The Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2018, taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22-25, will see its biggest-ever hotel exhibition space, a reflection of the rapidly growing regional hospitality market and pipeline in the GCC.
The show will also feature 68 main hotel stand exhibitors, including eight new brands, over an area of more than 5,000m2, in addition to over 100 Middle East hotels featured alongside their respective national tourism organisations.
Among the largest hotel stands are A.A.Al Moosa Enterprises UAE, owners of hotels operated by Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, Taj and Wyndham; Intercontinental Hotel Group; and the Middle East’s newest hotel group, Roda Hotels.
Simon Press, senior exhibition director of ATM, said: “The increase in hotel exhibition space in 2018 reflects the hundreds of new property and brand launches we have seen during the last 12 months.”
Data from STR confirms the total pipeline of rooms in the GCC currently stands at 152,551 across 518 properties. The leading contributors are the UAE with 73,981 rooms in the pipeline; Saudi Arabia with 64,015; and Oman with 8,823. In percentage terms the largest increase on existing stock will be seen in Saudi Arabia, which is on track to witness 123.7 per cent growth.
In celebration of its 25th year, ATM 2018 will host a series of seminar sessions looking back on the tourism revolution in the MENA region over the last quarter of a century, while exploring how the industry will shape up over the next 25 years.
The annual show has adopted responsible tourism – including sustainable travel trends – as its main theme and this will be integrated across all show verticals and activities.
ATM has also partnered with IHIF (International Hotel Investment Forum) organisers to deliver the inaugural Destination Investment Forum, whereas the second edition of the International Luxury Travel Market Arabia (ILTM) will also return on the first two days of the show.
Also debuting at this year’s event will be the ATM Student Conference – Career in Travel – a programme aimed at students and graduates with talks from guest speakers and travel industry leaders sharing more about the industry and potential career paths.