Who has the most holidays in UAE?

January 1, 2015 will be a paid holiday for all employees of the private sector and UAE federal ministries. (Supplied)

Emiratis travel for leisure more frequently than the other nationalities but when it comes to business travel, Westerners lead in frequency closely followed by Emiratis.

Based on these estimates across all nationalities, Emiratis take the highest number of leisure holidays per year (average of four), followed by Westerners and Arab expats who take three trips a year, followed by Asians, who take on average two trips per year.

This survey was conducted by global market research company YouGov and online travel portal Expedia among more than 1,000 UAE residents during May 2015.

With expatriates making up a large portion of the UAE population, UAE residents are accustomed to frequent travel, whether on holiday or to visit family members in their home countries. Eighty-six per cent of all UAE residents report travelling for leisure at least once per year.

The average number of leisure trips for UAE residents is approximately three per year and the average length of holidays for UAE residents is 15 days.

As for length of stay, Asians take the longest stretches of holidays with an average of 16 days, followed by Westerners and Arab Expats (15 days) and Emiratis (12 days). 48 per cent of UAE residents report taking holidays that last more than two weeks.

Family structure was also a factor influencing leisure travel. Comparatively, married couples with children take on average two holiday trips annually, married couples without children  take the most holidays annually (four trips), followed by singles (three trips).

When families with children do go on vacation, they take longer breaks than their counterparts, with an average trip of 17 days – singles average 13 days. Older UAE residents aged 40 years and above take the long holidays as well with an average of 17 days. Those aged 30-39 take 16 days, and those aged 18-29 take the least with 14 days.

Expedia Director of E-Commerce Eman Barhoumeh said: “The study also asked UAE residents who they travel with. 60 per cent of UAE residents reported that they travel with their families - including 65 per cent of Arab Expats, 61 per cent of Asian residents, 54 per cent of Emiratis, and 45 per cent of Westerners. 20 per cent of residents (30 per cent of Westerners) reported they travel with their life partners.”

In a separate 2014 global study from Expedia that analyzed vacation days used by  workers around the world, UAE workers were identified to be given, and take, a full 30 days of vacation each year, compared to other countries where their peers spend less time on vacation. In fact, UAE workers take twice the number of vacation days as their nearest peers across Asia-Pacific.

Business trips

The majority of UAE residents (53 per cent) take at least one business trip per year. On average, UAE residents take two business trips annually and spend roughly eight days on each trip.

In terms of frequency, Westerners travel most often for business, taking on average 2.7 business trips per year. This is closely followed by Emiratis, who travel on average 2.5 times per year for business. Asian respondents travel least frequently for business; averaging 1.7 trips per year.

Looking at the length of stay, 47 per cent of business trips are less than four days, 33 per cent last between four to seven days, and the remaining 20 per cent of business trips last more than a week. The age of respondents also influenced the length of trips. Respondents aged between 30 and 39 take the longest business trips, lasting on average nine days, while those aged between 18 and 29 years take the shortest trips, averaging six days.

The Asia-Pacific vacation breakdown follows:

Country                              Days Offered                     Days Taken

Australia                              20                                           15

Hong Kong                          14                                           14

India                                    20                                           15

Japan                                  20                                           10

Malaysia                              14                                           10

New Zealand                        20                                           15

Singapore                            16                                           14

South Korea                         15                                           7

Thailand                               11                                           10

UAE                                      30                                           30

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