A successful journey

Amongst the UAE’s premier travel agencies, Al Hadaf Travel & Tourism has been crafting exclusive experiences for the past 15 years

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By Michelle D' Souza

Published: Sun 1 Aug 2021, 4:05 PM

Last updated: Wed 23 Aug 2023, 2:29 PM

Muhammad Ali Khan has come a long way since his stint as a travel agent in Dubai in the early 2000s. The entrepreneur, who hails from a small town in Pakistan’s Punjab province, gradually grew up the corporate ladder and in 2006 became the CEO of the venture Al Hadaf Travel & Tourism.

The leader, who has been conferred with the 10-year Golden Visa by the UAE government, delved into the success story of his travel firm while highlighting the many experiences and packages curated by the company.

Passion project

Al Hadaf Travel & Tourism is a destination management company with over 15 years of expertise in the travel and hospitality industry. It has been actively involved in distributing tourist visa assistance to B2B travel agents in the UAE and across the globe.

The founder of the travel firm places great importance on providing unmatched service to clients. “Our strong connections bring great value to our exceptional service delivery,” he noted. Elaborating on the many packages and facilities provided by Al Hadaf, Khan stated, “We organise inbound tours to the UAE and are masters in business travel, hotel reservations, excursions and transport services, encouraging holidaymakers to visit the Arabian Gulf. Our goal is to ensure our valued guests are content and receive a memorable travel experience.”

The company also facilitates tours to the many amusement parks and sightseeing destinations in the UAE, in addition to issuing air tickets.

Plans are afoot at Al Hadaf to launch the quintessential dhow cruise experience, the floating restaurant traversing Dubai’s waters. Guests onboard can expect freshly-prepared gourmet 5-star catering, a wide selection of food and beverage options, enchanting instrumental and live music. The dhow provisioned by the travel company features an exquisitely structured upper lower deck and upper deck offering expansive views of the glittering skyscrapers that rim Dubai’s waters.

Remarking on the same, Khan said, “We wish to create an ambience for any event, be it private gatherings or romantic night outs, affording unrivalled beauty and a great dining experience to clients.”

Muhammad Ali Khan, CEO, Al Hadaf Travel & Tourism

Opportunities and challenges

Acknowledging that the pandemic has not been favourable for travel, Khan stated, “Covid-19 has created desperate times for the travel and tourism industry. The long waiting time for countries to resume tourism has greatly impacted the usual traveller numbers. A majority of domestic and international airlines were forced to cancel their flights due to severe quarantine measures and a lack of passengers. Although Dubai’s tourism sector announced reopening the city for international tourism in July last year, people worldwide were sceptical of travel. Consequently, the number of international arrivals in Dubai were far less compared to last year.”

The entrepreneur, however, credits the local authorities for ramping up tourism in the country post the pandemic lull. “Thankfully, with the leadership of the UAE government, Dubai opening up in the early stages has led to the survival of travel agencies, giving us opportunities to look forward to welcoming visitors. Expo 2020 Dubai in particular has given hope to travel and tourism companies.

“Travel companies have been given the opportunity to develop packages encouraging visitors to experience one of the greatest events of the world and upsell accommodations, sports and adventure pursuits, desert voyages, culinary experiences and much more. Al Hadaf is in the running to be an Expo 2020 Dubai-authorised ticket reseller, which we believe will create great prospects for our customers to witness a one-stop-shop experience,” Khan expressed.

Words of wisdom

The leader hopes budding business professionals learn from his life’s eventful journey. “I would like to encourage all entrepreneurs to stay put with their plans and keep walking on the path to success. Despite all the challenges experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic, travel is one of the world’s most resilient industries — and while we don’t know exactly when travellers will be back in force, we can be certain that they will be back. Success comes down to hard work plus hunger. If you work really, really hard over a long period of time, it will pay off.”

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