The clouds have rolled in for a few weeks which can only mean that the temperatures are on the way up. As we watch the mercury rise, make the most of March and April! They are a special time to host family and friends in Dubai or look for a springtime experience abroad before Ramadan starts and the scorching summer hits. Airbnb, the accommodation and Experiences platform, that enables inspiring and unique travel experiences, has shared fresh data on where their guests are traveling this spring. Maybe some inspiration for your own travel adventures?

Authentic Experiences outside the Middle East

Airbnb travellers are looking further afield for their spring adventures to soak up rich experiences abroad. Families are also making the most of the school holidays to expand their children’s minds.

The Middle East is brilliantly placed for global travel! Located in the centre of East and West and with many low cost airlines ready to transport you to Europe or Asia all in the span of five and half hours there really almost is no excuse to not make the most of that.

Word has definitely reached spring vacationers here about the hub of Europe’s carnival scene in Cologne, Germany: Compared to last year, the destination is up 274% in bookings from people selecting an Airbnb to be close to the action. Guests are also intrigued by Eastern Europe with Ukraine and Romania attracting intrepid travellers to explore their fascinating cities. Opera and Easter lovers are in for a treat in Vienna with some of the best Easter markets in the world set up amongst the daffodils in the spring sunshine – and some might even be running fast enough to catch them if they are taking part in April’s Vienna marathon!

Destination Name

Percent Change

Cologne, Germany


Vienna, Austria


Istanbul, Turkey


Manila, Philippines


Venice, Italy


Kiev, Ukraine


Bucharest, Romania


Bali, Indonesia


Beirut, Lebanon


L’viv, Ukraine


Thessaloniki, Greece


San Francisco, USA


Montreal, Canada


Nuremberg, Germany


Family Travel

Meanwhile, the top trending destinations for families this year sees a mixture between mid-distance destinations and long haul with Vienna seeing most growth, closely followed by Tbilisi, Toronto, New York City, Sydney, Berlin and Los Angeles.

But it’s not all about travel from Dubai – the city is a major destination for families visiting from elsewhere. Whether that is from the GCC or foreign expats who visit relatives working in this desert metropolis. Spring is an ideal time to enjoy the vast and varied experiences of Dubai from water sports and cultural tours to theme parks and new attractions opening every month whilst the weather is hot yet manageable outside. For those looking for an authentic way to experience Dubai, Airbnb Experiences has you covered. Experiences are led by passionate local hosts, and include from exploring the spice souks and Dubai Creek, to tasting genuine Emirati cuisine or photographing the modern architectural wonders of Downtown. Experiences are available to book on the platform in more than 1000 cities worldwide, including Dubai and the UAE.

Dubai proved particularly popular with UK (124% increase) and Swedish (71% increase) families booking an Airbnb home.  In a city where many expats are apartment dwellers, renting a larger Airbnb property to accommodate a large family gathering also is an attractive option.

Accommodation trends - a home away from home

The majority of Middle East families travelling abroad like to stay within their comfort zone, with a strong preference for accommodation which offers space and a real home away from home. This search for authenticity and comfort has led to an 84% increase year-on-year from Middle Eastern travellers staying in condominiums or apartments and an 86% increase in stays in villas, townhouses and houses.

Travellers from the Middle East are increasingly turning to Airbnb to find new styles of accommodation which are ideal for families.

*Based on internal Airbnb data for year-over-year growth for bookings made from March 1 - April 21, 2019 compared to the same booking period in 2018.


Source: TOH PR