Online hotel booking on the rise in the GCC
In 2012, hotel bookings from the GCC region totaled $1.6 billion, 10 per cent of which were made online
Online hotel bookings are steadily gaining popularity in the Middle East as more consumers in the region use the internet to search for their rooms. In 2012, hotel bookings from the GCC region totaled $1.6 billion, 10 per cent of which were made online according to PhoCus Wright's Middle Eastern Online Travel Overview.
Hotels across the UAE are well aware of their guests' growing preference for online bookings. In Abu Dhabi, the newly-launched Nehal Hotel reported that nearly half of their rooms were now booked online. Samer Al Kabalan, General Manager of the Nehal said, "The online travel industry in the Middle East is growing at a rapid pace. So far this year we have seen 45 per cent of our bookings come from online sites."
Wael El Behi, General Manager, Ramada Downtown Dubai, a property situated near the Burj Khalifa said: "Year to date as of end of June, 39 per cent of our business mix is coming from the online segment which represent 46 per cent of our revenue mix."