It was not very long ago when you had to go to different tour operators and travel agents to book your flight tickets and hotels for your holiday. But things have changed dramatically during the last ten-fifteen years. There are now tons of OTAs (Online Travel Agents), travel aggregators and marketplaces that offer you to compare and buy flights or hotels without leaving your home.
Even though there are different international websites that can be used by travelers based in countries like UAE, Saudi, Kuwait, Bahrain & Egypt, there are many who hesitate and would rather book from a website that perhaps has some sort local presence, an office or a call center. To help those, we have compiled these regional websites that are as good as the international OTAs, aggregators and travel search engines.
Best for Curated Holiday Packages from UAE & Saudi
HolidayMe is the best option if you’re looking for curated holiday packages with planned itineraries. With offices in Dubai & Saudi, the website offers packages for solo travelers, couples, families with kids and groups. You can choose whether you would like to buy the package with a flight or without it. As of now, most of the packages come with flight options from Saudi & UAE only. Another interesting offering of HolidayMe is Activities which allows you to book different types of city trips and tours for different destinations. With offices in UAE & Saudi, HolidayMe also lets users book their flights or hotels using its website like other OTAs. HolidayMe also lets users book and buy any of its offerings through its mobile applications.
MENA & beyond with Customer Care Centers in UAE & Saudi – Best for finding Cheapest Flights
Wego is a flight and hotel aggregator that fetches prices and other details from different online travel agents, airlines, and booking websites to help you find cheapest air tickets and hotels. Started from Singapore, Wego launched its services for MENA in 2012 and opened its Dubai office in 2013. The website does not sell tickets or hotel rooms itself but has customer care centers in UAE & Saudi to help customers with their questions or issues. If not better than Skyscanner, it is definitely as good as the international travel search engine. Wego has its applications available for both Android & iOS.
Best for Customer Service, Changes & Refunds in UAE, Kuwait & Bahrain
Tajawal is an online travel platform backed by Al Tayyar Group, one of the largest travel companies in the region. It lets you book flights and hotels through its website and mobile applications. Tajawal does not aggregate the prices from different websites. Instead they have agreements with different airlines and perhaps hotels as well and they sell them all directly through their platform. You won’t leave Tajawal’s website anytime during the whole process to book your ticket or flight. You may not find the cheapest air ticket with them but making changes or refunds are normally easier when you’re booking from a regional OTA or airline directly. With its head office in Dubai, the company has call centers in UAE, Saudi, Bahrain & Kuwait to help its customers with bookings.
Customer Care in Saudi, UAE & Kuwait
Saudi-based Almosafer started as a Hotel Bookings website but now offers air tickets as well. I am not really sure how it’s different from Tajawal as both of them are backed by Al Tayyar Group, both of them seem to be using the exactly same tech for their platform, similar user interface for bookings, some exactly same pages and absolutely similar offerings in terms of products. The only different thing is that Almosafer doesn’t have customer care in Bahrain. It is present in UAE, Saudi & Kuwait. But when we tried couple of searches, Almosafer returned us cheaper fares for flights from Saudi. So perhaps it’s a better option for those booking flights from Saudi.
Best for Payment Options, Customer Service, Changes & Refunds in Saudi & Egypt
Flyin was the first Online-only travel agent of Saudi. Launched after the establishment of its parent company Saudi Ebreez in 2010, Flyin sells air tickets and hotel rooms through their website. With offices and customer care centers in Saudi & Egypt, Flyin apart from payments through credit cards offers different localized options as well, including Sadad & Fawry in these countries. They were awarded as Middle East’s leading Online Travel Agency in 2015 & 2016 by World Travel Awards.
Customer Care in Kuwait, Saudi, UAE & Egypt
Started from Kuwait in 2014, Rehlat is the leading online travel agent of the country. Now available in Saudi, UAE & Egypt as well, Rehlat also sells flights and hotel rooms through their website and mobile apps. Rehalt lets user pay in some of its markets using local payment options like KNET & CashU.
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