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UAE nationals are tech-savvy and travel frequently


Seventy-five per cent of Emiratis book flights online, according to British Airways’ poll.

December 5, 2013 5:56 by

One in seven UAE nationals travel at least once every few months, according to a recent survey by British Airways, adding that Emiratis are intent on travelling the world as often as they can.

The survey, which was commissioned by the London-based airline spanning the Middle East region, reveals that residents are both avid globetrotters and big fans of technological innovation when travelling.

Emiratis, in particular, often opt for modern technology over tradition when it comes to their travel plans, according to the study. A whopping 75 per cent of Emiratis surveyed book their flights online, rather than over the phone or through a travel agent, which is the highest rate in the Middle East region.

Furthermore, more than half of Emiratis also choose to take advantage of services, such as online check-in, avoiding unnecessary airport queues or extra time waiting at the airport.

Be it via their mobile phones, tablets or computers, the study makes it clear that Emiratis are not the ones to hold back when it comes to getting things done quickly and conveniently.

Paolo De Renzis, British Airways’ area commercial manager for the Middle East and Central Asia, says: “The travel market and, particularly the aviation sector, is one which has been hugely influenced by advances in technology, particularly over the past decade. It is no surprise that the aviation industry is looking more and more towards technology to provide solutions, both from the perspective of the traveller and the in-house technology of the airline itself.”

De Renzis adds that investments which airlines make in their technology now will define and influence the future of travel.

A recent survey by air transport IT provider SITA reveals that 84 per cent of passengers at Abu Dhabi International Airport carry a smartphone, versus the global average of 76 per cent.

However, the study adds that the level of interest and confidence among those passengers in using these devices throughout the journey is not rising at the same pace.

When asked, 77 per cent said that they prefer to go to a counter for service from an agent, rather than using their phone. The biggest concern these passengers have is the fear that their phone won’t work.

When it comes to check-in, 87 per cent regularly check in with an agent at a counter, in contrast with the global average of 51 per cent. Approximately 94 per cent regularly get their boarding passes at a counter, rather than at a kiosk, printing at home or using their mobile phones.

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