Covid: ATM 2021 opens with major international, local participation

Rohma Sadaqat /Dubai Filed on May 16, 2021
KT Photo: Juidin Bernarrd

The four-day show will be followed by a virtual ATM after a week.

Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2021, the first major in-person international travel event since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, has officially opened its doors at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The event has drawn the participation of 62 countries, and features 67 conference sessions with 145 local, regional and international speakers.

Held under the theme of ‘A new dawn for travel & tourism’, the 28th edition of the four-day show will conclude on Wednesday, May 19. It will be followed a week later by a virtual ATM that will run from Monday, May 24 to Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

Speaking about the importance of the exhibition, Danielle Curtis, exhibition director for the Middle East region, Arabian Travel Market, said: “We will be looking to capitalise on the latest trends and opportunities, as well as meeting challenges head-on with innovative solutions — with governments, trade associations, industry professionals and influencers, all working in unison.”

Several major local and international players have announced their participation at the event, which will focus on a number of topics such as the future of travel and tourism, recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and the role of technology.

Reinforcing its position as a leading travel destination within the UAE, the Ajman Tourism Development Department (ATDD) said that, through its participation, it would be shedding light on prominent locations across the emirate that feature recreational destinations, tourist activities, and unique cultural sites — including museums and historical buildings that are the oldest in the emirates.

A large number of partners are participating with the ATDD at the exhibition, including representatives of Ajman Municipality, Ajman Transport Authority, Ajman Free Zone, and Marsa Ajman Properties.

Saleh Mohamed Al Geziry, director general of the ATDD, stated that the Arabian Travel Market exhibition is considered to be one of the most important international exhibitions dedicated for travel and tourism, and is an advantageous forum for those who are looking to hold meetings, expand their network of relations with foreign countries, and evaluate new opportunities.

He added that the exhibition is an important event in support of the tourism sector, defining its objectives, sharing new developments related to it, boosting assurance in travel and business development, and providing original insights on the latest technologies and trends that will undoubtedly shape the future of travel and tourism.

Similarly, Tourism Malaysia has announced its participation at the event with the goal of showcasing Malaysia’s tourism industry in a transformed world.

“Malaysia has been one of the strongest supporters of the Arabian Travel Market since its inception,” said Mohd Tarid Bin Sufian, ambassador of Malaysia to the UAE. “Malaysians share many common cultural and religious ties with the people in the region, including in promoting tolerance and unity.”

He added: “Discovering Malaysia would bring people closer together and in understanding, as exemplified by the leaders of the two countries through the exchange of visits by King Al Sultan Abdullah of Malaysia and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to the UAE — as well as by His Highness Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of Armed Forces of the UAE to Malaysia recently.

"This cooperation is further bolstered with Malaysia's participation in the upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai, where we aim to further promote tourism, create more business opportunities, and boost bilateral relations with the UAE.”

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is also marking its participation at the event by highlighting Thailand’s efforts in ensuring the health and safety of travellers, and outlining key updates to travel partners as it looks to reignite the country’s tourism sector and reopen its borders.

Prior to the pandemic, Thailand welcomed over 39 million visitors annually, of which over 550,000 were from the Mena region. Since closing its borders at the start of the pandemic, plans are in place to reopen its borders without the need to quarantine in a phased approach.

The country aims to welcome fully vaccinated travellers to Phuket in Q3, and recently announced a vaccination programme to achieve herd immunity for 70 per cent of Phuket’s population.

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Thailand has taken strides to inspire confidence and ensure readiness to welcome back travellers from the Middle East,” said Pichaya Saisaengchan, director of the TAT for Dubai and the Middle East.

"We look forward to sharing our progress during ATM this year. It is the ideal trade event to interact with our stakeholders, forge new relationships and promote the destination to our partners and potential travellers in the region.”


Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.

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