Tag Archives: Arabian Travel Market

Technology and innovation to take centre stage at ATM 2019

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Cutting-edge technology and innovation will be adopted as the theme for Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2019, to be held at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 28 to May 1, 2019. According to a latest research conducted by Colliers International, personalisation Artificial Intelligence (AI) could increase hotel revenues by over 10 per cent and reduce costs by more than 15 per cent – with hotel operators expecting technology such as voice and facial recognition, virtual reality and biometrics to be mainstream by 2025. The research also estimates that 73 per cent of manual activities in the hospitality industry have the technical potential for automation, with many global hotel operators including Marriott, Hilton, and Accor already investing in automating elements of their human resources. Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said, “It is important to highlight that the GCC is one of the fastest-growing regional hospitality markets on a global scale and an innovative technology-reliant industry. Its impact on hotels and travel and tourism is multi-dimensional, ranging from voice and facial recognition, chatbots and beacon technology to virtual reality, blockchain and robot concierge. Throughout ATM 2019, the spotlight theme will be launched as a platform to create awareness and inspire the travel and hospitality industry about the next generation of technology, while bringing together senior travel executives to meet and conduct business with innovative tech providers. With technologies like AI and automation quickly maturing, the hospitality and travel and tourism industry must prepare for a wave of disruption in order to reap the overall benefits of these technologies.”

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Sharjah records 70% hotel occupancy rate in 2017

HE Khalid Jasim Midfa

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development (SCTDA) has revealed at the Arabian Travel Market 2018 that Sharjah hotels recorded an occupancy growth rate of 70 per cent in 2017, indicating an exponentially rising number of regional and global travellers visiting the emirate. Commenting on the results, HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman, SCTDA, said, “Last year’s positive developments were the results of the initiatives to transform the emirate into one of the world’s leading family destinations in line with the directives of HH Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and in support of Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, which seeks to attract over 10 million visitors to Sharjah shores by 2021. Our intensive tourism campaigns hit its targets in 2017, further boosting the local tourism sector and enhancing its reputation at the local, regional, and global levels.” He added, “Our strong performance last year helped catapult Sharjah into the ranks of the most innovative and competitive cities in the world. Our continuing achievements and successes are proof of the emirate’s capability to provide an exceptional travel experience as well as high potential to attract tourists from around the world. Furthermore, Sharjah is famous among travellers who want to explore ancient monuments, with visitors from Russia, China, and different parts of the globe descending on the emirate to experience its beauty and rich traditions. All of these are helping drive our economic, social, cultural, and environmental growth.”

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Dubai signs MoU at ATM to launch Dubai Cruise Committee

Representatives of Dubai Cruise Committee

In keeping with its strategy to receive 1 million cruise tourists by 2020-21, Dubai Cruise Tourism has signed an MoU at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) to launch the Dubai Cruise Committee, which confirms the implementation of a collaborative framework designed to consolidate the city’s position as ‘cruise hub of the region’. The Dubai Cruise Committee is a strategic network of leading industry partners; Dubai Tourism, DP World UAE Region FZE, Emirates Airline, The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai, and Dubai Customs. This newly-signed MoU demonstrates each organisation’s commitment to work together to increase the number of cruise tourists to Dubai. As well as agreeing to work together to sustain the emirate’s position as a leading winter cruise destination, the Dubai Cruise Committee discussed and approved business development strategies to secure long term contracts with existing clients and attract new cruise lines to use the emirate as their winter home port in the region. The committee also agreed to work to extend Dubai’s cruise season further into the summer months, to appeal to additional market segments around the world. Commenting on the newly-signed MoU, Hamad Bin Mejren, Senior Vice President, Dubai Tourism, said, “Dubai has been instrumental in pioneering cruise tourism in the region, and our success could not have been achieved without our close working relationships with both the public and private sectors. This landmark agreement signed by the Dubai Cruise Committee will ensure that international cruise lines will receive an end-to-end support for their plans in Dubai.”

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Rotana signs five-star hotel in New Cairo City, Egypt

Beach Arjaan by Rotana - Exterior

Rotana has announced a new management agreement in the capital of Egypt at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2018 in Dubai. The agreement for a new 200-room five-star in New Cairo City will bring the company’s total inventory in the country to 726 keys. Marking the company’s strong presence at the annual industry event, Rotana is sharing key updates about its robust pipeline of 48 properties that are scheduled for opening before 2020. The company currently operates 16,161 keys across its 60 hotels in 23 cities and with the launch of the hotels under construction, Rotana will have a presence in 40 cities globally. Among key Rotana hotels on display at the exhibition, include the company’s three latest openings in the UAE. Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, a luxurious five-star hotel in Abu Dhabi, took centrestage at the exhibition. With a soft opening in March 2018, the luxury resort is situated on Saadiyat Beach, a nine-kilometre stretch of white sand on the sprawling Saadiyat Island and features 354 luxurious rooms and suites in addition to 13 private beach villas. To make it appealing to discerning leisure, business and MiCE guests seeking a new resort and destination experience, the one-of-a-kind five-star property features seven modern dining options, three fully-equipped banquet and event rooms, a ballroom and an outdoor event venue.

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Etihad introduces humanoid robot Sophia at ATM 2018

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Etihad Airways has introduced Humanoid Robot Sophia backed by AI technology at the Arabian Travel Market 2018. Sophia is the AI-powered robot famous for speaking at the UN and interviewing celebrities and world leaders alike. She was named the United Nations Development Programme’s first ever Innovation Champion for Asia and the Pacific, and is also the first robot in the world to have a nationality, after being granted citizenship by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Sophia took part in a one-on-one interview with host Damian Watson, Head of Station at Abu Dhabi Media Company, discussed the future of innovation and technology in aviation, as well as about her experiences and impressions of the Capital, at the Etihad Theatre. The Etihad Theatre also featured presentations and Question and Answer sessions with the airline’s executives and guests including Special Olympics and Manchester City Football Club, covering the areas of guest experience, marketing partnerships, environment and sustainability. Peter Baumgartner, CEO, Etihad Airways took part in a one-on-one CEO interview as part of the main ATM programming on the ATM Global Stage.

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25th ATM welcomes 2,500 exhibitors & 40k attendees from 150 countries

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His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, has inaugurated Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2018 today, marking the start of the 25th edition of the show. He was joined by Nick Pilbream, Divisional Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions, and other VIPs who embarked on a tour of the exhibition as the four-day industry showcase got underway. This year’s show, held at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22-25, 2018, has more than 400 main stand holders with representation from over 150 countries. With more than 40,000 visitors expected to attend, ATM 2018 will showcase over 2,500 exhibiting companies and 65 national pavilions. ATM 2018 has adopted Responsible Tourism – including sustainable travel trends – as its main theme and this will be integrated across all show verticals and activities. Arabian Travel Market celebrated its silver jubilee with over 2,500 exhibitors and 40,000 industry professionals from 150 countries. Travel trade professionals from across the world’s hospitality industry will showcase the largest exhibition of regional and global hotel brands, with hotels comprising 20% of the total show area. ATM 2018 will welcome over 2,500 confirmed exhibitors including 65 national pavilions. More than 100 new exhibitors are set to make their ATM debut this year, including Visit Finland, Guizhou Province of China, Hungarian Tourism Agency, Polish Tourist Organisation, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dubai Municipality Leisure Facilities Department, Yas Experiences, Indigo Airlines, Kurdistan Tourism, Jakarta City Government Tourism and Culture Office and Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration, to name a few.

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Wego publishes inaugural ‘MENA Traveller Destination Leaderboards’ at ATM

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At the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, Wego revealed the ‘MENA Traveller Destination Leaderboards’ that showcases the relative popularity of global destinations amongst travellers based in the MENA region. As the largest online travel marketplace across the MENA region, Wego users shop for tens of millions of trips each quarter and it’s this flight and hotel search data that has been analysed to determine the destination rankings. The leaderboard announced today is for Q1 2018 and subsequent updates will be released shortly after the close of each quarter. Egypt retains its top ranking in Q1 2018 as the most popular destination for travellers, from across the MENA region. “MENA travellers are lured by the culture, scenic attractions, and incredible food that can be experienced in Egypt”, said Mamoun Hmedan, Managing Director – MENA and India, Wego. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia retains its second ranking and received a steady mix of business, expatriate and religious travel. India at the third position and Turkey at the fourth slot stepped up one rung each in the destination leaderboard for Q1 2018 vs Q1 2017, while UAE fell from the third to the fifth position. Despite the overall drop, Dubai remains a popular destination for MENA travellers. The biggest gainer in Q1 2018 was Oman which jumped a massive 9 places to #15, an improvement likely related to the opening of a new airport in Muscat and a host of new hotels and other facilities opening in the Sultanate.

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Over 40,000 attendees expected at 25th Arabian Travel Market in Dubai

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Celebrating its 25th year, the Arabian Travel Market press conference has kicked off amidst a crowd of local and international media at the Address Boulevard Dubai . Simon Press, Director Reed Exhibitions for ATM and WTM stated that this year they expect over 40,000 visitors and 2,500 exhibitors from over 100 countries at the event. Issam Kaim, CEO, DTCM reiterated their efforts to attract more travellers to the destination by various programmes implemented with their partners and stakeholders to enable 20 million visitors by 2020 and beyond. The latest news shared from DTCM and Emirates was the plan to introduce a transit visa package to those who travel to different destinations via Dubai. Olivier Harnisch, CEO, Emaar Hospitality Group shared the latest trends seen in the region and the introduction of a unique brand aimed at the millennials who would spend less time in the hotel room but more time on other activities of entertainment and leisure. This supports the overall vision of Dubai tourism to further go ahead with their 2020 strategy to attract the type of clientele they seek.

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UAE and KSA lead GCC luxury hospitality market

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The UAE will continue to lead the GCC’s luxury hospitality segment to 2022, with 73 per cent of existing luxury hotel stock and 61 per cent of the region’s current luxury pipeline located in the country, according to data released ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2018, set to be held at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22-25. The research demonstrates that luxury properties have increased three-fold in the GCC in just 10 years, with 95 per cent of these properties operated by international management brands. Despite taking the lead position, the UAE will face strong competition from Saudi Arabia, which is expected to witness the most significant increase in luxury hotel supply to 2022, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18 per cent from 2018 onwards. Historically, Saudi Arabia dominates CAGR trends, with luxury property development from 2013-2017 accounting for 11 per cent of the Kingdom’s growth in supply, compared to 8 per cent in the UAE, 7 per cent in Kuwait, 6 per cent in Oman and 5 per cent in Bahrain. In 2017, the UAE topped the table, with 35 per cent of the year’s pipeline made up of luxury projects most concentrated in Dubai.

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GCC to welcome 2.5 million Chinese visitors by 2021

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Chinese arrivals to the GCC is set to increase 21 per cent by 2021, rising to 2.5 million visitors annually, according to data released ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2018, to be held at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22-25. The data predicts Saudi Arabia will experience the highest proportionate increase in arrivals from China, up 35 per cent on 2016 figures. The UAE will follow at 20 per cent, with Oman at 12 per cent and Bahrain and Kuwait at 7 per cent. GCC countries currently attract 1.9 per cent of China’s total outbound market, up from 1.3 per cent in 2012, however positive trends are expected to continue as 154 million Chinese tourists prepare to go abroad in 2018. Figures from ATM 2017 show the number of delegates, exhibitors and attendees interested in doing business with China had increased 63 per cent on the previous year. Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said, “The outbound Chinese market represents a vast, untapped pool of affluent and adventurous travellers and the GCC has been a destination of choice for years. Owing to its many business opportunities and a new generation of leisure attractions, figures show the GCC is poised to further capitalise on these trends over the coming years as millions of Chinese make their first international trip.”

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