Is Holiday-Factory in Dubai A Scam?

Since Holiday Factory opened 2011 in UAE, it made all travelers extremely excited with their promotions. Quoting those rates, anyone can go to selected destination without planning in advance. What's the deal here? It's time to address the BIG question, is this a legitimate business or one of those too good to be true deals? Let's find out...

OWNERSHIP

Holiday Factory is owned by a German holding company Brainnox, pride themselves for bringing European standards in the Middle-East with 15,000 employees. Opened in 2011 by CEO Hakan Bakar.  It's straightforward and legally registered business entity in the UAE.


Looking at Brainnox Group FZE Dubai, it is linked to Brainnox GmbH Germany, an investment and management group based at In der Steele 14, 40599 Dusseldorf.  More details about this company pop-up in Tripadvisor review by Dubai_Phil_64 reveals more a bit confusing ownership otherwise, wherein they are linked to ND Global Group GmbH with domain name www.nd.net (still under construction and is actually a domain for sale). The owner of domain is Ecolog AG which has exact the same address as Brainnox. However,  Ecolog AG on the other hand has no link to travel agency as stated.


WEBSITE TRUST RATING & RANK

Trust score is 86% legitimate business based on Scam Adviser.  Holiday Factory is at 394 rank position as one of the most popular websites in the UAE.

Screen grab from Alexa.com as of 28th September 2015
PROMOTIONS

There's no doubt that most if not all of their promotion package are half the price compared to regular rates. The offer is in form of a voucher, similar to Groupon discount website, everything includes return international flights, hotel, airport transfer and dedicated tour. It is bound to all conditions there is and subject to dates availability.

I've tried several times but to no avail, it's sold out in seconds literally or is it?  2nd and 3rd vouchers with slightly higher price will then be shown.

Samples grab from their website.




DID ANYONE GET ONE OF THEIR WEEKLY PROMOTIONS?

YES! Based on reviews shown in Facebook (As of 28th September 2015), extremely satisfied individuals (I assume, got the cheapest deals) represents 53% out of total 696 reviews. However, there is no way to determine how many in fact got the promotion deals and or regular rates. This leads to even bigger question, did the company achieve their ambitious target of accommodating 1 million passenger per year? Nobody knows...

Screen grab from Holiday Factory Facebook page as of 28th September 2015

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Book directly online by entering your destination and period of stay, cheapest rate will be displayed according to your preference.

Watch out for limited seats weekly promotion deals, that usually ends in seconds.  If fortunate to get this voucher, book with customer service on desired travel dates. In case of fully booked situation encounters, you can can opt for a refund, however you need to settle a cancellation fee of 150 AED.

ARE THE ACTUAL RATES OFFERED CHEAPER THAN OTHERS?

NOPE. Not really. Also note, with their rates, don't expect a fancy hotel accommodation, It'll be standard or below preferred choice and may not be in an ideal location. Typically same rate compared to do-it-yourself booking with direct airlines and hotels. The only difference is in Holiday Factory everything is included, no need to worry about airport transfer and tour. Not certain to what extent is the tour though, plus there may be last minute cancellation from their side.

To give you a broader perspective, here are some gathered reviews online.
Screen grab from ExpatWoman website

Screen grab from Facebook reviewer
Screen grab from Facebook reviewer
Based on mixed reviews and facts (mostly negative), Holiday Factory is NOT A SCAM. In fact, they also extend promotions to reputable companies, such as Etisalat and local banks. Ownership may be in question but as long as it is a legal business entity in Dubai, that doesn't matter. Claimed to have 15,000 employees, only their actual payroll listing can prove that.

With regards to their promo and service, that's another story. Even if it's not a fiddle company as claimed, I am still apprehensive arranging a holiday with them. Adverse complaints keeps adding up, some of my friends did relentless follow-up for refunds but to no avail, months later they keep them hangin' or waiting for nothing.

Please feel free to comment or share your actual experience with Holiday Factory.

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