Resuming tourism will benefit the economy, but many worry about sharing public spaces with tourists
July 30th, 2020, Zafar Shah

Resuming tourism will benefit the economy, but many worry about sharing public spaces with tourists

Concern is the highest about sharing shopping areas with tourists, followed by restaurants

As Dubai attempts to return to normal life and resume international tourism and hospitality, YouGov’s latest survey asked respondents about their comfort of sharing public places with international tourists and the areas of concern.

When asked about their concerns of sharing public places with tourists, the majority of respondents (56%) claimed to be very or somewhat concerned about sharing shopping spaces with them. Among the different age groups, concern is highest among young adults (between 18-24 years) while it is the least among respondents aged 45+ (64% vs 44%).


Just above half (53%) are worried about dining in at the same restaurant as these visitors, as well as being in the same tourist spots with them (52%). We see a notable difference between the level of comfort among the genders. Women are much more likely than men to be worried about eating in the same restaurants as tourists (60% vs 49%).

It is interesting to note that fear about being present in all the listed public areas along with tourists is higher among Asian expats than respondents from other nationality groups.

In general, these concerns are likely to be influenced by the country of travel origin, with seven in ten (69%) UAE residents agreeing with the statement ‘My concerns with international tourists depend on the country they are travelling from’.

Even though there is apprehension about welcoming international travellers, the majority (83%) believe opening up the country to tourists will have a positive impact on the economy. UAE residents think this decision is most likely to benefit Hotel and Airline industries (62% each). Respondents aged 45+ are most likely to believe in this possibility (at 72%) as compared to the rest of the age groups.


Some residents think Cultural destinations and Shopping malls (37% and 32%) will also benefit from this move, while fewer believe this step will prove advantageous to Restaurants (25%) and Leisure & Entertainment venues (24%).

YouGov Omnibus data collected online among 1000 respondents in the UAE between 15th and 22nd July 2020 using YouGov’s panel of over 6 million people worldwide. Data is representative of the adult national population in UAE.