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Dubai has been named the most viral destination for young travelers on TikTok, having racked up billions of views on the popular video-sharing app since health restrictions were lifted. The main financial center and development site of the United Arab Emirates, it is best known for its futuristic skyscrapers, all-inclusive resorts and magnificent Gulf beaches.
TikTok is one of the most popular apps right now, with over a billion users worldwide. Having overtaken Instagram as Gen Z’s preferred online sharing platform, it has the power to define the next global hit, through its many dance challenges, catapult new creators to overnight stardom and even influencing travel trends.
When it comes to travel specifically, the younger generation may already have found a strong favorite in the Middle East:
Generation Z loves Dubai more than anywhere else
Proving that Dubai is experiencing a historic resurgence after the Emirate’s resumption of normal, unrestricted tourism in early November, a list of the most viewed destinations on TikTok compiled by Parking reservations at the airport featured the mid-east at number one, with a whopping 92 billion views to date.
The so-called Gen Z Travel Index measures the popularity of various global cities on the platform based on views alone. According to researchers, Dubai owes its fame to a myriad of attractions, especially the iconic Burj Khalifa, the tallest building standing (for now), and the grandiose Dubai Mall, an ultra-luxurious mall.
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Coincidentally, the Gen Z favorite is the youngest of the entire top ten. Dubai only became a hot spot with the discovery of oil and the arrival of foreign investors in the 1960s. Since then, the once sleepy fishing village has undergone some profound transformations, serving as the UAE’s main gateway to the outside world and the regional business capital.
Naturally, tourism began to flourish as more skyscrapers and entertainment complexes came up. Today, the whole Emirate is a sight to behold, with enviable, state-of-the-art public infrastructure, driverless trains, indoor ski resorts and an artificial archipelago in the shape of a palm tree. A huge moon-shaped hotel with a moon-like surface will also open soon.
Other cities in the Top Ten
You get our point: Dubai is a modern and ever-changing city with a wide tourist offering, and these qualities seem to be most valued by young adults on TikTok. Beyond the audience, a second study was conducted, which assessed not only the “viral” potential, but also the safety scores, the frequency with which these cities are searched on Google, their tourist attractions and far more.
In this particular ranking, Dubai ranks third, with a score of 7.1 out of 10. It is surpassed by Londonconsidered the best city break for zoomers (another term for Gen Z). Interestingly, London is only the third most viewed destination, with its double-decker buses, red phone booths and iconic ‘tube’ amassing 42.7 billion views.
In second place on both lists, we find the Catalan choir of Barcelonahome to some of Gaudí’s best creations, the Sagrada Familia, and was the second most visited destination, making it the most sought after Mediterranean hotspot. So far, TikToks filmed in or related to Spain’s second largest city have arrived 61.3 billion views.
The rest of the top ten is made up of Paris, the romantic French capital, the picturesque canals of Amsterdam, charming Prague, Berlin and its Cold War heritage, ageless Rome and Milan, and the foodie paradise of Thailand , Bangkok. Finally, he concluded the study most TikTok users (90%) are influenced by social networks when making travel plans.
Useful information for traveling to Dubai
Traveling to Dubai, Americans are no longer subject to health checks, vaccination certificates or pre-arrival tests. The Emirate, and the UAE in general, have done just that he discarded all travel ruleswelcoming guests as if it were 2019. However, young people should keep in mind that Middle Eastern customs differ greatly from the Western world.
Even if Dubai is perfectly safeforeigners must strictly respect local rules, as those who break them have been known to be arrested:
- The UAE is not secular: Islam is the state religion and must be respected
- Due to Islamic laws, alcohol consumption is limited, especially in public
- Consuming, injecting, buying or possessing illegal drugs is expressly prohibited as defined by the UAE constitution*
- Authorities do not allow kissing and hugging in public, even between heterosexual couples
- Avoid posting any controversial content on social media that refers to the UAE that could be considered “insulting”, including on TikTok.
*Even traces in the bloodstream can result in jail time (generally no bail allowed).
Traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com