Spokesperson: Heinz Gabel, general manager, Al Rostamani Travel and Holidays
How has business been over the past year?
Al Rostamani Travels had a very good year in 2007 and we were able to out perform the market quite considerably. This was achieved by the loyalty of our existing clients, which rely on our experience and outstanding service offered by our travel consultants, as well as signing up new accounts and exploring new fields of business.
Do you have any expansion plans?
Last year had encouraged us to further expand in the UAE. We are opening several new branches in Dubai and the other emirates. Also, our office in Abu Dhabi has just been moving to bigger premises on Electra Street to service our corporate clients even better and also to give the retail customer a new experience in our newly designed shop.
Is the shortage of rooms for visitors to the UAE a significant issue?
In high demand periods, it can prove to be difficult to find the appropriate rooms for our customers. However, due to our great relationships with our suppliers, we manage to find a suitable accommodation and keep our clients happy.
How much of your business is carried out on the internet now?
Unlike in other markets, the direct bookings here in the UAE are contributing a relatively small portion to our total business. However, we see that the internet will become more popular in a very short time and are preparing ourselves accordingly to offer the client a variety of booking options. We are giving him the choice of having a face to face consultancy, book over the phone or via email and of course also through the internet. We are currently working to re-launch our website with new services and make it even easier and safer for the customer to book through the net.
What are the biggest problems facing you this year?
The big challenges for us are the delays in the construction sector. We are planning to move our head office to new premises and to open new branches, but most projects have been slightly delayed. As we have reached our capacity limits in our current offices, we are not able to get the new staff on board as quickly as we desire.
In addition, like many other companies in this country, we find it difficult to recruit suitably qualified staff in sufficient numbers to drive the expansion of our business. We are going to great lengths to recruit employees directly from other countries in order not to suffer a slow down in our development due to lack of manpower.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.