Arabian Travel Market: Dubai to become magnet for international business travel

Juan Giron

Global Corporate Communications Manager, Amadeus

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The Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the leading international travel and tourism event in the Middle East, takes place this year in Dubai from the 5th to the 8th of May.


Dubai’s presence at the ATM shows an eagerness to meet the expectations of the man behind the project, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Rulerof Dubai. By looking at the Dubai offering on display at this regional trade show, one also perceives the not-so-hidden power and resources in place to achieve those goals.

Broadening the horizons

Dubai tourism authorities are turning their hopes to China, Latin America and Southern Africa as future heavy spenders in corporate travel. This aspect was embraced last year in the ambitious “Tourism Vision 2020” crafted to attract 20 million visitors and generate AED 300 billion in tourism annually by 2020, compared to 10 million tourists and AED 100 billion in 2012. Tourism Vision 2020 aims to have Dubai travel skyrocket through the maximization of areas such as family tourism, global events and attractions, as well as Dubai’s status as a business destination.

With ATM, Dubai is host to the region’s equivalent to Berlin’s ITB, London’s WTM, Madrid’s FITUR or Paris’ Top Resa. It comes as no surprise that the Arabian Travel Market represents the perfect opportunity for the Emirate to showcase all its potential, highlighting achievements such as an increase of 11% in volume of passengers passing through Dubai International Airport in Q1 2014 –that means over 6 million travelers, many of them benefiting from the growing network of Emirates and Flydubai carriers.

Latest figures

Dubai has a vocation to remain the region's megacityAccording to the latest figures disclosed by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), some 11 million tourists headed for this Emirate in 2013. Dubai stepped up to the seventh position globally in terms of its international visitors, ninth worldwide and first in business tourism on a regional level, where it obtained more than 50% of international conference-related business.

To be at the height of the expected growth in 2020, Dubai will add some 29,000 new hotel rooms to its accommodation offering by 2016, reaching a total of 113,000 rooms. More promising figures: returns generated from the hotel sector rose by more than 16% in 2013 as compared to the previous year.

On the other hand, Dubai is connected with 145 international air carriers that link Dubai to direct flight routes of some 260 world destinations. These numbers are expected to grow by the time the new Al Maktoum Airport is finalised (the first phase already being completed) and Dubai can house 160 million travelers as well as 12 million tons of cargo per year. This is much in line with the findings on “Securing the prize for the Middle East”, a visionary study, commissioned by Amadeus back in 2010, on the region’s potential to become the world’s dominant global hub.

Come and visit us at stand TT 6020 to learn more about how we can shape the future of travel together.


Arabian Travel Market, Middle East, Research, Events