Revealed: What UAE travellers love – and what they love to hate

As consumers, we all have our strong likes and dislikes and businesses who want to stay in the market and flourish do need to know what their consumers feel, endorse and the things they despise.

A new survey released by Priority Pass, an independent lounge access programme, provides insights into the mind-set of the Middle Eastern consumer, which includes the UAE.

The findings reveal that those in the Mena region, who chose to participate in the survey, are easily annoyed by rude staff, children and poor food choice, while in the UK, long queues and overcrowding are aggravating those who participated in the survey.

Over 40 per cent of Mena residents prefer using a metered taxi to and from trips to the airport and this trend continued in their destination countries too.

A majority (70.4 per cent) of regional travellers stayed at 5-star hotels on business trips and over 60 per cent (the highest of all the age groups surveyed) checked into 5-star hotels on leisure trips.

This reflects in the finding that close to 90 per cent of respondents in the region are happy to pay more for accommodation to stay in a better location.

Testament to the high standards of living in the region, participants here are the ones most likely to organise their home life with some help.

This ‘millennial group’ speak on average four languages, more than any other age group. They are well-travelled, making an average of 24 round trips per year and nine business class flights.

Most spend money on ‘luxuries’ that offer convenience when they travel such as 4* or 5* accommodation, more so than the older demographic surveyed.

However, the research found that members in this age group are not generally prepared to pay for premium airline seats and are the group most likely to use public transport to travel to and from the airport.

These consumers feel they need to be constantly connected and take an average of seven gadgets with them while travelling, with over half (56 per cent) using laptops. In addition, lack of Wi–Fi access at the airport was named as a biggest cause of stress and aggravation – over and above poor food choice, lack of seating and even children.

Members under 35 years prefer the premium experience elsewhere, too. Over half (62 per cent) agreed they would be willing to pay more for luxury brands and 30 per cent said they buy tailored suits.

These consumers choose to spend predominantly on credit cards rather than cash (75 per cent) and 69 per cent use credit cards that allow the collection of loyalty points. More than four in ten respondents in this age group (43 per cent) said they have a premium bank account – more than any other age group.