The leading business partner in regard to managed travel, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), is to gain a controlling stake in one of the Middle East’s biggest travel management networks, Kanoo Travel, following a definitive agreement.

GBT and Kanoo Travel are to enter into a joint venture that will provide managed events and travel service to Middle East clients. Kanoo Travel has been an important partner of the global travel partner network operated by GBT for a number of years now and operates in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The transaction still has to receive regulatory approval and meet the usual conditions but is expected to close either in the fourth quarter of 2019 or the first quarter of next year. There has been no disclosure regarding the deal’s financial terms. 

As much as 65% of the new joint venture is to be held by GBT, the headquarters of which will be in Dubai. The company will assume operational control as well as the management of the business as a whole. The remaining 35% company stake will be held by the mother company of Kanoo Travel, YBA Kanoo Group. 

GBT International’s Managing Director, Elyes Mrad said that Kanoo Travel has for many years been a long-term, trusted partner in the region for GBT, with many of its clients knowing and respecting the brand. Mrad added that the new joint venture will be able to enhance the way that those clients and their travellers are serviced by their company, with the combination of the region-specific expertise of Kanoo Travel now being able to be backed up by the global scale and technology of GBT. 

Kanoo Travel’s President Nabeel Khalid Kanoo said that the worldwide clients of GBT, many of whom are already serviced by Kanoo Travel, will be able to benefit from the more consistent offering that can be provided all over the world because of the new joint venture. Kanoo pointed out that his own company’s clients in the Middle East are also going to profit over the long term by being able to access the complete travel and expense eco-system, global reach and proprietary technology provided by GBT, and that staff members are also thrilled by the new possibilities that will open up as a result of the partnership with the most recognised business travel brand in the world. 

Kanoo Travel has been providing innovative travel solutions throughout the Middle East for over 70 years now, offering reliable, cost-effective services that exceed the expectation of their customers, according to Kanoo, who believes that the partnership with GBT will help the company to become a truly global network and allow it to take its excellence and services one step further.

It is important for anyone who makes use of Kanoo Travel, GBT or any other travel service to take out travel insurance to make sure that they are fully protected against all risks – including cancelled flights, theft and illness – while travelling. 


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