Residents will be embracing everything the UAE has to offer this festive season with 67% opting to stay in the country for the year-end merriments and one quarter hosting out of town visitors.
A YouGov poll amongst 753 UAE residents found that 37% of respondents will be staying at home over the festive period, and 30% will be taking a staycation in the UAE. Joining in the year-end celebrations whilst taking in the delights of the Emirates of course will also be a number of visitors to the country with 27% of residents hosting out of town visitors during the festivities as well. Just 14% of residents claim they will travel outside the UAE during the year-end period.
According to the findings, Emirati respondents are the most likely to take a staycation (42%), whilst Westerners are more likely to hold festivities at home (47%). Of those planning to travel outside the UAE, Westerners, those living in Dubai and those celebrating Christmas are the most likely to plan to travel.
During the festivities, 39% of respondents claimed they would be celebrating Christmas this year. Unsurprisingly Westerners are by far the most likely to celebrate the Christian event (67%) – however interestingly, one quarter of Emirati respondents said they will also be celebrating Christmas (24%).
Family is where the heart is with the vast majority choosing to take the opportunity to spend time with their family and friends to see the year out. Just over a third plan to decorate their house (36%), whilst just over a quarter will put up and decorate a tree (28%). The act of giving and receiving presents will also be popular, with 42% of residents planning to exchange presents with friends and family.
Over a quarter of residents who don’t celebrate Christmas will still be enjoying the festive food and entertainment the occasion has to offer by attending Christmas lunches or dinners, together with 63% of their peers who do celebrate Christmas.
“Dubai and the UAE have strongly established themselves as popular locations to celebrate the New Year. Despite relatively heavy outbound travel during the December period as befits the school holiday period, many residents prefer to stay in the UAE to enjoy the comfortable weather and the celebratory atmosphere.” Remarks Scott Booth, YouGov’s Head of Tourism & Leisure Research in MENA.
Looking to the future, the most popular wishes for 2016 amongst residents across the full sample surveyed are Peace in the world (16%) and career promotion (13%).
Research for this study was conducted online by YouGov amongst 753 residents in the UAE between 13 and 16 December 2015. Data is broadly representative of the online population in the UAE.