Saturday, January 26, 2013

Digital Snapshot of hotels in Qatar

Qatar is today one of the fastest growing economies across the globe. The small gulf country with a population of just 1.87 million enjoys a per capita Gross national income (GNI) of over USD 80,000. Qatar, where the economy has so far been dependent on vast oil and natural gas reserves is now making swift forays into various other alternative sectors, hospitality and tourism being one of them. Qatar’s tourism industry is still in its nascent stage compared to rival UAE; however it is evolving very fast. Huge investments are undertaken to develop state of the art hotels, convention centers, restaurants and service apartments etc. Most of the world class hotels have started building their presence in country.
Given the fact the tourism is one of the sunrise sectors in Qatar; our research team at Mixilion has undertaken a task to do a detailed analysis of the digital presence of the hotel industry in Qatar. Some of the key insights of the research analysis go as follow-

  • Digital Presence- The digital presence of the various hotels in Qatar cannot be very easily generalized. The overall digital presence varies from one hotel to another. There are hotels with very strong digital and social media presence, where as there are ones were the digital strategy seems to undefined.

  • Social Media- Some of the hotels seem to have a clear cut social media strategy. For instance, W Doha Hotel and Residence. The hotel has over 12,000 Facebook fans. The overall content strategy which is a blend of international appeal and the local charm appears to be very appealing. On the other side of the spectrum there are many hotels which are yet to realize the importance of a Facebook page.

  • Background Color- White is one of the preferred background colors for the website. However there are hotels with background color as black and others as well.

  • Contact Us- In the contact us section, most of the hotels have put their phone numbers, however most of them (baring few) haven’t put their email ids. However it is essential to understand the fact that for many, emails are the preferred mode for initial communication.

  • Testimonials and Feedback- Many hotels in Doha have not realized the importance of testimonials and feedbacks. Only a very few have put testimonials on the home page of their website. For a place like Qatar, which is relatively new on the tourism map, having a testimonial and feedback section can be a brand booster.

The Mobile Advertising Market in the Middle East


While doing some research work I came across a wonderful presentation by Wael Quader, CEO, Noqoush a mobile media agency catering to the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. The twenty two minute presentation is quite insightful in the context of mobile advertisement in the MENA region. The fact that Noqoush is audited by Effective Measures, a premier research agency adds further credibility to the presentation. One can go through the video by following the given link- The Mobile Advertising Market in the Middle East- Wael Quader.
As finding quality statistics is a real challenge in the MENA region, I just thought of extracting some key statistics and insights from the video and write a blog-

·         Total number of mobile phone subscribers (2012) in Middle East stand at 250 million.

·         The total number of internet users in Middle East stand at 77 million, out of which around 35 million access internet through mobile phones.

·         One of the biggest markets in the Middle East in terms of mobile usage is Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). It has a subscriber base of 53 million out of which around 11.3 million access internet through phones.

·         Three biggest markets in terms of ad requests are- KSA, UAE and Egypt.

·         Popular mobile application categories include- Games, social messaging, video streaming, music and entertainment and news and sports.

·         Types of mobile ads include- Simple, dynamic and rich media. Rich Media- 70% of users are interested in rich media. Rich media will play an important role in the near future.

·         Click through rate (CTR) - CTR is a measure of effectiveness of ad campaigns. It is equivalent to the no. of times a click is made on an ad divided by number of impressions. (The number of impression is the number of times an ad has been served). The following graph will give some insight about the CTR for some of the MENA countries.

        Fig 1: shows the CTR for various Middle Eastern countries.

In the given context there are two important points to be noted. 1st CTR is not always a sufficient measure for effectiveness of ad campaigns as effectiveness also depends on the number of ads served. For instance Qatar with a CTR of 0.9 seems a better option than KSA which has a CTR of 0.6. However the reason for slightly lower CTR in KSA’s case could be the high volume of ads issued. 2nd the statistics given over here are with respect to AdFalcon , Noquosh’s advertising platform and hence cannot be generalized.