News 28 July 2020

UAE to Enjoy Loyal Traveller Rebound

  • At least two in five past visitors in the UK, Sweden and Germany intend on returning to the UAE within one year, rising to over half from France
  • Majority of those surveyed who had been to the UAE in the past came for leisure purposes
  • Research is welcome news for the UAE’s tourism, hospitality and leisure sectors

Dubai, 28th July 2020 – Publicis-owned global strategic communications firm, Kekst CNC, today publishes results from the fourth edition of its COVID-19 Opinion Tracker, revealing that the UAE enjoys strong favour among loyal travellers against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought tourism-dependent economies around the world to a standstill.

According to the research, at least two in every five people who have visited the UAE in the last three years, intend on returning to the Emirates in the next 12 months, suggesting a loyal base of travellers. In the UK, 44% of people who have been to the UAE before plan on another visit in the next year, rising to as much as over half of people in France, where 54% of people - the highest across the four countries surveyed - who have been to the UAE are likely to return. In Sweden, 43% are likely to return and two in five (40%) people in Germany who have visited the UAE before are planning a trip to the Emirates within the next year.

When questioned about whether they had travelled to the UAE for business or pleasure in the past, the majority of visitors from the UK (79%) Germany (72%), Sweden (59%) and France (55%) travelled for leisure, demonstrating the country’s appeal as one of the world’s leading and most popular tourist destinations.

“Loyal tourists eager to return to the UAE is encouraging news for the UAE economy, as the country kickstarts the tourism industry after the COVID-19 standstill. COVID-19 hit the tourism, hospitality and leisure sectors hard, but due to the commendable efforts of the UAE government and health authorities in tackling the pandemic, the UAE must get ready to welcome back tourists. As the British and Europeans start making their travel plans for the year ahead, this is an ideal opportunity for the UAE to showcase its credentials as a popular, safe and fun destination of choice for business and pleasure.”

Mazar Masud

Tourism plays a vital role in the UAE’s economy, with government projecting that it will contribute 72 billion USD to the nation’s GDP by 20271. This is underpinned by the country’s efforts, particularly Dubai, to diversify its oil-based economy. According to Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing2, the Emirate welcomed 16.73 million overnight visitors in 2019, who spent USD 27.9 billion and contributed to 11.5% of its GDP. Abu Dhabi3 and Ras Al Khaimah4 received 2.8 million and 1.1 million overnight visitors respectively.

Air transport is another strategic asset for the UAE that stands to benefit from the rebound in travellers. According to a report by The International Air Transport Association (IATA) 5, the industry supports nearly 800 thousand jobs and its contribution to the economy reaches USD 47.4 billion, accounting for 13.3% of the national GDP. IATA predicts that the sector has the potential to add 620,000 jobs and an extra 80 billion in GDP by 2037, further cementing the industry’s importance.

For more information about the report, please contact [email protected] or the research team at [email protected]

1 UAE Government portal: information and services
2 Dubai Tourism- Annual Visitor Report 2019
3 Department of Culture and Tourism- 2019 Report
4 Ras Al Khaimah Government Media Office
5 IATA- October 2019

About Kekst CNC

Kekst CNC is a leading global strategic communication consultancy. The team of over 250 experienced professionals serve clients from 13 offices in New York, London, Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Stockholm. As trusted advisors, the firm contributes its expertise on such high-stake matters as: M&A, shareholder activism and governance, crisis communications, restructurings, regulatory investigations, litigation support, investor relations, IPO communications, issues and reputation management, change management and employee engagement, as well as digital and social communications. For more information, please visit:

Media contacts

Marie Peguilhan
M: +971 52 668 0931
E: [email protected]

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UAE: Enjoying its Loyal Band of Travellers