Entrepreneurship, innovation transform global travel

From two additional halls, an award for most creative use of technology and 50 per cent increase in Saudi exhibitors,
here’s what’s new at ATM 2024


International policymakers and industry leaders are preparing to gather in the UAE for Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2024, where they will examine how entrepreneurship and innovation are reshaping the global tourism industry. The 31st edition of the exhibition will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from Monday May 6 to Thursday May 9.

Over 200 speakers will participate in more than 50 sessions during the course of the four-day event. Experts from around the world will take to ATM’s Global Stage and Future Stage (formerly the Travel Tech Stage) to address some of the sector’s most pressing issues, including the growing role of artificial intelligence (AI), the future of aviation, how to stand out in the luxury segment, retail tourism, and sustainable travel.

As the Middle East’s leading exhibition for inbound and outbound travel and tourism professionals, ATM 2024 will build on last year’s record-breaking 30th edition with its theme: ‘Empowering Innovation: Transforming Travel Through Entrepreneurship’. Exhibitors and attendees will have the chance to explore new market opportunities, the benefits of collaboration and connectivity, how to attract investment and more.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “The future of the global travel industry will be shaped by innovators and entrepreneurs, which is why we are so excited to shine a spotlight on the latest insights and technologies at ATM 2024. From startups to established brands, this year’s exhibition will showcase fresh thinking on how the sector can enhance customer experiences, drive efficiency and deliver positive economic impacts across the Middle East and beyond.”


High-profile exhibitors such as SAUDIA, flynas, NEOM, Dur Hospitality, AMSA Hospitality, and the Royal Commission for AlUla will showcase their offerings, and first-time exhibitors will comprise nearly 17% of Saudi participation
– Danielle Curtis



Exhibitor participation is expected to be 23 per cent higher than last year, making ATM 2024 the largest edition in the event’s history. Growth is expected across all show verticals, including regional year-on-year upticks for the Middle East (19% larger), Europe (32% larger), Asia (20% larger) and Africa (28% larger). The exhibition’s sold-out Travel Tech space will be 56% greater on the show floor, with products from the sector demonstrating 33% growth year on year. Hotel participation, meanwhile, is projected to be 21% higher than last year.

This year’s edition will once again enable attendees to move beyond traditional leisure travel by exploring opportunities related to luxury, business, and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE). ATM 2024 will feature an array of discussions on these subjects, including sessions dedicated to premium offerings, healthcare meetings, global business travel, sustainable procurement, sporting events and more.

ATM 2024 will host a selection of regional and international policymakers, including His Excellency Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), His Excellency Salem bin Mohammed Al Mahrouqi, Minister of Heritage and Tourism in Oman; Teodora Marinska, Head of Public Affairs, European Travel Commission; Basmah Al-Mayman, Regional Director, Middle East at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); and Lindsay Bowman Fraser, Leading Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions (MICE), Sport and eSport, Qatar Tourism.

Speakers at ATM 2024 will explore a series of emerging and established market segments, such as experiential, accessible and multi-generational travel, highlighting opportunities for growth, transformation and disruption. Delegates will also consider the implications of advancements in fields such as AI and how these technologies are impacting the Middle East’s travel industry.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our biggest-ever cohort of exhibitors and guest speakers,” Curtis added. “For more than 30 years, ATM has provided a forum in which participants can share insights, overcome challenges and seize opportunities, and the 2024 edition will be no exception.”

Building on ATM 2023’s ‘Working Towards Net Zero’ theme, environmentally responsible travel will represent another key focus this year. Informed by the UAE’s Year of Sustainability and the most recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), which took place in Dubai last year, ATM 2024 will explore how innovation can be leveraged to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), creating a greener travel and tourism sector for future generations.

Held in conjunction with Dubai World Trade Centre, ATM 2024’s strategic partners include Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) as Destination Partner, Emirates as Official Airline Partner, IHG Hotels & Resorts as Official Hotel Partner, and Al Rais Travel as Official DMC Partner.




Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2024 is gearing up for its 31st edition, focusing on the theme Transforming Travel Through Entrepreneurship. I am thrilled to share some of the exciting new updates and highlights that await attendees at this year’s show.

ATM 2024 will deliver a wealth of informative content across two stages, with the Global Stage returning alongside the new Future Stage. Across these two stages, esteemed industry keynote speakers from around the world will host thought-provoking discussions and presentations, offering valuable takeaways for attendees.

The ATM conference agenda for 2024 is brimming with new and relevant topics that cater to the industry’s evolving needs. Sessions will cover themes such as ‘experiential travel,’ ‘island tourism,’ ‘inter-regional travel,’ ‘generational trends,’ ‘artificial intelligence and data,’ and ‘sports tourism,’ among many others. We are also excited to welcome back the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) as official ‘Knowledge Partners’ for the business meetings and business travel sectors.

Kicking off ATM is a highly anticipated GCC Ministerial debate which takes place on the Global Stage on the opening day. Led by Dubai Eye 103.8 FM’s Richard Dean, the debate will tackle the crucial topic of ‘Streamlining Tourism Beyond the GCC,’ exploring the strategies and initiatives driving tourism development in the region.

One of the key highlights of ATM 2024 is the introduction of a new Entrepreneurship-focused summit. This summit will explore the role of travel start-ups in the Middle East economy, highlighting their innovative solutions and transformative impact. Meanwhile, the fascinating Markets Insight Summit, also making its debut in 2024, will cover lucrative opportunities for tourism investment, providing valuable insights for industry stakeholders.

Other new offerings include a dedicated summit on ‘Attracting the Untapped Americas’, which will address the accelerated growth in outbound markets within the Americas. This dedicated summit will offer insights into connectivity, new developments, and entertainment offerings for the market, as well as other key marketing tools to position the Middle East at the forefront for adventurous travellers from the Americas.

As entrepreneurship and innovation take centre stage, the exciting ATM Start-Up Pitch Battle provides the perfect platform for brands to showcase their industry solutions. This year, we are delighted to be partnering with Intelak, a technology and innovation hub based in Dubai that supports both early–and late-stage startups by providing education, mentorship, tools, and resources.

Saudi’s presence at ATM 2024 is set to impress, with a 50% rise in exhibitors from the Kingdom. High-profile exhibitors such as SAUDIA, flynas, NEOM, Dur Hospitality, AMSA Hospitality, and the Royal Commission for AlUla will showcase their offerings, and first-time exhibitors will comprise nearly 17% of Saudi participation, adding fresh opportunities to the exhibition.

In line with ATM 2024’s innovation focus, our annual exhibitor awards, the Best Stand Awards, will introduce a new category under ‘Best Use of Technology’ which will evaluate exhibitors on how and to what extent they have incorporated technology into their stands.

To accommodate all of these new offerings, I am happy to report that we have added two additional halls, expanding the floor space to 12 halls across Halls 1-8, Sheikh Saeed Arena, and Saeed Halls 1-3.

ATM 2024 is poised to be a groundbreaking event, bridging the worlds of entrepreneurship, innovation, and tourism to shape the future of travel experiences and opportunities in the region and beyond. Join us on this exciting journey of transformation and discovery.

* The writer is Exhibition Director, Arabian Travel Market

  • ATM 2024 will host 23pc more exhibitors than 2023
  • Hotel participants up by 21pc
  • Travel Tech show floor is 56pc greater YoY