Ahmad F Al-Shagra
Co-founder of Nadrus.com, Ex-Editor of The Next Web ME, trainer, blogger, and programmer. Co-founder of Nadrus.com, Ex-Editor of The Next Web ME, trainer, blogger, and programmer.
I read today that the UAE has set out to invest a hefty US $235 Billion in their booming Tourism Sector, which means that an industry of that size is definitely going to need help from the private sector and especially in Tourism’s prodigal child: the e-Tourism industry.
This post isn’t about big numbers and statistics, although I could start telling you that with the region’s recent boost in governmental spending to expand existing airports in UAE, Jordan, and Oman just to name a few we’re dealing with an increase of travel to unprecedented levels.
This with Google’s recent attempt to purchase travel software development firm ITA, we can see the region is in for a big chunk of the global travel market that is just now beginning to realize it.
I’m talking about the recent adoption of Arabic interfaces and search in some regional travel search engines such as MakeMyTrip.com’s Arabic interface guided specifically towards travellers to and from the UAE. This week witnessed the launch of yet another major online travel player MyDestinationInfo.com’s new booking system.
The Dubai portal MyDestinationInfo.com now provides a tool that allows visitors of the country to enjoy an all in one service to book everything from hotel room reservation to car rentals and flight booking.
Now I’m not saying it’s the best in it’s domain, I actually still prefer using Booking.com for my hotel reservations because they seem to provide me with the cheapest prices faster than that of MyDestinationInfo.com, but that doesn’t mean the latter has grouped together a number of services into one neat and convenient bundle.
If this reflects anything, it’s a high demand tourism and travel market in the UAE that will soon spread to the rest of the region and present a once a severely fragmented market (and still possibly is – at least to it’s inhabitants) in a new polished shape that can be milked, skimmed and served cool to anyone interested in making an extra buck.
Look out travel industry, if your planning on making a move online, it’s now or never.
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