Dubai – MENA Herald: Exceeding its projected sales targets by 30 per cent in the first four months of operation, tajawal – the Middle East’s most advanced home-grown online travel platform for airline tickets and hotels booking– has announced plans to rapidly expand over the next three to five years, as part of Saudi Arabia’s Al Tayyar Travel Group (a public joint stock company listed in Saudi Stock Exchange TADAWUL) plans to make a strong, multi-hundred-million US-Dollar investment push into the online space. Having held a leadership position in the regional tourism and travel market for nearly four decades, the ambitious investment move turns the Group into one of the largest online players in the region.
The announcement was made at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2016, following the success of tajawal’s beta-testing phase – during which the start-up crossed the USD 1 million sales figure in only six weeks. Driven by a strategic vision to redefine the online airline tickets and hotel booking experience in the Middle East, tajawal is already exceeding all business expectations and the digital booking engine is confident of hitting sales of a billion dollars in less than five years, with a double-digit month-on-month growth.
Operated and developed by a team that has quickly grown from five experts at the time of inception, to 80 seasoned online and travel experts, tajawal has also surpassed its originally planned sales figures by 30 per cent, while keeping its spend 40 per cent lower than budgeted. Within only four months, the online travel platform has firmly secured its position among the top three players in the regional online airline booking space, with a strong foothold in Saudi Arabia. While the beta-testing phase focused on launching their flight product, tajawal is set to launch its hotel booking engine in May, 2016.
“As a group, we have decided to massively push into the eCommerce place and have started to deploy a multi-hundred-million US-Dollar amount to back our ambitions. In addition to our investments in existing online players in various segments, we have established tajawal to become our online and mobile focused technology hub. Not only do we regard tajawal as an additional line of business contributing to our top as well as bottom line results, we also aim to shape the future of the home-grown travel industry in the Middle East, especially considering that online travel bookings will account for over 35 % of regional travel and tourism sales by end of 2017.” said Abdullah Bin Nasser Aldawood, Group CEO, Al Tayyar Travel Group.
“The online travel market offers a multi-billion dollar opportunity that is largely untapped in the region. We aim to fill this gap by creating a travel platform for mobile and web, based on an understanding of localized requirements. We firmly believe that in order to become MENA’s first choice for travel bookings, you need to be deeply rooted in the region. In addition, we very much benefit from our international online and technology experience, which will enable us to innovate in areas such as Halal Travel and Islamic Tourism in addition to personal and corporate travel management. As part of a successful travel giant like Al Tayyar Travel Group and with the unlimited support of the Group, we look forward to creating a sustainable and profitable online travel business that will hopefully become a showcase in MENA’s travel and technology sector”, said Muhammad Chbib, Founder and CEO, tajawal.
Currently, 75 per cent of tajawal’s sales is generated from the website, while 25 per cent comes from its free mobile applications, available for IOS and Android operating systems in English and Arabic. Saudi Arabian customers account for 65 per cent of the bookings, while the remaining 35 per cent originate mostly in the UAE. With the upcoming launch of its localized hotel booking services and other travel products, tajawal users can look forward to enjoying a number of features, including round-the-clock customer service in Arabic and English, the most competitive and personalized deals on air travel, hotel bookings, and much more.
ATM is taking place until 28 April 2016 at Dubai World Trade Centre, where tajawal will be exhibiting at Stand Number ME1110, Hall “Middle East”.