All eyes focus on 'biggest ever' ATM


All eyes will be on Dubai this month as the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2003 kicks-off on the 6th. ATM 2003 is undoubtedly going to be the biggest show to date, says an official from Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), which organises the biggest event of the year for the Middle East and Gulf travel and tourism industry. With the travel and tourism industry being plunged into one crisis after another the ATM will look to highlight the silver lining to the dark clouds that hover.

The SARS virus outbreak is the latest crisis, but at the 2003 travel market all eyes will be on the positive things. In fact, among a host of debutantes at the ATM this year, will be Pakistan, South Africa, Malaysia, Kenya, Vietnam and Yemen, epitomizing the diversity which personifies the global spirit of the ATM.

"These include tour operators and hotel and resort operators," explained Matt Thompson, group exhibition director, overseas events, RTE.

He added: "we are delighted to welcome a number of new countries to the show as well as a number of destinations, which are returning after missing previous events, the Maldives and Uganda in particular. There are more than 50 countries represented at ATM and stand bookings are still coming in, particularly from the region and Asia."

Last year 5,643 trade visitors, from 69 countries attended ATM 2002. And 66.7 per cent of trade visitors in 2002 were of manager status and above. Dubai, the venue for this year's ATM, has grown at an amazing rate and its burgeoning tourism industry is testament to that fact, and with the Palm Islands and hotels springing up all the time the future is indeed bright for this Middle East metropolis.

The World Trade Organization's Tourism 2020 Vision stated that the Middle East region would receive 68.5 million tourists by 2020, an annual growth rate of 7.1 per cent considerably higher than the world average of 4.1 per cent, outlining the importance of an event like ATM.

ATM allows one to meet up to 70 top indsutry hosted buyers from the GCC and the MICE industry, and also generate new leads and capitalise on business opportunities

Opening Hours

Tuesday 6th May: 11.00 - 18.00 Meridian Club & Trade Visitors

Wednesday 7th May: 10.00 - 18.00 Meridian Club & Trade Visitors

Thursday 8th May: 10.00 - 20.00 Meridian Club & Trade Visitors, 17.00 - 20.00 Public

Friday 9th May: 16.00 - 21.00 Meridian Club/Trade & Public