Expanding Horizons: RateHawk’s Growth And Employment Opportunities in the Middle East

Expanding Horizons: RateHawk’s Growth And Employment Opportunities in the Middle East

As RateHawk continues to create a niche in the competitive travel industry landscape, the Middle East has emerged as a pivotal region for the company’s ambitious expansion plans. 

We’ve spoken with prestigious members of our Middle East team about the importance of being present in the region. Now, we’ve furthered the conversation to incorporate how RateHawk’s growth is also offering employment opportunities.

RateHawk Blog
10 minutes read

Spread your wings with RateHawk

RateHawk’s expansion in the Middle East is a testament to its strategic foresight and the hard work of its dedicated team. As the company continues to grow, it not only promises significant advancements in the travel industry but also offers enriching career opportunities for dynamic professionals across the region.

Introducing our Middle East team:

  • Serkan Ozbay, Regional Director Middle East
  • Wael Mahdy, Head of Business Development Oman, Qatar & Bahrain
  • Wael Naba, Country Manager Saudi Arabia
  • Maria Yakubuk, Senior Account Manager Qatar, Oman, Bahrain
  • Hamza Siddiqui, Account Manager Saudi Arabia

Serkan Ozbay, Regional Director Middle East

1. In a previous article, you discussed the importance of establishing a presence in the Middle East, a region experiencing rapid growth and attracting investments worldwide. Could you recap the achievements your team earned in 2023?

 2023 was the year of records for the Middle East team. We established teams in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar,Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait teams in less than 6 months. Shortly after forming these teams, we began to meet and exceed our targets. Within a year, we increased our partnerships from 1,600 to 4,800—a remarkable achievement in such a short period. Additionally, we achieved a 230% growth in generated revenue, a level of success that is almost unimaginable for many players in these markets, considering the size of our business.

As my friend and colleague Alex Gisbert often says, we are already in the champions league.” It’s no surprise that we are building a foundation to become the next champion.

2. How do you plan to develop and establish our presence this year?

We have conducted a comprehensive market analysis to understand the demographics, customer needs, local competition, and potential barriers to entry. We identified target customer segments and analyzed their buying behaviors, which helped us tailor our offerings to meet the specific needs and preferences of the local market, ensuring compliance with local regulations and standards.

Furthermore, we’ve established relationships with local businesses, distributors, and representatives to leverage their market knowledge and networks. Now, we are prepared to apply a new approach that will develop a strong value proposition, differentiating our products and services. This strategy includes creating a branding strategy that resonates with the local culture and values.

RateHawk is one unified team with a great passion and drive for success. In 2024, we aim to leave no stone unturned—every potential opportunity will be explored, and business will be acquired.

We have hired a local sales team composed of high-caliber professionals with extensive experience who understand the market and its needs well. This team is poised to achieve high-level results and ensure optimum customer satisfaction.

RateHawk is one unified team with a great passion and drive for success. In 2024, we aim to leave no stone unturned—every potential opportunity will be explored, and business will be acquired.

Our primary focus is on providing excellent customer service to build trust, and encourage word-of-mouth referrals.

We are also prepared to adapt our strategy to changing market conditions and maintain a flexible approach, allowing for adjustments based on real-world feedback and performance metrics.

3. What are the main hiring goals to help achieve those targets?

We are seeking dynamic, highly focused, and motivated professionals who are winners and can sustain the culture of success we have established. We are highly supportive, providing all the necessary tools for self-improvement and career development opportunities. 

Last year, we hired almost 50 people in the region, and we plan to continue hiring across various markets in the Middle East. We will keep investing in manpower alongside technology.

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Wael Mahdy, Head of Business Development Oman, Qatar & Bahrain

1. Can you please do a short introduction: a few words about yourself and the team you lead.

Before joining RateHawk, I’ve had over 17 years working in the travel industry, including a role at a multinational travel company in Bahrain. I then moved to RateHawk as a Business Development Manager for the GCC region. After two years, I took on the responsibility of liaising with all our business partners and potential collaborators. I was the first team member in the GCC team. I have recently been promoted to Head of Business Development for Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain. We’ve recently begun exploring these new markets for RateHawk, which were previously unfamiliar to many. Our approach involves frequent on-site visits, traveling to Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman on a monthly basis, as well as actively building and expanding our team.

2. How is your team currently organized? 

Our team includes two Sales Managers and one Account Manager in Qatar, two Sales Managers and one Account Manager in Oman, and one Sales Manager and one Account Manager in Bahrain.

3. Could you tell us about your hiring plans?

We are actively hiring because RateHawk is expanding in this market. The product is very well-known now, and our partners appreciate how effectively it meets their needs. They also value our supportive environment. All of this positively impacts our business. We are growing quickly. Our vision is quite distinct from that of any other company in the market, and we believe we can achieve more, thanks especially to the professionalism of our team members—not just in local and commercial roles but across all departments.

4. Do you have team members working from different locations?

Yes, we have people working from various countries. Initially, I was one of them, working from Egypt and regularly traveling to the region. Six months ago, I moved to Bahrain. Additionally, we have staff from other countries who take over responsibilities when someone is on vacation. The concept here is flexibility—working from anywhere makes it easier.

5. Let’s talk a bit about team bonding: do you have any traditions? Do you often meet offline?

Actually, we meet quite frequently. Each month, we bring together all local teams for dinners. These gatherings are casual, allowing us to chat not only about work—which accounts for about 20% of the conversation—but also about life, including family, hobbies, and more. Our last meeting was in Bahrain, and by the end of May, we will have another one for the Qatar team, followed by the Oman team in June.

Our friendly team in Bahrain.

6. How do you plan to grow and develop the team this year? Can you share some achievements your team earned in 2023-2024?

In the first quarter of 2024, we surpassed our activation targets by 21%, reaching 153 activations, setting a new record for our market. Impressively, this milestone was achieved largely due to the contributions of our new colleagues, who are still in their first quarter with us. By the end of 2023, we had also exceeded our FNBC and activation targets, another record achievement. We are well on our way to meeting the company’s goals for this region. We plan to hire additional Account and Sales Managers soon. 

Recently, we promoted one of our account managers to senior account manager, and we anticipate another promotion soon. I am actively guiding my team to develop the skills essential for advancement. At RateHawk, we foster a culture of sharing experiences and supporting one another.

We have 2 openings right now — Sales Managers in Oman and Bahrain.

Just six months ago, it was only me, and now we boast a dynamic team of 12 professionals. Several more are poised to join and dive deep into the business. This expansion is a significant achievement, enabling us to approach the market more quickly, easily, and effectively.

7. Why should a candidate consider joining your team?

We operate as a unified team, collaborating closely to achieve our goals. Our team environment is very supportive; we are not only colleagues but also friends who care deeply about one another. This extends beyond work—we are there for each other during various life challenges. Building such strong bonds within the team is vital.

Our debut partner event in Bahrain.

On a daily basis, we engage in discussions through our chats, hold regular calls to address various issues, guide each other—especially newcomers—helping them integrate into the team and find their footing quickly. We share experiences and provide full support to meet all targets and goals. This collaboration makes our team unique, akin to a family where the magic happens, and everyone can feel it. This supportive atmosphere stems from RateHawk’s overall culture, drawing people from diverse backgrounds, often from multinational companies. When everyone comes together, there’s a palpable sense of connection to a common purpose.

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Wael Naba, Country Manager Saudi Arabia

1. Can you please do a short introduction: a few words about yourself and the team you lead.

My name is Wael Naba. I’m originally from Lebanon but now reside in Saudi Arabia. I am the Country Manager for Saudi Arabia at RateHawk, having joined the team in March 2023. My primary role is to build a team because the market here is new for us. Before joining ETG, I had heard about RateHawk’s expansion and did some research on the company, its working environment, and atmosphere. The company is growing very fast and has a solid product, investing heavily in technology.

2. How is your team currently organized? 

Within a year, we hired six more people in Saudi Arabia. It is a large country with significant potential in the Gulf region. It’s growing very fast. The newcomers are very excited to join the team. Currently, we have ten employees based in Saudi Arabia, including four Account Managers and one team leader—myself.

3. Let’s talk a bit about team bonding: do you have any traditions? Do you often meet offline?

We held a team building event at the end of 2023 in Bahrain. We stayed there to socialize and engage in team-building activities. We also enjoyed a nice dinner together. I believe it’s essential for the team to come together; meeting in person is crucial. My team practices this every three to six months.

4. How do you plan to grow and develop the team this year? Share some achievements your team earned in 2023-2024.

Our main target is to grow our portfolio and acquire more travel partners. We aim to visit more remote areas of the country. We often set off on business trips to engage as many partners as possible. We’re in discussions about growing a direct supply team in Saudi Arabia. 

A major achievement was hitting the acquisition and FNBC targets for the last two quarters in 2023. We managed to increase the team size, making us one of the fastest-growing teams in the region. 

We are also pioneers in the country for launching familiarization trips for our partners. This concept was completely new. In Q4, we organized five trips to Cyprus, Bali, Morocco, England, and Kyrgyzstan.

5. Why should a candidate consider joining your team?

This part of the world is precious to me. It’s often referred to as “habibi business.” People here respect each other, and ETG is known for its comfortable working environment. Our team is frequently approached with inquiries about job openings. We offer a solid product, great management, and we are leaders and pioneers in fostering this kind of environment. People want to work for a stable international company, and RateHawk is considered one of them.

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Maria Yakubuk, Senior Account Manager Qatar, Oman, Bahrain

Working at RateHawk is mostly about the people and the team. Here, you strive for success and engage in exciting projects. RateHawk employees are more than just coworkers to me; they are part of my family. This makes our daily work feel like home, surrounded by such a supportive and special environment. The opportunities for growth and learning, as well as the chance to work with a global team of professionals, are what I genuinely adore about RateHawk.

Hamza Siddiqui, Account Manager Saudi Arabia

Well, working at RateHawk gives you a sense of being challenged, dedicated, and motivated. RateHawk is a well-structured organization that provides a professional environment where one can learn and utilize their skills to achieve the company’s goals along with personal professional growth. Individual job descriptions in the company are well identified and aligned with key result areas (KRAs), which subsequently result in positive and effective output from each member of the company.

I feel lucky to be surrounded by a professional and skillful team and a team leader. The combination of all these elements provides a healthy work environment. Mutual respect, support, trust, and communication among colleagues help in making the workplace more productive and efficient. This can also lead to higher job satisfaction and happiness.

RateHawk Team, Saudi Arabia.

Join the RateHawk team!

If you’re inspired by the success and driven by the opportunity to be part of a leading international company, consider joining RateHawk. With a supportive environment, exciting growth opportunities, and a focus on professional development, RateHawk offers a platform where you can excel and contribute to its ongoing success story.

Partner with RateHawk on their journey to redefine travel solutions—where your career aspirations fly as high as your dreams.

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