Dubai is top luxury Middle East travel destination

Dubai is ranked as a top spot for the preferred upscale destination in the Middle East, a recent YouGov survey has found.

A total of 69 per cent of respondents in the YouGov report agreed that luxury travel is defined by the availability of five-star accommodation as a minimum standard. Also those surveyed admitted they had taken an average of 1.9 luxury holidays over the last 12 months, meaning that the region’s preponderance of upscale hotel properties is perfectly positioned to capitalize on growing demand from high net-worth travelers eager to discover new destinations or enjoy an exclusive experience in their favorite resort

“A 2014 YouGov Luxury Travel report for the MENA region showed that out of the 1,000-plus regionally based survey respondents, luxury clearly has a home in the Middle East with Dubai ranked in top spot as the preferred upscale destination,” says Nadege Noblet, Exhibition Manager of Arabian Travel Market, WTM Portfolio, Reed Travel Exhibitions.

YouGov’s Travel & Leisure Research Director, Scott Booth, says: “Today the definition of luxury is strongly dependent on the perspective of the traveler. With no universally accepted definition of what luxury travel is, brands need to truly understand what luxury means to their customers in order to be successful.”

The subject is of strong interest to travel brands in this market and it is great to see International Luxury Travel Market, which will be a part of Arabian Travel Market 2015, focus on this issue, he says.

The YouGov report also highlighted the fact that 61 per cent of luxury tourists from the MENA region choose to travel with their spouse, staying for an average of 5.1 nights, with four out of five people choosing to go on a luxury holiday for pure relaxation.

“Of the respondents surveyed, on average they reported typically spending around $8,310 per trip, with 60 per cent choosing a destination based on recommendations from family and friends, and 53 per cent personally booking their travel.  Service delivery combined with exclusivity are clear prerequisites for a desirable luxury offering,” says Noblet of Reed.

Once in the hotel, respondents ranked a good view from their room and a choice of fine dining restaurants as paramount to ensuring an enjoyable experience with consumer opinion defining luxury as ‘differentiating, discovery and experiences’.

“Interestingly, 77 per cent of respondents said that they were likely to book an all-inclusive luxury holiday package, which is an area of opportunity that many Gulf destinations have yet to explore,” says Mark Walsh, Portfolio Director for Luxury Events at Reed Travel Exhibitions.

Taking place from May 4 until May 7 next year at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, the ATM line-up will include a two-day ILTM @ ATM program with a series of pre-scheduled appointments and dedicated luxury travel focused seminars and panel debates.