The Arabian Travel Market (ATM) closing today (Thursday) at Dubai Exhibition Center was a resounding success and a source of excitement for both organizers and attendees.
Tens of thousands attended this important fair, bringing tourism and aviation back to the forefront. The general feeling was that of optimism and exhilaration, as the pandemic is finally behind us.
Hundreds of pavilions crowded the hall that lately served as a makeshift hotel for corona patients, and both industry captains and the general public set the hall abuzz. Whoever thought that MICE days were over and done with was totally wrong. Instead, a sense of true celebration filled the Dubai Exhibition Center, almost like a graduation party for Coronavirus, which just until recently threatened to collapse the tourism industry.
There was much interest around the pavilions of the UAE flagship carriers, headed by Emirates, which starts flying to Israel this month. At the fair, the company launched a new Premium Economy class. At the same time, Etihad, Abu Dhabi’s national carrier, exhibited a recent upgrade in the Business and Economy Classes with a new seat configuration.
Along with many Arab countries participating in the fair, there was an impressive presence of European, African, and Asian countries, including Israel, with a pavilion set up by the Ministry of Tourism and 17 Israeli companies exhibiting at ATM for the very first time.
The massive participation of Israelis at this major event was thanks to the Abraham Accords, signed in 2020, leading to historic collaborations between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco.
In attendance were some of the key figures from the travel and aviation industry in Israel: Yarom Vadish, General Manager Israel Branch, and Amit Levy, Sales Manager at El Al; Tali Laufer, CEO of the Israel Association of Travel Agencies and Consultants; Hanny Sobol, CEO of Diesenhaus; Gideon Thaler, CEO of Tal Aviation; Ofer Reinhardt, CEO, Maman Aviation, representing Etihad Airways in Israel; Guy Raveh, CEO of Massaot; Oren Cohen Meguri, VP Marketing and Sales at the Flying Carpet; Guy Thaler, Regional Manager at Tal Aviation, representing Dubai Tourism; and many other senior officials, journalists, tour operators and more.
This year ATM focused on the aviation industry. According to data collected by research firm Mordor Intelligence, the Middle East aviation industry is expected to expand at an annual growth rate of more than 6% over the next five years (2022-27).
The research company further noted that in parallel with the gradual recovery in international passenger traffic, the aviation sectors of the Middle East have shown relative resilience during the pandemic and are now continuing to show signs of growth.
Some other interesting figures published at the fair show that around four million international tourists visited Dubai in the first quarter of 2022, an impressive increase of 214% compared with the same period last year.
And the number of visiting tourists in Dubai continues to soar after removing corona restrictions. So, there were definitely many reasons for celebration at this year’s Arab Travel Market in Dubai. Until next year!