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Emirati Millennials: A Catalyst for Innovation in the Tourism Industry

Samia Youssry Warda


It is evident that generational shifts in tourist behaviour facilitate the anticipation and accommodation of future trends in the industry. Although a unique and influential tourist segment, the millennial generation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has not been adequately researched. This paper aims to explore the travel patterns of Emirati millennials; particularly their preferences, their online travel behaviour and the impact of social media on their choices. After reviewing the academic and trade literature on millennial travelers and some cases of existing innovative practices of tourism businesses targeting millennials, the paper will present the results of a survey conducted to investigate the travel patterns of young Emirati travelers, contributing to the literature on this emerging segment which is almost nonexistent. The research offers useful insights into what Emiratis value the most, their preference for leisure travel to new destinations and the influence of travel apps and social media on their travel planning. The research led to the development of suggestions for businesses aiming to attract millennials.


Emirati millennials; Generation Y; tourist behavior; Innovation; UAE

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