With several European countries slowly opening up their borders for leisure travel following the resumption of flights, travel-sick residents in the UAE have been on the lookout for notable European cities to visit.
Wego dives into its travel search data and reveals which European cities residents are looking for as travel reopens in Europe.
Switzerland’s largest and most dynamic city Zurich tops the list of most searched European cities, accounting for 5.52% of searches in the 3rd quarter of 2021.
Despite being a fairly underrated travel destination compared to the likes of other prominent cities in Europe, Zurich has its own fair share of attractions. With over 50 museums and 100 galleries, Zurich is a haven for history buffs and art connoisseurs, which may explain the reason for the notable level of search interest.
The artsy and picturesque city, located in the heart of Switzerland and the centre of Europe, offers a distinct combination of modernity infused with the traditional Swiss landscape.
Closely following Zurich is Vienna standing at number 2 with over 5.38% of searches on Wego.
The glitz and glamour of Vienna resonate with the luxurious lifestyle in the Emirates. It is a city that represents its imperial past and embraces modernity in the most creative way. Austria’s gorgeous little capital of Vienna is also known as the City of Music for its marvellous musical legacy.
The cosiness of the Viennese lifestyle provides much-needed relief to the UAE residents, used to the fast-paced lifestyle in the country.
Up next is London, which accounts for 4.44% of European city searches on Wego in the 3rd quarter of 2021. The country has recently announced the scrapping of the current system of red, amber and green countries based on levels of COVID-19.
The UK recognises vaccines approved in the UAE for entry and travel. The vaccination programme in the UAE has also been approved. This would mean that fully vaccinated residents in the Emirates can now travel to London without needing to quarantine.
London has always remained a popular travel destination for both leisure tourists and business travellers from the UAE. Searches for “UAE-UK” and “Dubai-London” spiked on Wego’s metasearch website, and its English and Arabic travel blog upon news of the UK reopening for UAE travellers.
Coming in 4th position is Athens, which makes up 3.77% of European city searches on Wego.
Ever since reopening its borders on 14 May 2021, Greece has been welcoming tourists from the UAE, allowing government-issued vaccine certificates to facilitate the entry procedures. This has cut down the tedious post-travel norms, making Athens a travel-friendly destination for UAE citizens looking to catch a break.
Athens is the largest and undoubtedly the most influential Greek city, widely considered as the birthplace of western civilisation. The cultural importance of the city attracts UAE residents year long.
Milan accounted for about 3.64% of searches in the 3rd quarter of 2021.
Italy’s second-largest city Milan is studded with sky-piercing cathedrals, ornate castles and ancient palaces. While the city is yet to welcome tourists from most non-EU countries, citizens in the UAE have been eagerly watching out for entry rules and regulations in Milan.
Beyond cathedrals and other important landscapes, Milan is also known as one of the world’s fashion capitals, with bustling streets filled with high-end stores with endless opportunities to shop and treat oneself, much to the delight of UAE visitors to the country.
Ranking 6th on the list is the city of Geneva in Switzerland, making up 3.04% of searches on Wego.
Despite being an expensive city, Geneva seems to have captured the fancy of UAE travellers. Geneva perfectly embodies everything Switzerland is known for: great chocolate, delicious cheese and quality wine, making it a must-visit city for anyone looking to visit the country.
Switzerland is now open for any traveller with a valid visa, allowing fully vaccinated travellers to skip post-arrival quarantine, making it a sought after place amongst UAE travellers.
The reopening of borders in France, especially to vaccinated UAE travellers, has once again sparked interest amongst Wego users towards Paris (2.69% of searches) after a brief hiatus of travel restrictions.
Vaccinated UAE residents can once again pay a visit to the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, wine regions, beaches and numerous other attractions in Paris upon presenting their fully vaccinated status at the airport and getting a Health Pass.
The resumption of travel coupled with stringent and safe COVID-19 practices in Paris has made it an ideal location for UAE travellers.
The Austrian city of Salzburg stands 8th on this list, amassing more than 2.5% of the European city searches on Wego.
Known far and wide as the birthplace of music legend Mozart, Salzburg is a beautiful city with ancient forts and great museums. Austria, like other European countries, is also open for vaccinated travellers.
The quaint little city of Salzburg is a place to visit not only for its beauty and history but because of its lively atmosphere.
Ranking 9th on the list is Amsterdam (2.44% of searches), the capital of the Netherlands.
Despite not being classified as a safe non-EU country, eager residents from the UAE have been watchful over the resumption of leisure travel to and from the city.
The Dutch capital is renowned for its eccentric museums, vibrant nightlife and friendly locals, putting any traveller to ease.
Barcelona makes up 1.9% of European city searches on our platform in the 3rd quarter.
Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is also open for most travellers from the UAE, especially for vaccinated travellers. While the name Barcelona is closely associated with football, the city is also known for its eclectic architecture, striking cityscape and wonderful hospitality.