Gulf Oasis Tourism, an inbound agency in Dubai, is lobbying to get a larger share of hotel rooms across the UAE, according to the agency’s managing director.
“The lack of rooms is one of out major issues today. There is a huge demand especially for beach properties but not enough rooms. A lot of people are going to Abu Dhabi and to Fujairah, but even there, you see shortage of rooms,” Hadi Al Kahtani told TTN.
“Our main plans for 2007 include to be allocated higher number of rooms, and get a larger share of hotel rooms. We believe there is a need to be more visible in the markets and that is our main focus,” he added.
He said the agency is currently evaluating and renewing its relationships with existing clients and partners in a bid to make ensure high standards and the finest quality service. “At Gulf Oasis we would like to establish ourselves as a star company, providing the best inbound services. We are a team of highly qualified staff, who have been trained to ensure 100 per cent customer satisfaction for any services we provide. Our priority is to maintain the quality service to our customers and our partners and to ensure we stay on the top.”
The agency is currently studying the possibility of expanding outside Dubai. “We are first looking at Abu Dhabi, maybe by 2009 and then maybe we will consider the rest of the GCC. For now we have partners, with whom we work closely, and who handle these markets for us.”
Gulf Oasis Tourism provides a complete range of travel services for inbound tourists, including hotel reservations, visas, meet and assist, car rental, ticketing, transfers, sports events, events and conferences and tours and excursions such as dhow trips, desert safaris and so on “We cater primarily to the European market, providing them with tour guides who speak in Russian, German and English. We also work with partners from other countries to help bring in more tourists,” said Al Kahtani. Together Europe and the CIS account for half of all the company’s business, with the CIS at 30 per cent, and other European markets at 20 per cent of total business volume. Another 30 per cent is business from the GCC, while the rest is from around the world.
Asked about the gradual shift to online bookings, he said group bookings were unlikely to be affected. “Online bookings are not convenient while booking groups. You cannot customize your plans according to your needs and requirements. It’s the same with rates. On the other hand, we can provide our customers with flexible rates depending on the seasons and better rates.”
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