Cleartrip Middle East announces strongest quarter in its history

Updated 06 February 2018
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Cleartrip Middle East announces strongest quarter in its history

Cleartrip Middle East, a leading mobile and online travel company in the region, delivered its strongest quarterly results ever in the fourth quarter of 2017 on the back of a 59 percent year-on-year increase in bookings in the MENA region.
“We marked a strong finish to 2017 with the best quarterly performance in Cleartrip Middle East’s history. In markets like the UAE, we were able to outperform the industry showcasing a multifold expansion. We are particularly delighted to see that our investments toward the adoption of new technologies have started to yield positive results,” said Stuart Crighton, founder and CEO of Cleartrip.
In the UAE, Cleartrip grew four times as much as the overall air industry growth rate, which expanded at about 13 percent compared to the same Q4 period a year ago. In Saudi Arabia, Cleartrip witnessed a 236 percent increase in growth, driven by a number of factors including the company’s launch of its Arabic website and continued focus on product innovation.
While India continued to be the strongest route in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the company’s domestic travel segment in the Kingdom expanded 25-fold in the last quarter. The UAE witnessed a spike in traffic to the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, while the Kingdom recorded a substantial growth in traffic to Egypt, the UAE, Pakistan, the Philippines and Turkey.
“We are optimistic that 2018 will be another strong growth year, and we will continue to drive innovation and leverage technology to diversify and enhance our offerings. With our strong presence in the region and our solid financial credentials, we couldn’t be in a better position to further scale our operations and expand our market footprint. Closely aligned with our long-term growth strategy, we have laid out plans to further deepen our presence in the region, starting with our launch in Egypt later this year,” said Sameer Bagul, EVP and managing director, Cleartrip.
All booking channels performed well during the quarter, however, mobile was one of the strongest boosted by the company’s investments worth more than $1 million in mobile development over the last year.
“We clearly know that the future is mobile and we will continue to step up our efforts to bolster Cleartrip’s leadership position in this space. We are also working toward introducing ‘chat based’ booking and service experience to enable our customers to interact with our brand in a more ‘natural’ manner by cutting out the noise,” said Bagul.


EFE-Citi program links unemployed Saudi youth to jobs

Updated 08 December 2018
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EFE-Citi program links unemployed Saudi youth to jobs

The Citi Foundation and Education For Employment (EFE) have partnered together to create job and economic opportunities for 30 unemployed Saudi youths in the first six months of 2018. The partnership aims to support Saudi Vision 2030’s mission of empowering youth with opportunities.

EFE introduced its “Work Readiness Program” to Saudi Arabia for the first time, nurturing and inspiring young Saudi women and men with skills to succeed on the job and in life. About 50 percent of the graduates are young women, reflecting EFE and Citi Foundation’s shared commitment to economic opportunities for women. 

The training program was designed to highlight various aspects of the employment search such as effective communication, emotional intelligence, time management and interpersonal skills to meet employer expectations, and overcome the challenges of adjusting to the work environment. According to a press statement, 100 percent of the program graduates were placed into pre-committed jobs in the private sector.

Zuhair Al-Zahrani, a graduate of the EFE-Citi sponsored program, said: “After EFE’s training I realized how much it changed me and since then I advise my colleagues to never let anything get in the way of improving and building new skills, which will reflect on the way we present ourselves and our companies in the best manner possible.”

Amr Abdallah, director of Gulf Programs at EFE-Global, added: “The skills that Saudi youths acquired in this program are based on the proven model that has enabled the EFE Network to introduce 73,000 unemployed youths to the world of work in nine countries across the Middle East and North Africa. We are proud to partner with the Citi Foundation to have brought this transformative training to Saudi Arabia to help Saudi youth reach their potential and compete in growing sectors such as service.”

“We’re thrilled to see that our partnership with EFE has helped these young Saudi women and men become work-ready and secure jobs that will enable them to contribute to the Kingdom’s economy,” said Carmen Haddad, Citi country officer — Saudi Arabia. 

Increasingly, private sector employers such as Nesma Embroidery and SaudiReadyMix, which hired the inaugural EFE-Citi Foundation program graduates, are turning to EFE for qualified entry-level employees.

Rana Zumai, general manager at Nesma Embroidery and an EFE — Citi Employer partner, said: “We are really grateful cooperating with EFE in their well-established courses, as they’ve delivered several training programs to our employees throughout Saudi Arabia, leaving a great impact in developing their soft skills. With EFE’s initiative, Nesma Embroidery was the first to give a finance course to non-finance operational employees.”

Now entering its fifth year, the Citi-EFE partnership provides training and economic opportunities to unemployed youths in Morocco, Tunisia, and, for the first time, in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In 2018 alone, the partnership will impact over 400 youth, nearly doubling the impact achieved in the partnership’s first four years.