New video-based travel app designed to promote the UAE

A Dubai company is preparing to launch its video-based travel app, Travall, for Abu Dhabi in February and for other emirates later in 2015.

ABU DHABI // A Dubai-based company is creating a version of its new video-based travel app for Abu Dhabi and plans to cover the rest of the UAE as well.

The Travall smartphone application allows people to see 30 or 60-second videos of places before they make their travel plans. Individuals can also film their own 15-second video reviews, which the company says is a feature that is the first of its kind in the UAE.

The Dubai version has been downloaded about 1,700 times this month and there are more than 400 profiles, 200 videos and 300 clients using the app, said Adam Ridgway, the company’s chief executive.

“By showcasing these destinations in video format, people who are considering visiting and staying in Abu Dhabi will be able to get a much better visual feel for the places under consideration,” he said.

The Abu Dhabi version is to be released in February and so far has attracted Saadiyat Beach Club, St Regis the Residences, Etihad Towers Residences and others as clients.

Video content is considered a way forward for the travel industry, especially when the content is user-generated, said Gaurav Sinha, founder of Insignia, a travel branding agency.

“I believe that curated content, which allows people to engage with a destination, is critical for any destination to enhance its relevance,” he said.

Content that is relevant and easy to share is a “very high-impact tool”, he said. “We live in a generation where people don’t necessarily consume a lot of the written word.”

Video also allowed for a more immersive experience than writing or images, Mr Ridgway said. “Globally, the trends show that short videos are the fastest-growing format for delivering or receiving information.”

The videos were gaining popularity through social media such as Instagram and Vine, Twitter’s video-sharing platform for six-second clips.

After the Abu Dhabi launch, the company will make apps for Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah in March followed by the rest of the Northern Emirates in April.

The company is also signing deals to franchise in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, India, Mexico, South Africa and the US next year, Mr Ridgway said.

The Abu Dhabi version has 50 videos and the company said it aimed to have 150 by the end of next month. The free app can also be used to build trip itineraries, make reservations, rate outlets and redeem vouchers.

lcarroll@thenational.ae

Published: December 26, 2014 04:00 AM

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