dnata to expand Marhaba premium services

Written by: Felicity Stredder |
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A source of optimism in otherwise disappointing year-end profits for the Emirates Group, ground handling subsidiary dnata plans to expand its Marhaba premium travel services.

Marhaba is dnata’s meet-and-greet service that also provides lounge access, chauffeur and porter services, and on-arrival immigration assistance. The service is available at Dubai International, Al Maktoum and Bahrain International airports. The international expansion is set to span dnata’s dedicated Marhaba lounge network across the Middle East, Asia and Europe to accommodate the growth in popularity of the premium service.

This year, passenger growth of the Marhaba division outstripped the overall growth at the main hub, Dubai International airport. Marhaba handled 3.89m passengers at Dubai International during the past financial year, up 18% from 3.3m passengers a year earlier, while the number of passengers at Dubai airport itself increased by 7.4% in the first quarter of the year to 22.49m from 20.94m a year earlier.

Further growth in the Marhaba services are expected, with dnata anticipating that Marhaba passengers will be 10 percentage points higher than passenger growth at the airport this financial year. Marhaba currently employs 782 members of staff – but this number is expected to rise to 820 by the end of the current financial year.

"We are expanding Marhaba internationally in four locations with the lounges under construction, as we recognised passengers these days want that premium service," commetned Steve Allen, Divisional Senior VP for UAE airport operations at dnata.

Marhaba services in these new locations will be initially restricted to lounge access with the possibility of meet-and-greet services being added later.

Two of these lounges will be operational by the end of the calendar year and the remaining lounges will open during the first half of 2018.


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