Post-Covid Tourism Demand in the Arabian Peninsula

Jeddah, Dubai and Bahrain are the most popular tourist destinations on the Arabian Peninsula; these three cities offer a beautiful mix of both heritage and luxury, and modernity and tradition.


The easing of COVID travel restrictions is helping the three countries – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – revive the tourism market, but progress is slow; market trends are static, demand is decreasing in the last few days and only Dubai manages to attract the European market.


DECLINING DEMAND. The three countries have significantly different market volumes; considering flight searches, Dubai is undoubtedly the most desired destination for tourists, since in the last thirty days (January 15 – February 13), 4.6 million flights were searched for travel to the region. This number is clearly higher than the searches for Jeddah (350,000) and Bahrain (120,000).

Even though the 3 countries are very different sizes, the market trends are similar; in all three cases, the demand for flights has remained mostly static. In the last thirty days, the average daily growth rate was +1.6% for Dubai, +1.7% for Jeddah and +1.6% for Bahrain. The trend in demand worsened in the last two weeks: searches for Dubai flights dropped by 14.7% compared to the same period last year, as did those for Jeddah (-19.9%) and Bahrain (-10.1%).


LONG HAUL TO DUBAI. The geographic location of these three destinations allows them to attract North American, European and Asian demand, without depending on seasonal cycles. The composition of the three tourist markets certainly differs, but before assessing their characteristics it must be considered that they are still very much influenced by the travel restrictions of the countries of origin of demand.

In the ranking of the top five most active markets, each destination has its own mix, but they all share the fact that the British lead in terms of demand pressure. Indeed, travellers from the UK have the greatest interest in reaching these destinations, so much so that, as in the case of Dubai, they monopolise demand. For Dubai, British searches account for 27% of the total, while all other markets have a share of less than 10%. For Jeddah, the British account for 28% and for Bahrain, they account for 19%.

Otherwise, the market shares and composition are very different. Travellers interested in reaching Dubai are mainly European; after the Indian market, flight searches come from Germany, Italy, Russia, France, Holland, Spain, Poland and Ireland. Americans are only in 15th place. For Jeddah and Bahrain, however, the long-haul market is not very active, with neighbouring markets, such as India, Egypt, Pakistan and Kuwait, taking the lead.




About Destination

Destination is a market intelligence project created by Lybra – developers of the most complete, machine learning, data-centric Revenue Management System (RMS) available on the market – to share real-time, region-specific statistics, information and trends in the world of tourism.

Every day, Lybra analyzes millions of datasets – data collected from thousands of hotels’ PMS and flight search data from a leading metasearch booking engine – to help hoteliers “look ahead to better understand the present;” in other words, Lybra helps hoteliers understand the upcoming demand for their destination and gives them the revenue management tools and actionable insights necessary, to maximize bookings and revenue.

The aim of Destination is to give hoteliers and DMOs a more expansive view of tourism news and trends in different regions around the world. Destination produces weekly Travel Demand Reports, which share tourism developments for a specific country/region and analyze how the region’s travel news has impacted tourist demand. Follow Destination on LinkedIn to gain access to the upcoming Travel Demand Reports, which are published every Tuesday.

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