Gulf nationals spend on average 260 percent more on airfares and 430 percent on accommodation, with Qataris the biggest spenders, according to the results of a new survey.
According to a study carried out by Emirates Aviation College, Qataris spend the most on travel with an average expenditure of US$4,100 per day, with Saudis coming second by spending an average of US$3,360 and the Emiratis completing the top three with an average bill of US$3,280.
In terms of categories, 54 percent of expenditure was allocated to airfares, 18 percent on accommodation, nine percent on dining and five percent on car rental.
When compared to the rest of the world, Gulf nationals spend 260 percent more on airfares and 430 percent on accommodation, but 13 percent less on car rental.
“The class of travel is also important, with 40 percent of Qataris interviewed opting for first class, and between 40 and 60 percent of all GCC nationals booking business class,” said Sunil Malhotra, senior lecturer at the Emirates Aviation College and author of the report.
"Looking to the future, 53 percent of survey respondents said they plan to travel to between two and five countries within the next 12 months, with Saudi nationals the most frequent travelers, followed by the UAE.
“Cultural experiences and family-focus are the two most important factors when planning travel, with 40 percent of survey respondents looking at taking an extended three to four-week trip in the next 12 months,” said Malhotra.
The report, which was unveiled at the Arabian Travel Market exhibition in Dubai this week, interviewed 2,500 GCC nationals from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE about their travel habits over a 12-month period from January to December 2011.