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ATM: New dates and fresh features for a new era

Danielle Curtis

As many travel professionals will already know, recently new dates for this year’s four-day Arabian Travel Market (ATM) event at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) were announced.

Instead of opening on Sunday, May 8, we will now open on Monday May 9 and close on Thursday, May 12, to fall in line with the UAE’s new Monday-to-Friday working week.

This was made possible by the UAE’s forward-thinking decision to transition from a five-day week - Sunday to Thursday, to a four-and-a-half-day, Monday-to-Friday workweek.

I am confident ATM 2022’s amended dates will bring added benefit for both exhibitors and attendees by offering improved alignment, not only locally, but with international markets too - the majority of which also follow the Monday-to-Friday working week.

According to a poll conducted shortly after the UAE government had made the official announcement, the decision was particularly well received by the UAE business community.

Management consultancy Mercer revealed that overall, 84% of UAE private sector firms welcomed the initiative and 37% said they would adopt a long-term flexible approach to the working week, particularly those with close trading links with other Gulf countries. 

Notwithstanding the change in the working week, I am very bullish about the broader economic outlook and the advantages that will bring for the travel and tourism sector. Indeed, the World Bank has forecast that the UAE economy will grow by 4.6% this year.

Turning our attention back to the show, this will be ATM’s 29th year and working in collaboration with the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) – previously known as the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), ATM 2022 will feature a broad selection of show highlights.

Travel Forward, the leading global event for travel technology, will shine a spotlight on next-generation innovations for tourism and hospitality. ATM buyer forums and speed networking events will take place during the four days of the show.

After joining remotely for ATM 2021, this year both the [email protected] forum and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) participate live in Dubai for the first time! 

The dedicated [email protected] forum will cover current and future trends for tour operators and attractions, focusing on growing business through marketing, technology, distribution, thought leadership and executive-level connections. 

The GBTA, the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organisation, will deliver the latest business travel content, research and education to help drive the sector’s ongoing recovery and support growth in business travel.

Once again, ATM will play an integral role in the Arabian Travel Week (9-19 May), a festival of events dedicated to enabling travel professionals from all over the world to collaborate and shape the recovery of the Middle East travel industry through exhibitions, conferences, breakfast briefings, awards, product launches and networking events.

And finally with the Omicron virus still disrupting our lives, it is worth reiterating that the UAE remains one of the most Covid-secure countries, with consistently low case rates and robust measures to ensure tourists' safety - Dubai is committed to maintaining the highest hygiene and safety standards. 

If you’d like to learn more about ATM, visit wtm.com/atm/en-gb.html. 

* Danielle Curtis is Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market

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