Reed Travel Exhibitions will launch Arabian Travel Week – an umbrella brand comprising four co-located shows – during the 2019 edition of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) which opens its doors on April 28 for four days of business networking opportunities and insightful seminar sessions at Dubai World Trade Centre.

Arabian Travel Week comprises ATM 2019 and ILTM Arabia as well as CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa 2019 – a new route development forum launching this year and new consumer-led event ATM Holiday Shopper which take place on April 27.

Claude Blanc, WTM Portfolio Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions said, “The success of both ATM and ILTM Arabia has provided us with the platform to not only introduce two new events for 2019 – but to create a travel week which encompasses the Middle East’s inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism and luxury travel as well as introducing an exclusive consumer event and providing a dedicated networking forum for the region’s top airline specialists, aviation authorities, tourism boards, airports and tour operators.”

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the direct contribution of travel and tourism to the UAE’s economy is predicted to rise 4.1% per annum to AED 108.4 billion by 2028.

“Building on these figures, we are confident Arabian Travel Week will be a key driver attracting top international destinations to the attention of the Middle East’s travel trade and consumers and equally, marketing the Middle East to strategic overseas tour operators and travel professionals,” Blanc said.

Now in its 26th year, ATM 2019 will welcome over 2,500 exhibiting companies and an expected 40,000 industry professionals, with over 150 countries represented, 65 national pavilions, and more than 100 new exhibitors set to make their ATM debut.

Running throughout the event, professionals from across the industry spectrum will discuss the ongoing unprecedented digital disruption, and the emergence of innovative technologies that will fundamentally alter the way in which the hospitality industry operates in the region.

Some of the Global Stage highlights include sessions on the future of selling travel, Saudi Arabia’s tourism potential, the Global Halal Tourism Summit and the debut ATM Hotel Industry Summit which will host various expert panels to debate and provide an insight on the latest hotel developments and innovative digital infrastructure shaping the future of the hospitality sector.

As well as the ultra-innovative Travel Tech Show at ATM, other calendar favourites returning for ATM 2019 include the Best Stand Awards, the Travel Agents’ Academy and the Digital Influencers and Buyers’ Speed Networking Events which will feature 20 Chinese buyers for the first time.

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) said, “Our presence at Arabian Travel Market forms a core part of our efforts to raise awareness of Dubai as a diverse travel destination to global audiences, and we are pleased to extend our support once again to the 26th edition of this influential event. We remain focused on strengthening collaborations with our network of industry partners, in turn underlining the enormous diversity that the emirate offers global travellers. Keeping in mind this year’s theme of innovation and technology, Dubai as a destination has already embraced a ‘digital, mobile and social first’ agenda that places future readiness at its core while promoting the adoption of disruptive technology. As a global hub of innovation, we will continue to support public-private sector partnerships to evolve our product offering and the way we engage with today’s digitally-savvy consumers. Keeping ahead of the global competition, we are anchored by an unwavering vision of establishing Dubai as the number one most-visited and innovative city in the world.”

Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Airline, commented, “Cutting-edge technology and innovation, ATM’s theme for 2019, are redefining how customers experience travel across every touchpoint in their journey. As an airline, we are working hard to deliver a more seamless and connected end-to-end experience for our customers, from the time they book to the moment they board our aircraft. This is being propelled by new data capabilities, using technologies like biometrics, personalisation tools, as well as a host of other innovations that will help create bespoke experiences for our passengers, and ultimately help them fly better.”