The growth of travel is evident from new developments being showcased at the 2014 edition of Arabian Travel Market. The next year will mark significant growth for the region’s travel showcase. Due to increased exhibitor demand, an extra hall has been added to the floor plan, which now exceeds 23,500 square metres.
In addition to the increase in exhibition space, ATM will also add a third seminar theatre, with a new ‘Showcase Theatre’ for short workshops and country destination briefings.
According to Reed Travel Exhibitions, this represents a 5.8% increase in floor space, which will be held from 5-8 May, 2014 at Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre. Recent statistics revealed rising demand from Middle East exhibitors up 11%, Europe up by seven percent and travel technology and hotels rising by eight and seven percent respectively.
“The highest growth in floor space is coming from Middle East with growth being experienced in tourism,” comments Mark Walsh, portfolio director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
The Gulf is also climbing the ranks of the 2013 World Economic Forum Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index, with the UAE now making the top 30. Qatar and Oman are also improving their ‘appeal’ rating on the 14-strong country list.
“The UAE is undoubted tourism leader in the Gulf region, but multi-billion dollar high profile developments and ambitious long term economic diversification plans are also putting neighbouring Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia in the spotlight,” continued Walsh.
Qatar’s 2022 vision and infrastructure investment agenda, and Saudi Arabia’s focus on domestic tourism are creating new tourism hubs across the Kingdom as the region’s hotel pipeline reaches 485 hotels (118,535 rooms) according to the latest STR Global Middle East update.
The UAE currently has 114 hotels (32,261 rooms) under construction and STR Global reports that Oman will see the highest growth, with 4,577 rooms in development, followed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait and Jordan.