A total of 73 companies and tourism organisations from 27 countries have signed up as first time exhibitors for ATM 2005. The Middle East has provided 30 of the new entrants, while the other 42 have come from as far a field as the Far East, Asia, Europe, South America and Canada.
Together they have taken close to 2,000 sq m of the show’s expanded 15, 308 sq m floor space, which is now 31 per cent larger this year, with UAE and regional companies taking the largest stands.
Chris Chackal, RTE’s group exhibitions director, said: “The massive development of Middle East tourism and leisure projects like the Palm Islands off Dubai, The Pearl-Qatar and The Waves in Oman, combined with the region hosting major sporting events like the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament and the Bahrain Formula One race is creating massive international interest in the region as a tourist destination. At the same time regional growth fuelled by rapid economic diversification and high oil prices mean the Gulf’s wealthy population is a prime outbound target for the global tourism market.”
First-time exhibitor, IFA Hotels & Resorts, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kuwait’s International Financial Advisors and the largest investor in the prestigious The Palm, Jumeirah offshore island, has booked 396 sq m of floor space at ATM 2005, while the I & M Galadari Group, which is creating Downtown, the entertainment, retail and hospitality development at the entrance to the massive Dubailand project, will have a 200 sq m stand.
“With a growing portfolio of world-class international tourism projects stretching from Europe to the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and Africa, IFA is a major contributor to the global tourism industry. ATM is an excellent international platform for the promotion of our projects and brands,” said Bassam El Khoury, marketing director, IFA Hotels & Resorts.