Today, one of the biggest travel and tourism events, Arabian Travel Market (ATM) is going to kick-start at the DWTC, Dubai. The event in the past have been exhibited and visited by regional and global high level decision makers from different dimensions of hospitality industry such as hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, travel agencies and technology solution providers. Not to mention, tourism authorities, aviation, car rental, golf courses and yacht companies.  In order to capitalize on the large influx of top notch decision makers, media companies and real estate companies also participate.

The event which is expected to be visited by  over 20,000 individuals this year, 10 percent up from previous year; will capture near around 9,000 professionals from over 2,500 exhibitors. Recent trends in the previous versions of the event have indicated massive sales transactions associated with the event either through direct closing of deals at the events itself or through meetings set up.

Based on our earlier visits in the event and discussions with industry insiders, it has been observed that most sought after companies in terms of buying are accommodation followed by travel packages and tourist attractions. Other companies involve meeting and conference venues, golf facilities and airport services. Even some non-tourism entity such as technology companies, financial services and recruitment and training companies close big deals.

Besides deal and sales catalyst, the event in the past have been associated with educative seminars and workshops, reflecting its significance as a suitable platform to comprehend about latest industry trends and statistics of Middle Eastern tourism market. In terms of most sought after geographies, the Arab World has topped the list in the past. However, companies from other location such as Europe, Africa, America and Asia have also been competitive in terms of number of deals closure. Other remarkable feature of the event is higher satisfaction rate involved with the event for both, exhibitors as well as visitors in the past.

ATM’s success in the past, demonstrates the flamboyancy associated with UAE as well as pan Middle Eastern (ME) tourism market. In the last decade ME experienced a robust growth rate of 15 percent with number of tourists reaching 60 million from 24, a velocity unparalleled across the globe. The growth has been driven by aggressive marketing campaigns, fastest growing aviation sector and rolling out of new niche concepts such as luxury tourism, where a feel of deep extravagance was punched with usual tourism to make an intoxicating cocktail for the rich and affluent.

In addition, a young demography and rise in income has also contributed towards rise in regional tourists. After the outbreak of the political crisis, there has been paradigm shift in the region with markets such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi gaining at the cost of other markets such as Egypt and Syria. Nevertheless the overall dynamics remained optimistic.

UAE the gateway to tourism in Middle East

UAE especially Dubai with one of the most diversified economy in the region is considered as the gateway to the Middle East. Its peaceful yet exciting environment is loved not only by tourists but also by companies and businesses, which has actively leveraged its business friendly environment, tax haven status and cosmopolitan culture in reaching out to the vast regional markets by capitalizing it as a gateway.

Not to mention, its robust infrastructure, connectivity and the present euphoric business sentiments, partly stimulated by winning the bid to host World Expo 2020. The later will highly influence numerous businesses in the emirate. Tourism being one of the biggest beneficiaries as the event is anticipated to receive over 25 million domestic, regional and international guests.

Dubai is performing a high voltage preparation for World Expo 2020, which is also aligned with its long term objective of realizing an annual target of 20 million international tourists by 2020, near about doubling of the present figure of 11 million. The city which already boasts state of the art hotels, retail malls, conventions and tourists attraction will invest heavily in new convention centers, hotels, airport and mixed use urban localities along with the extension of metro and aviation system. Overall it would ensure more opportunities in the tourism sector ranging from hotels, resorts, restaurants, travel agencies and retail space etc.

Team Research Konnection

This research report is compiled by Research Konnection Team; a Dubai based market research and business consulting firm that is focused on capturing latest insights of major events across various sectors and industries in UAE. Our team will be visiting the event and in case you are looking for more research, data, insights and feasibility studies, feel free to drop us a mail at Even if not, we can still konnect for some meaningful discussion over a cup of coffee. Stay blessed!

Author: RKonnect
The author is the Managing Director of Research Konnection, a Dubai based market research and consulting firm that helps local and international companies to identify emerging business opportunities and successfully expand in the Gulf region. The author can be reached at
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