MENA Key Highlights

– MENA search activity has plateaued at approximately a third of the activity that we saw in 2019

– Despite muted recovery, some positive stories are starting to emerge: UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Turkey

– Recovery curves look very different market to market in shape and in composition 

– The opening of international travel should provide a further boost in the interest in travel 

– Continuous success in containing the coronavirus is key to further travel recovery


GCC: Travel Interest


GCC: Top Destinations


KSA: Travel Interest

– Daily searches continue to float between 25%-30% of 2019 levels

– Interest in hotels and domestic flights is farther along on the recovery curve- high 30s/low 40s

– Interest in international flights continues to be downbeat in the low 20s due to travel restrictions

– Despite the muted recovery so far, there are some drivers for optimism:

    • New cases of coronavirus have finally started to decrease
    • COVID-19 testing has significantly increased in recent weeks
    • Test positivity rate has dropped to almost single digits for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic


UAE: Travel Interest

– Recovery has been consistent and noticeable thanks to the relaxation of lockdown measures and the easing of travel restrictions

– At just under 40% of 2019 levels, UAE is seeing the strongest recovery within the GCC

– Unlike most countries in MENA and worldwide, the recovery in the UAE is about the same among flights and hotels


Kuwait: Travel Interest

– After seeing an early surge in flight searches in late May and early June, search interest has since waned to around 20% as the country is fighting the pandemic 

– Interest in hotels remains to be low

– The planned resumption of commercial flights in August will play a vital role in the recovery of the travel sector 


Qatar: Travel Interest

– Qatar has enjoyed some of the highest levels of user activity across the GCC

– The third week of June has been particularly strong with daily searches peaking at almost 50% of 2019 levels

– Unlike most other carriers, Qatar Airways has kept flight schedules at levels close to those of last year which has helped interest in flights remain relatively strong


Bahrain: Travel Interest

– Bahrain is showing a good recovery path reaching levels similar to these in the UAE

– At present, interest in travel is the highest since the start of the pandemic

– The recovery has been fueled by a surge in flight searches with hotels remaining largely at their previous level


Oman: Travel Interest

– Oman is seeing slow yet continued return of interest in travel going back to the end of May

– High points are just 25% of 2019 levels and are split equally between flights and hotels


North Africa: Travel Interest


North Africa: Top Destinations


Egypt: Travel Interest

– Egypt has been seeing sustained growth since the end of May with daily volumes occasionally approaching 50%

– Growth has been fueled by both interest in hotels as well as domestic flights 

– Many Egyptians checked in the recently reopened hotels and resorts to experience Egypt’s iconic destinations free of the usual influx of international tourists 


Morocco: Travel Interest

– Morocco has been one of the success stories in fighting the coronavirus thanks to its quick action & extensive testing 

– Morocco’s reputation was further cemented this week with EU’s decision to allow Morocans in without having to quarantine 

– With EU’s decision, we expect to see a surge of interest in international flights in early July which are already at the relative strong 50% of 2019 levels

– Domestic flights are the highlight of June.  The fourth week of June in particular, saw interest in domestic flights at two times exceeding the level of 2019

– Interest in distant major cities like Agadir, Fes and Tangier has surged the most 


Tunisia: Travel Interest

– Tunisia is the second North African country to be shortlisted as safe by the EU

– Similar to Morocco, Tunisia has seen a very positive momentum in June with interest in both flights and hotels surging to highest levels since the start of the pandemic 


Algeria: Travel Interest

– Travel interest in Algeria has continued to plateau in the second half of June remaining at about 35% of 2019 levels 

– At about 40%, international flights are outperforming hotels which have stayed in the low 30s

– While Algeria has been worse hit by the pandemic than both neighbouring Morocco and Tunisia, the country still made the EU list of safe countries which might drive the surge in travel interest in July


Turkey: Travel Interest

Turkey: Top Destinations


Turkey: Travel Interest

  • After the major outbreak of cases in April, Turkey has successfully managed to contain the spread in May and gradually re-opened in June 
  • Similar to Egypt, lots of Turkish people are eager to experience their country free of tourist and enjoy some great deals
  • Popular tourist destinations like the beachy Antalya and historic Antakya have surged the most


Levant: Travel Interest


Levant: Top Destinations


Lebanon: Travel Interest

– Flight interest surged to over 55% of 2019 levels boosted by the resumption of flights and the large Lebanese diaspora 

– Difficult economic conditions are likely taming interest in hotels as they have stayed near 20%

– Trends in Lebanon are the exact opposite of these in neighbouring Jordan


Jordan: Travel Interest

– A noticeable growth in hotel searches peaked in the the fourth week of June at 55% of 2019 level

– Flights have remained largely mute at less than 20% as few international flights are in operation

– Royal Jordanian resumed domestic flights only last week giving hopes for a rebound