has doubled or tripled his trip after the arrival of Low cost carriers.
travel has become in an affordable way to common people.
cannot hide the fact that most of the regions airlines have slashed their ticket price almost to half if not less than that due to increase of seat capacity and competition.
The recent fuel price hikes did not massively effect the price structure of most of the regional carries except very few.
Islamic Travel Sector in Europe
Posted by Step in Time Tours, Birmingham, England on 14 May 2008 at 15:58 UAE time

Although we can see a burgeoning Muslim travel trade increasing in the Middle East. Unfortunately this has overshadowed the importance of re-discovering certain destinations that have been oblivious to the Muslim world. European destinations such as Spain, was a part of the Islamic Empire in the medieval period of history and as a result of this its culture is infused totally with Islamic insertions.

Indeed traveling to Spain and looking at this history provides solutions for many of the ideological problems we have today especially in terms of the so called Clash of Civilisations.

This also provides clearer solutions behind resentment that has increased after 9/11 across the world. Which has lead to the UK's FCO and US State Department earmarked warnings.
Unskilled Workers
Posted by george thomas, dubai, united arab emirates on 13 May 2008 at 02:07 UAE time

"To stem soaring unemployment among nationals". Good idea - but will thousands upon thousands of nationals be queuing up to work on the construction sites?
Most preferred destination
Posted by harsha, dubai, uae on 11 May 2008 at 10:47 UAE time

I had participated in the travel survey. I wanted to know the results of the most preferred destination for holidays. How can I see the same results.

Editor's reply We will release this information shortly.
Travel data
Posted by Zobia, Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 11 May 2008 at 09:00 UAE time

Hi I participated in the survey can I see the results of the survey. We sell travel insurance and this will be useful to know how frequently people travel and what is the travel market in UAE.

Editor's Reply Yes, of course. Please visit the results of the survey here.
Travelling to different countries
Posted by Akkalayil Koshy, Dubai, U A E on 11 May 2008 at 08:54 UAE time

Would like to Travel with Family
Rewards Program holds the Key....
Posted by H.Nair, Dubai on 11 May 2008 at 08:49 UAE time

Am a frequelent traveller in Emirates. To bare it all, there is nothing fantastic about travelling in Emirates. Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines every other airline is almost the same. But how these airlines carry themselves (the Marketing strategies) in the eyes of the common traveller, makes them different. If not for the Skywards Flying returns program of Emirates, I dont think i would have travelled with Emirates so often. Just an illustration, my hometown is in the South Coast of India. And as part of my job profile in dubai, i am expected to travel outside dubai at least 10 days a month (and i clock at least 8,000 Miles a month), which means, if i travel in Emirates in economy, for all my business travels, for 3 months, i get a free ticket to my hometown.....that hopefully explains the penchant of almost a majority of Emirates passengers. In my opinion Emirates is an arilines which simply have a superb flying-returns program.
Emirates
Posted by Greg Hodge, Dubai, UAE on 11 May 2008 at 07:28 UAE time

I would agree that Emirates has very good service but only until something goes wrong. They lost my luggage over a month ago and have been very ordinary in their attempts to resolve the issue. A word of warning to travellers make sure that you read all the terms and conditions before you fly with them.
comment
Posted by patrick abou chedid, dubai, uae on 10 May 2008 at 16:28 UAE time

It is true that Emirates Airlines has a high price, but I do have to admit that they have the best service ever...
To Be or Not To Be
Posted by Ferdinand, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 10 May 2008 at 16:05 UAE time

Emirates flies to over 100 destination in 62 countries, most of the travelers know this airlines in Dubai and yet this airline is not the best airline when it comes to service. Most well known, yes.

Its staff really need to be trained for a multi-cultural environment.
Poor service from Emirates
Posted by Sandeep, Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 9 May 2008 at 13:37 UAE time

I agree with satish. Emirates standards are falling down once again. I am frequent traveller and previously shifted to cathay Pacific due to bad service on board / rude air hostesses. But again in between last year there was some improvement to go down lately on customer service. i think it depends upon which route you flying, the service is always bad on certain routes like whenflying to India etc.
Try flying cathay pacific its wonderful. people serving onboard are excellent, very helpful, never ignorant.
Emirates popularity not surprising
Posted by John on 9 May 2008 at 11:16 UAE time

Must hand it to Emirates for ensuring it is still the most popular airline despite having one of the worst on-board service and ridiculously high prices. Just goes to show that we still live in a world where consumers choose brand image over comfort and service. Nonetheless, all other aspects of the airline are pretty decent.
Emirates Airlines
Posted by Hombil, Muscat, Oman on 8 May 2008 at 17:52 UAE time

I agree with Satish regarding poor service from Emirates. After many unpleasant experiences, me and my family avoid flying Emirates, unless we have no choice. Wonder, how year after year Emirates end up getting some award or other? Are these awards genuinely earned or bought?
And passing though Dubai airport is concerned, it's another story. We do not like to transit through Dubai for many reasons - unfriendly staff, too crowded, long walks between gates... the list is endless.
service watch
Posted by Kenneth, Dubai, UAE on 8 May 2008 at 15:15 UAE time

I've been flying Emirates since the early 1990s and I have to say I have noticed a decline in service especially on the European routes. the Staff is not as well trained and groomed and the organisation is not as sharp as it used to be... growing fast is great but attention to detail is still important.
Re: Poor Service from Emirates
Posted by Nadeem Raza, Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 8 May 2008 at 14:49 UAE time

I do not agree completely here as I travel very frequently with emirates/luftansa/thai/saudi airlines/swiss air etc. and from my experiences, I can say that Emirates is outstanding with Thai as the worst.

Emirates have well maintained aircrafts and hospitable staff, whereas Thai have old aircrafts along with rude staff.

We all differ with our likes and dislikes, and that's why everything sells in this world.
Emirates
Posted by Ajith, UAE on 8 May 2008 at 13:49 UAE time

Emirates may be the popular airline, but the worst in service. The ground and air staffs' attitude borders on arrogance esp towards passengers whom they consider non worthy. I was offloaded once at the boarding gate in Dubai airport as, as per Emirates staffer i wasn't eligible for visa on arrival in Qatar.

The person asked me 'do you live in dubai?' and when I said yes, the reply was 'you can at least go home'. I called up Qatar airways airport office and the person there accommodated me in the next Qatar airways flight after getting authorization for a visa on arrival in Doha!

I never travel Emirates, prefers Qatar or Sri Lankan which are much better airlines.
Poor service from Emirates
Posted by Satish, Durban, South Africa on 8 May 2008 at 11:46 UAE time

I've flown with Emirates in January 2008, was very disappointed.
All flights were delayed, the service was not what I expected on-board.We were flying with our 1 year old baby and the hostesses never considered our situation, all meals were brought at once. Friendliness - can't comment on that, I had better response flying SAA and Delta.
Length of vacations
Posted by Mohammed Azizi, Dubai, UAE on 5 May 2008 at 18:34 UAE time

Really interesting to see the average length of a vacation seems now to be around two weeks. I guess those long summer months when there was little point to be in the region have gone. I am not sure if that's a good thing or not... but I will certainly miss that stress free month....
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