American Express Global Business Travel has partnered with Emirates Group-owned dnata to offer its global clients more local expertise in the Middle East region.
The agency has signed a “preferred travel partner agreement” with Dubai-based dnata Travel Management. It will provide full end-to-end travel and meetings management services to Amex GBT’s customers, the company said.
Dnata Travel Management is part of the dnata Travel Group, which is the travel division of dnata, a global air and travel services provider. Amex GBT, and other travel agencies, often establish these types of partnerships with “local travel partners” in countries where they do not have a proprietary operation.
The pair also have some history, as dnata acquired a 23 percent stake in corporate travel agency Hogg Robinson Group in 2008, which was bought by Amex GBT a decade later. Alongside investment firm Boron it was a significant minority shareholder at the time.
The tie-up comes as the Middle East embarks on a number of large scale projects, including Saudi Arabia’s Neom project. The country is eying a 100 million-visitor target per year by 2030. “Saudi has huge ambitions,” the tourism authority’s chief technology officer Choon Yang Quek said during Skift Global Forum earlier this year.
“We look forward to working with Amex GBT and its clients as the region sees strong growth in corporate travel, fuelled by mega-projects and companies that are seeking to expand,” said Rashid Al Awadhi, senior vice president – dnata Travel Group, Middle East and India.
Adnan Kazim, chief commercial officer at Emirates Airline, will be speaking at Skift Global Forum East in Dubai, which takes place December 13-15.