ATM 2022 to highlight future of travel

The event will return to Dubai on May 9, 2022 with 1,500 exhibitors, representatives from 112 destinations, and an anticipated 20,000 attendees


Rohma Sadaqat

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L to R: Mark Kirby, head of Hospitality, Emaar Hospitality Group; Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism; Kerry Prince, chief growth officer, RX; Danielle Curtis, exhibition director for the Middle East, Arabian Travel Market; Adnan Kazim, CCO of Emirates. - Supplied
L to R: Mark Kirby, head of Hospitality, Emaar Hospitality Group; Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism; Kerry Prince, chief growth officer, RX; Danielle Curtis, exhibition director for the Middle East, Arabian Travel Market; Adnan Kazim, CCO of Emirates. - Supplied

Published: Tue 26 Apr 2022, 5:59 PM

The 29th edition of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM 2022) is all set to open its doors at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from May 9-12, 2022 under the theme ‘The future of international travel and tourism’.

Taking place in collaboration with Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), the event will form an essential part of the UAE’s annual Arabian Travel Week, and will feature a large 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.

ATM 2022 will host over 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 May 17-18.

Speaking at the pre-event press conference, experts highlighted what is new in this year’s edition, and how efforts to aid in the recovery of the region’s travel and tourism sectors are yielding impressive results.

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), described the event as a “celebration” of the industry as a whole. “[ATM] brings the entire globe into one place, and what better place for it than Dubai. Coming right after the highly successful Expo 2020 Dubai - which drew over 24 million visitors - as well as the fact that Dubai was one of the first cities in the world which went into lockdown, and then also one of the first cities to open up again really gives confidence to global travellers about Dubai as a destination.”

“We started this year with around 2.2 million visitors in the first two months of the year and we are still working on capitalising on the markets that are open and returning to their full scale,” he said. “Today we have, not just the Dubai that was there when things shut down, but so many new experiences and attractions that are always evolving. When everyone was focusing on reshuffling their goals, we made our goal of Dubai being the number one most visited destination in the world to be our main focus.”

“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, he added. “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.”

Adnan Kazim, CCO at Emirates, noted all of the signs of a positive outlook in the industry, saying: “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.”

“Today, as we stand, we are at 70 per cent per-pandemic levels in terms of capacity, and this number will shape up to reach 80 per cent before the end of the summer,” he added. “Also, we are hoping that by the winter schedule, which commences some time in November, we will be at 85 per cent, and finally we are hoping that next year will be the year of full recovery.”

The show floor at this year’s edition of ATM will be over 85 per cent larger than at ATM 2021. This growth is thanks to the expansion of several sector - and region-specific zones, including Travel Tech; hotels; the Middle East; Africa; Asia; and Europe.

Kerry Prince, chief growth officer, at RX highlighted how business travel expenditure in the Middle East is forecast to rise by 32 per cent this year, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

“It is now time for travel professionals to come together, plan, network, and regenerate our industry, with Dubai as one of the world’s top destinations providing such a magnificent background,” she said about the event.

Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME – Arabian Travel Market, said that when it comes to travel, tourism, and hospitality, Dubai is easily one of the greatest cities on the planet. “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.”

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 per cent. 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 $500,000 of funding as well as the opportunity to compete for an additional $500,000 of investment as part of the 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.”

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 May 17-18, 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.

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.”

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