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Tue 10 Jan 2017 01:52 PM

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UAE online travel firm hires ex-DIFC senior exec as new CEO

Musafir.com announces appointment of former DIFC chief financial officer as it gears up for first round of business financing

UAE online travel firm hires ex-DIFC senior exec as new CEO

Musafir.com, the UAE’s first online travel agency, on Tuesday announced the appointment of Rajesh Pareek, a former senior executive at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as its new Group CEO.

The appointment comes as the company gears up for its first major round of business financing.

Pareek joins the company from DIFC, where he served as chief financial officer from January 2011 to December 2016.

In his new position, Rajesh will lead Musafir.com with a focus on international expansion and the company's next round of fundraising activities, a statement said. 

In the last three years, the company has seen compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 40 percent, with the online business growing at above 150 percent CAGR while Musafir.com has also quadrupled the number of employees from 100 to more than 400.

In November, Musafir.com announced the launch of dedicated operations and Arabic websites in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with further expansion planned across India, GCC and MENA regions in the near to medium term.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani, chairman and co-founder of Musafir.com, said: “In Rajesh, we have found someone who shares our vision and we look forward to his contribution in delivering the next phase of growth for Musafir.com. Rajesh will play an instrumental role in strengthening our business model, raising capital, and exploring new mergers and acquisitions.”

During his time at DIFC, Rajesh oversaw the financial performance of the DIFC Authority and its related companies, including DIFC Investments.

He said: "Looking ahead, we have a highly ambitious growth plan and I am delighted to join the company at such an important stage in its journey. I look forward to playing my part in establishing Musafir.com as the number one OTA in the MENA region, and cementing its place as the industry leader in innovation.”

Musafir.com offers flights to over 3,000 destinations and hotel stays in more than 200,000 properties around the world.

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