Posted on November 23, 2015

Travelstart, the leading travel booking site in Africa, has officially launched a fully localized and complete Arabic version of its website in Qatar this week.

This makes Travelstart one of the top websites to offer an end-to-end experience in Arabic, without needing to switch languages in between. Speaking about the company’s latest milestone Travelstart’s Middle East Area Manager, Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo said, “The launch of Travelstart in Arabic helps booking and travelling become more personal. This will enhance our customers’ experience as well as validate our standing as a leading travel website in Qatar.”

Arabic-speaking travel bookers can conveniently switch between English and Arabic versions of the website by using the language toggle located in the top-right navigation of the home page. “Arabic speaking customers will benefit from Travelstart’s industry leading features, which include access to real time prices for cheap flights from all airlines such as Qatar Airways, Emirates, Flydubai, Etihad Airways and Oman Air, as well as hotels and car rentals. It gives them the freedom to make travel arrangements in their language and local currency to personalize the booking process,” Abbondandolo added.

Arabic is currently the fifth most spoken language in the world, and the official language in 26 countries. While an estimated 413 million of the world’s Internet users are from the Arab World, the availability of Arabic online content is vastly negatively disproportionate. Remo believes that Internet search patterns in the Middle East point to an urgent need for more Arabic content. “In Saudi Arabia approximately 80% of Internet users conduct searches in Arabic, while 60% do so in Kuwait. Even in Qatar, where the market has a lot of expatriates, and Arabs are accustomed to searching online in English, Qatari nationals still feel more comfortable making bookings in their native language,” said Abbondandolo.

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Travelstart is backing its fully Arabic platforms with multiple payment channels for customer convenience. Secure payment options include debit and credit cards,  and CashU. Customers can also use bank transfer facilities with Doha Bank, or have couriers collect their cash payment.

 “Travelstart overcomes two key barriers to regional e-commerce growth – localization in terms of language, and easy payment mechanisms. Our core aim is to increase familiarity, convenience and ease of use so that local audiences are perfectly at home booking online in native environments. In 2015 alone we’ve had 4 million users in the MENA region accessing Travelstart in English. The launch of an Arabic version of our site will provide an even more culturally relevant local experience to our valued customers,” said Abbondandolo.

Travelstart has also launched localized Arabic travel booking websites in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt and Morocco this week.

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