UAE: Top 10 travel brands & destination ranking 2022

UAE: Top 10 travel brands & destination ranking 2022

In 2020 the tourism and hospitality sector in the UAE was significantly different when compared to pre-pandemic levels. Despite being a tough period, by the end of 2021 Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) reported positive tourism numbers for the period Jan-Nov 2021- they welcomed over 6 million overnight visitors compared to 5.5 million across the whole of 2020.

A similar trend was witnessed in Abu Dhabi - in November 2021 the Emirate’s occupancy levels were at their highest since February 2020. This positive trend can in part, be attributed to the remarkable way the UAE has responded to the pandemic - a current vaccination rate of over 90% (one of the highest in the world), the removal of occupancy restrictions and hosting grand events like the Dubai Expo and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for visitors from all over the world.

Aside from these factors, hospitality brands (primarily in the 5-star segment) operating in the UAE also adapted and have sensibly looked to gain insights not only domestically but also from the UAE’s key source markets. Brands have been conducting sponsorship evaluation work, tracking increases in brand awareness, impression and buzz to understand how partnerships or event-related work is aiding their brand goals.

In the wake of the pandemic and its ever-evolving circumstances, the UAE’s hotel brands have expanded their intelligence gathering well beyond brand health metrics to cover brand engagement and experience and to truly understand customers and their needs. Hotel operators in the UAE have appropriately enhanced their operations to meet customer demands regarding safety and hygiene by utilizing a variety of solutions ranging from online check-ins, paperless menus, and process automations.

Additionally, with business travel yet to recover and international travel not being as seamless as it was pre-pandemic, several hotel brands in the UAE have exhibited agility and flexibility by adjusting their strategies. For example, greater emphasis is now placed on running leisure-focused campaigns and developing offerings that are geared towards boosting staycations, promoting family-focused offerings, and paying close attention to customer satisfaction and loyalty rewards preferences in order to attract and retain their clientele. As we progress through 2022 and expect restrictions to further ease off, the outlook for the UAE’s travel & tourism sector appears positive. However, we’ve also learned that when it comes to the pandemic there are few certainties and that travel and that now, more than ever, hotel brands need to rapidly adjust to evolving circumstances.

UAE: Top ten travel brands

It’s common for the national carrier to place first in many rankings but Emirates really stands out here with a score 22.8 points higher than rival, Etihad Airways. It’s the second highest score seen in this report (behind only Garuda Indonesia in Indonesia).

UAE: Destination ranking

With domestic travel so popular in the UAE it’s unsurprising to see Dubai and Abu Dhabi holding the top two spots. It's also notable that no American destination makes the top ten.

News Source: YouGov

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