Arabian Travel Market returns to Dubai with 1,500 exhibitors
Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2022 is ready to welcome the world to the UAE from Monday 9 to Thursday 12 May, playing host to 1,500 exhibitors, representatives from 112 global destinations, and an anticipated 20,000 attendees. The live show will be followed by ATM Virtual, which will run from Tuesday 17 to Wednesday 18 May.
Taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) in collaboration with Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), the 29th edition of ATM will form an essential part of the UAE’s annual Arabian Travel Week.
In keeping with this year’s theme of ‘The future of international travel and tourism’, ATM 2022 will feature a huge selection of sessions and events, enabling industry professionals from around the world to discuss current trends and explore long-term opportunities within the fields of travel, transportation, tourism, hospitality, events, attractions and more.
Kerry Prince, Chief Growth Officer, RX said: “Business travel expenditure in the Middle East is forecast to rise by 32% this year, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and these figures underscore the positive sentiment, that we’ve experienced throughout the region.
“This naturally bodes well for yet another successful edition of ATM, providing a catalyst to put our industry firmly on the path to a robust and sustainable recovery, alongside our partners the DET and of course the DWTC.”
The show floor at this year’s edition will be over 85% larger than at ATM 2021. This growth is thanks to the expansion of several sector- and region-specific zones, including Travel Tech (380%); hotels (71%); the Middle East (57%); Africa (56%); Asia (50%); and Europe (49%).
Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) commented: “Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism is pleased to be part of this significant fixture in the global tourism calendar, and is looking forward to discussing and exploring opportunities for sustainable growth, in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai to make Dubai the most visited destination and the best city in the world to live and work in. Since reopening to the global market in July 2020, Dubai has never looked back. We have been able to build on this momentum year on year, leading to a hugely successful Expo 2020 Dubai. And ATM comes at a time when the rest of the world wants to be a part of this remarkable journey with Dubai. As the host city, we welcome our industry partners and travel and tourism professionals to this vibrant networking environment to share experiences, insights and best practices to reinvigorate tourism growth in a post-pandemic world. With Dubai continuing to lead the recovery of the international business events sector, it is also important that we recognise the steadfast support of all our stakeholders and partners, which has helped further enhance the trust that international travellers have placed in the city as a global destination that is open, safe and accessible.”
Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME – Arabian Travel Market, said: “ATM 2022 will see a diverse range of industry leaders take to the stage, offering expert insights on trends, challenges and opportunities from across our sector.
“Our opening session, for instance, which will be moderated by CNN’s Eleni Giokos, will feature Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing; Scott Livermore, Chief Economist at Oxford Economics; and Jochem-Jan Sleiffer, President – Middle East, Africa and Turkey at Hilton.”
One of many show highlights, the revamped and rebranded ATM Travel Tech event, previously called Travel Forward, has undergone a year-on-year expansion of almost 400%. In addition to the latest travel technology products and services, the ATM Travel Tech Stage will host a series of seminars, debates and presentations focused on the long-term trajectory of tourism in the Middle East.
The inaugural ATM Draper-Aladdin Start-up Competition, meanwhile, has generated significant buzz since its launch earlier this year. Held in conjunction with AladdinB2B and Draper Associates, the initiative will see 15 travel, tourism and hospitality start-ups pitch for US$500,000 of funding – not to mention the opportunity to compete for an additional US$500,000 of investment as part of hit TV show, Meet the Drapers.
“As a globally recognised tech hub, Dubai offers an unparalleled environment for entrepreneurs and start-ups working to drive advancements within travel, tourism and hospitality,” said Curtis. “Indeed, the effective development and implementation of technology is essential to our industry’s day-to-day operations as well as its long-term sustainability and success.
“It’s for this reason that ATM 2022 is teaming up with AladdinB2B and Draper Associates. Together, we aim to help incubate a new generation of industry innovation,” she continued. “By capitalising on the Middle East’s status as an innovation hub and taking advantage of the region’s ongoing start-up phenomenon, we believe ATM 2022 will act as a much-needed incubator for future tech and innovation.”
After joining ATM Virtual 2021, both the ARIVALDubai@ATM forum and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) will participate live in Dubai for the first time this year. With its focus on current and future trends for tour operators and attractions, ARIVALDubai@ATM will provide expert advice on growing business through marketing, technology, distribution, thought leadership and executive-level connections. GBTA, meanwhile, will deliver the latest business travel content, research and education to help drive the sector’s ongoing recovery and support longer-term growth in business travel.
ATM 2022 will include in-depth buyer forums dedicated to India and Saudi Arabia, enabling attendees to explore trends and potential opportunities within both key markets. The show floor will also feature live interviews with aviation and hospitality experts; debates on the future of sports, city and responsible tourism; digital influencer networking; best stand awards; and the return of ILTM Arabia, with its focus on the lucrative luxury travel market.
Capitalising on the upward trajectory of regional tourism investment, the ITIC-ATM Middle East Summit – hosted jointly by ATM and the International Tourism Investment Conference (ITIC) – will shine a spotlight on access to project finance in the post-Covid era. With speakers including Gerald Lawless, Director of ITIC and WTTC Ambassador; Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism; and Dr Taleb Rifai, Chairman of ITIC and former Secretary-General of the UNWTO, this event will provide a timely opportunity for travel and tourism professionals to explore investment opportunities, discover new modes of financing, and network with peers from around the world.
“We are also looking forward to welcoming speakers from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia and Qatar Tourism, not to mention a broad selection of regional and international brands,” said Curtis. “This year’s edition will feature representatives from Etihad, SAUDIA, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, Boeing, Emaar Hospitality Group, Radisson Hotel Group and many more.”
Building on the success of ATM’s hybrid approach during the global pandemic, this year’s in-person event will be followed by the third installment of ATM Virtual, which will take place from Tuesday 17 to Wednesday 18 May 2022. This component will offer industry professionals the opportunity to showcase their destinations to a global audience of travel buyers and provide a platform for travel professionals to continue their all-important one-to-one meetings and view on-demand sessions conducted during the in-person show from the comfort of their homes and offices.
The upcoming edition of ATM will coincide with Arabian Travel Week, a festival of events dedicated to enabling travel professionals from all over the world to collaborate and shape the recovery of the Middle East travel industry through exhibitions, conferences, breakfast briefings, awards, product launches and networking events.
In addition to ATM 2022, the ATM Draper-Aladdin Start-up Competition; ATM Travel Tech; ATM Virtual; ILTM Arabia; ARIVAL Dubai; ITIC; GBTA business travel forums; buyer speed networking and influencer networking events; the Hotelier Awards 2022; and the Business Traveller Awards 2022 will all take place under the auspices of Arabian Travel Week 2022, which will run from Monday 9 to Thursday 19 May across Dubai.
The UAE remains one of the most Covid-secure countries on the planet, with consistently low case rates and robust measures to ensure tourists’ safety at every stage of their visit. Like its neighbouring emirates, Dubai is committed to maintaining the highest hygiene and safety standards.
ATM 2022’s strategic partners include Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) as Destination Partner, Emirates as Official Airline Partner and Emaar Hospitality Group as Official Hotel Partner.
Commenting on the ATM 2022 hybrid event, the show’s strategic partners said:
Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates, said: “As long-standing partners of this event, we’re excited to be back at ATM, in its biggest edition after the pandemic, and we’re proud that it’s coming back even better this year as the industry gathers again, reinforcing all of the signs of a positive outlook. We’re ready to engage with the travel industry with our latest and best products as we move forward with recovery, and all collectively prepare to meet the pent-up demand for travel. At Emirates, our focuses remain on recovery – through rebuilding our network and capacity to pre-pandemic levels; helping the industry recover through close cooperation and meaningful partnerships and investing for the future to position ourselves on an even stronger footing.”
Mark Kirby, Head of Emaar Hospitality Group, added: “Dubai has maintained its iconic touristic appeal through a strategic and forward-thinking approach and thanks to collaborative platforms like the Arabian Travel Market, we can honour our region’s true potential. We are delighted to be the official hotel partner once again, as it brings immense value in terms of building long-term relationships as we work alongside key stakeholders to reshape the industry landscape. This year has seen a remarkable recovery in our industry, and we look forward to accelerating our success by catering to new hospitality trends and demands in this new era of hospitality and travel.”