Safra - CEO Thaer Samara

Markets are anything but stable, they fluctuate, grow, decline, and as technology continues to change the way our world works, they even die. However, one market that has consistently maintained its dominance on a global scale, is the travel and tourism industry. The travel and tourism industry has not only maintained its steady growth, but has grown to become one of the world’s leading industries. 

According to the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council), travel and tourism accounts for a staggering 10.4% of the global GDP which translates into over 7 trillion USD, thus generating hundreds of millions of jobs. But what sets this industry apart and ensures its dominance in global markets, is that travel offers consumers so much more than just a product. Travel is an immersive experience which allows people to not only set some time apart for much needed leisure and relaxation time, but to change their horizons, and explore and learn about the various landscapes, cultures and people we share our world with.    

Understanding the potential of this untapped market in the Arab world, Thaer Samara left a stable job and utilized his background as a business and marketing major, as well as extensive experience within the tourism sector, to co-found Safra. Launched in March of 2018, Safra is a fully integrated platform which provides travel agencies with the tools and resources to book fully customizable packages, travel experiences, airline and hotel reservations, as well as on the ground transportation, as cost and time efficiently as possible. 

In addition to co-founder, Thaer, who acts within his capacity as CEO, Safra is the product of a shared vision realized by its four co-founders, CFO, Mohammed Ali, CTO Ameer and COO, Abdallah Muhtadi. However, the Safra team is continually growing and consists of five full-time employees (including the founders), as well as additional part-timers who work in development and sales, and are dedicated to making Safra the go to option for travel agencies around the world.  

Safra emerged as a response to the outdated, costly and time draining travel agencies, struggling to adapt to the growing technological revolution transforming the way travel works. Thaer explains, “I visited travel agencies all over, and I noticed they were really suffering by relying on several different service provides, making phone calls for bookings and offering brochures for premade packages.” As such, Safra is set to disrupt the travel and tourism industry especially throughout the MENA region, with an efficient, cost effective and fully digital solution that is available for travel agencies everywhere. 

Safra is all about “allowing travel agencies to build itineraries in seconds, with full customization power to create the packages clients really need,” says CEO, Thaer Samara. 

Using Safra is as easy as it is efficient. Travel agencies across the globe simply sign up to the Safra platform, and instantly receive access to a multitude of service providers, including airlines, hotels, transportation options, as well as destination packages and activities fully tailored to meet clients’ demands. “Safra will save travel agencies time and money and enable them to acquire even more customers,” says Thaer. This is undeniable, as travel agencies will be able to step away from obsolete booking techniques and take advantage of a fully digital platform. According to Thaer, “Most travel agencies were booking around five trips a day, doing things the old way. However, now, they will be able to book around twenty trips in an hour!”

What sets Safra apart, is their extensive knowledge of the MENA travel and tourism market, which remains untapped by other booking services. Not only does Safra coordinate with travel agencies throughout the region, they work to create fully immersive experiences that celebrate the expansive landscapes, cultures, and sights and sounds that makes up the MENA region. Since their launch, Safra has managed to go global with travel agencies throughout Palestine, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and even Lebanon signing up to become part Safra’s ever growing network. 

Safra is “huge” says Thaer, as he explains how the team behind this innovative venture is constantly working on optimizing the platform, by adding new features, services and incentives to make Safra the go-to service used by travel agencies around the world. To do so, the Safra team reaches out to their top industry contacts, puts their resources behind social media marketing campaigns, and attends top regional events to expand their outreach and acquire new clients. 

By operating out of Palestine, Safra’s impact to positively contribute to the livelihoods and economic capabilities of their employees is undeniable. With the growth of Safra, the impact is set to exponentially rise, potentially creating a countless number of jobs and opportunities for Palestine’s unemployed youth. However, the impact does not end there, as Thaer is committed to giving back and supporting local entrepreneurs and startups that need business advice or even a place to get together and work on their projects.  

To find out more, visit

Written by
Leila Farraj
- Palestine
Leila Farraj is MENACatalyst’s Digital Content Strategist. Since the launch of MENACatalyst, Leila has been integral in developing and managing content that strategically reflects the overall mi... Leila Profile
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