Booking.com, Europe’s online hotel reservations agency has opened an office in Dubai as further commitment to its business expansion in the Middle East. As a result of high demand levels for hotel rooms in the Middle East from key outbound travelling markets (such as UK, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Japan), the company has extended its operations into the Middle East by establishing a new office and a committed management team.
Heading up the Dubai office is Sabrina Costermans who brings with her 4 years of experience with Booking.com gained at its headquarters in Amsterdam. Sabrina will be supported by Ali Kansou, in the role of Regional Account Manager – Middle East, who has transferred from the company’s Paris office. In addition there will be newly appointed staff sourced locally.
Based in Dubai Internet City, the team will focus on providing dedicated hotelier account management support. With over 80 Middle Eastern hotels already visible on Booking.com, the new office in Dubai provides the perfect opportunity to develop closer relationships with hotels and partners in the region.
To date, hotels working with Booking.com include Le Meridien and Rotana as well as more recent individual properties such as the Arabian Park Hotel.
Sabrina Costermans, Manager, Booking.com Middle East stated: “Whilst the Middle East hotel industry has traditionally focused on serving the luxury end of the market, there is a growing demand for more mid-stream, affordable accommodation as a wider variety of travellers are visiting the region. This is where Booking.com provides an opportunity for all categories of hotels to market themselves on an international scale to a cross-section of travellers who have different accommodation requirements, whether seeking a pure luxury experience or a more affordable trip.”
“This is an exciting time for Booking.com as the Middle East represents a market with great potential in terms of attracting new business via the internet. We are dedicated to providing a supplier-friendly, cost-effective commission model to ensure our hotel partners reap maximum benefit. Our business model gives hoteliers control over their rates and availability, with guests paying them directly upon checking out of their hotel. With a local presence we can now focus on building strong relationships and provide a proactive, advisory service on the most effective and efficient way for hotels to sell their rooms.”
Booking.com currently offers over 30,000 hotels and operates from 16 overseas offices based in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Cambridge, Cape Town, Dubai, Dublin, London, Loulé, Lyon, Munich, Norwalk (USA), Paris, Rome, Vienna and Warsaw. The company sold 11 million hotel room nights in 2006, experiencing an organic annual growth rate of 111%.