The Middle East is seeing a growth spurt in its online travel commerce with a year on year increase in market size. Currently hovering at around USD 18 billion, a report by famous research firm ‘Phocuswright’ states that by 2018 this market will double in value, at USD 35 billion.
Rehlat, which means travel in Arabic, is a new entrant in the travel industry but an early player in terms of regional online travel. The Middle East hardly has any regional online travel agencies that focus on solving local problems of both locals and expats, such as the need for multilingual call center support and the best localized deals.
Rehlat is solving these pain areas of the user by focusing on making a user friendly and robust product. No wonder the website has gained immense traction in a short span of time across Kuwait, the UAE and Saudi Arabia giving tough competition to the likes of Musafir.com, MakeMyTrip.ae and Cleartrip.ae
It is indeed commendable to see the rise of a player that started from one room some time back and now has offices in Kuwait, Dubai, India and Egypt; all this in a span of 2 years.
“We had started Rehlat with a focus to solve pain points that I use to personally face when booking online, from local payment options to calling a local number and post sales service; on top of that, the market didn’t have a quality travel product which was bilingual (English and Arabic). When we ventured into this, we realized how complex it is for users to actually understand and book a flight; we simplified everything. If you check our website, you can clearly see cancellation fees, baggage allowances, and stopovers at a click of a button. All this requires breaking down complex codes and simplifying them for users. We have not only solved this but also solved the pain area of payments. At Rehlat, you can pay in all local GCC currencies and not get charged for foreign exchange by your bank, which might not be the case when you book with other online travel companies” says Bader Al-Bader, the founder of Rehlat. Besides Bader Al- Bader; Aniyan Nambiar, Amanpreet Singh, Tariq Raza and a team of 65 superstars have founded and scaled Rehlat to its current level.