May 2019, UAE: Marriott International today unveiled the top destinations throughout the Middle East and Africa for solo travelling, including the UAE, Oman, Jordan, Mauritius,Egypt and more inviting travellers to pursue the joy of “Good Travel” this season.
Fuelled by the need to explore alone, solo travelling or‘solo-moons’ as they are affectionately called, are rising in popularity across the region, particularly amongst millennials and expatriate female travellers. Currently solo trips account for 18% of all Middle East travel according to the Middle East Consumer Travel Report 2018, compared to 15% of travel with friends and 10% with partners.
In 2019 the popularity is expected to rise further, with 36% of respondents to a survey by Travel Leaders Group saying that their future travels would include at least in part, one solo trip. This is especially true forwomen, with more travellers looking to travel outside of their comfort zones. Women will go on high-octane adventures or wellness escapes, including women-only journeys that empower and provide an opportunity to develop new skills and passions.
Solo travel occupies a growing space in the region’s travel market, particularly for travellers looking to enjoy the freedom of being on their own or wanting to spend time reconnectingwith themselves. Middle East and Africa presents a wealth of diverse destinations that facilitate enriching experiences for solo travellers, from cultural tours to wellness escapes, and ultimately, an environment for solotravellers to explore on their own.What’s more, hotels are also enhancing their offerings to cater to this bourgeoning market, with bespoke itineraries, concierge services and social spaces exclusively designed for individuals to travel with passion and purpose.
With 21 hotel brands across the region, each designed to serve the personalities ofdifferent types of travellers, Marriott International knows the importance of individualised experiences. Whether it’s sparking creative thinking at MarriottHotels or encouraging Westin guests to put their wellness first, hotels have become an integral part of vacationer’s voyages.
With this in mind, the top five destinations and experiences in the Middle East and Africa for solo travellersas recommended by Marriott International include:
Ranked as the safest country in the world by the National Agenda Index 2018, the United Arab Emirates is the ideal destination for solo travellers. The destination offers a plethora of experiences for those wanting to live life on the lavishside, whether it is the glamour of the world’s largest shopping mall or the spectacular views from the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.
Yet the UAE is not all skyscrapers and supercars; for travellers wanting to reflect in a unique natural landscape, the Arabian Desert offers the perfect habitat for solitude as well as a canvas for adrenaline-fueled adventures. At the Resort Experience Centre of The Ritz-Carlton, Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert, guests can choose their adventure in a protected nature reserve spanning 500 hectares whilst connecting with the nature and traditions of the land. Whether it’s an introduction to falconry or archery, a ﬁshing expedition or a seat within a camel caravan, the resort can create an itinerary that speaks to the interests and curiosities of solo travelers.
Nestled between mountains and the sea, Muscat combines traditional heritage and Omani hospitality with spectacular native flora and fauna. Lone visitors can choose to visit the old forts nestled along the coastline, Muscat’s Grand Mosque or explore further afield for costal treks, canyoning and dolphin watching.
The W Muscat is situated in the upbeat Shatti Al Qurum beachfront, offering solo travellers an insider access to What’s New/Next in the city. Whether it’s front row seats at the elegant Muscat Opera House, where local culture meets international stars, or a private tour of the Oman Grand Canyon – Wadi Shab, a bespoke itinerary to broaden horizons is just a moment away.
Home to the ancient city ofPetra, one of the new Seventh Wonders of the World; the enchanting Wadi Rum desert famed for its starring role in Lawrence of Arabia; as well asMount Nebo, The Baptism Site, Mujib Reserve and more, there is an awe-inspiring marvel at every turn in Jordan.
Solo travellers weary from the exploration can take respite atThe Dead Sea Marriott Resort and Spaand float into the sunset atthe lowest point on earth. A time for inner reflection and outer wellness, solo travellers can indulge in a host of wellness treatments at the signature hotel spa, which includes a Dead Sea salt pool and mineral-rich mud wrap.
Egypt will undoubtedly be at the top of every history enthusiast’s bucket list, and the good news for travellers is that it is can be done safely and securely when travelling solo. Those wanting to discover the majesty of the Pyramid’s of Giza, the grandeur of The Sphynx or further afield to the Luxor temples, can embark on several organised tours specifically catered to solo travellers.
Marriott Mena House, Cairoallows wanderers to bask in its storied past, with the legendary hotel having welcomed numerous heads of state. In the present day, the hotel provides a luxurious base to explore whilst alluring the curiosities of its guests with in-room TED Talks.
For the ultimate rest and relaxation, Mauritius’ sapphire waters and powdered white beaches can evoke true zen for soloists on this island paradise. Yet just one short step away from the luxury resorts adventure waits for those willing to explore, from hiking rewarded with untouched waterfalls to world class diving brimming with an underwater world.
Embraced by the gently swaying sugar cane fields and the warm turquoise water of the Indian Ocean, The Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa Mauritius invites lone travellers to experience the magic of Mauritian hospitality in a truly idyllic setting. Set adjacent to a protected marine park, guests can explore idyllic Turtle Bay, historic Port Louis and lively Grand Bay or simply enjoy the social ambiance of the Mystique beach bar.