x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Bold venture for start-up looking to bridge gap

Holidaysarabia.com is the latest start-up based in Dubai hoping to tap the online travel booking sector with its launch scheduled for next month.

Holidaysarabia.com is the latest start-up based in Dubai hoping to tap the online travel booking sector with its launch scheduled for next month.

The company is focusing on the Middle East market with a travel website that will start by offering a service to book hotels, transfers, car rental and excursions in the UAE.

The founders of the website were inspired to launch by the rising popularity of websites such as Groupon and Dubizzle in the UAE, combined with the growth of the country's tourism sector.

"There are very clear signs that the market here is growing and people's confidence in purchasing online is growing," said Adnan Hamdani, the managing director and co-founder of Holidaysarabia.com.

The region is still lagging behind other parts of the world when its comes to online travel services, presenting an opportunity, Mr Hamdani said.

"We are looking at this as an advantage because we are one of the first people who are stepping into the market," he said. "I saw that there was a huge gap and there's an immense potential that the internet holds which is not being noticed here in the UAE. And people are not stepping up because it is risky at the same time, it's not a small investment and you don't know how the market is going to react."

The website is in Arabic and English. The company hopes to expand across the Middle East and believes that its focus on the region will help it to succeed.

"We are based in the UAE and we have selected a niche market which is the Middle East," said Mr Hamdani.

rbundhun@thenational.ae

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