- Only 8% of Dubai airport’s transit passengers left the airport to explore the emirate during 2018
- New transit visas and dedicated tourism packages to drive stopover tourism across the UAE as we look ahead to 2020 and beyond
More than 63% of the 89 million passengers who passed through Dubai airport in 2018 were in transit with just 8% of these passengers leaving the airport to explore the emirate, according to the latest Colliers International data published by Reed Travel Exhibitions ahead of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2019, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre between 28 April – 1 May 2019.
As Dubai targets 20 million annual visitors by 2020, plus an additional five million between October 2020 and April 2021 for Expo 2020 – 70% of which will come from outside the UAE – a number of initiatives to increase stopover tourism have been introduced including new transit visas and dedicated tourism packages.
Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “Last year, the UAE introduced a new transit visa allowing all transit passengers an exemption from entry fees for 48 hours with the option to extend up to 96 hours for AED 50. This visa is not only good for the country’s tourism sector but for the local economy as a whole, enticing passengers to view their transit not as an unwanted delay in their travels – but as a good opportunity to add value to their trip and experience everything the UAE has to offer.”
According to IATA, the Middle East is forecast to see an extra 290 million air passengers on routes to, from and within the region by 2037, with the total market size increasing to 501 million passengers during the same period.
Adding to this, figures from ATM 2018 show the number of delegates interested in buying airline products and services increased 13% between 2017 and 2018.
“This projected growth underscores Dubai, and of course the Middle East, as the ideal location to bring together professionals from the aviation and tourism industry for our inaugural CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa forum which will be co-located alongside ATM 2019 – taking place on the last two days of the show,” Curtis said.
The success of the aviation industry in the sky is matched in the GCC and wider MENA region by the continued huge infrastructure investment.
The total value of 195 active aviation-related projects in the Middle East reached almost $50 billion in 2018, according to research provider BNC Network.
The various airport investments under way include AED30 billion in developing Al Maktoum International Airport, AED28 billion expansion of phase four of Dubai International Airport and AED 25 billion for the development and expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport. In addition, Sharjah Airport is also undergoing a AED1.5 billion investment in expansion of its terminal.
There are also a number of upcoming and planned airport expansion projects across Saudi Arabia, including King Abdulaziz International Airport Expansion in Jeddah and King Khalid International Airport Expansion in Riyadh.
Curtis said: “2018 was also an exciting year for new flight routes with GCC airlines alone adding 58 new flight routes – focusing on areas of consistent and substantial growth.
“With two thirds of the world’s population within an eight-hour flight from the GCC, it is an ideal base for exploring some of the world’s most interesting and previously inaccessible corners of the world. And the GCC’s airlines are making it even easier with the continuous addition of new and direct flight routes,” Curtis added.
Looking ahead to ATM 2019, aviation will feature heavily in the programme with a keynote from Emirates’ President Sir Tim Clark titled ‘Emirates: Still leading the way’ as well as an exclusive one-to-one with Air Arabia CEO, Adel Ali. A panel session titled ‘What are the hot topics in the airline world’ which will explore how traffic is performing against a backdrop of volatile fuel prices and geo-political challenges as well as discussing stopover tourism and how the digital world is affecting airline and airport services and experiences for customers.
Confirmed exhibiting airlines for ATM 2019 so far include Emirates, Etihad Airways, Saudi Airlines, flydubai and flynas.
Considered by industry professionals as a barometer for the Middle East and North Africa tourism sector, ATM welcomed over 39,000 people to its 2018 event, showcasing the largest exhibition in the history of the show, with hotels comprising 20% of the floor area.
Brand new for this year’s show will be the launch of Arabian Travel Week, an umbrella brand comprising four co-located shows including ATM 2019, ILTM Arabia, CONNECT Middle East, India & Africa – a new route development forum and new consumer-led event ATM Holiday Shopper. Arabian Travel Week will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 27 April – 1 May 2019.
For more news about ATM, please visit: https://arabiantravelmarket.wtm.com/media-centre/Press-Releases/
About Arabian Travel Market (ATM)
Arabian Travel Market is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2018 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, with representation from 141 countries over the four days. The 25th edition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre. Arabian Travel Market 2019 will take place in Dubai from Sunday, 28th April to Wednesday, 1st May 2019. To find out more, please visit: www.arabiantravelmarket.wtm.com.
About Arabian Travel Week
Arabian Travel Week is an umbrella brand comprising four co-located shows including Arabian Travel Market and ILTM Arabia as well as CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa – a new route development forum launching this year and ATM’s first ever consumer event – ATM Holiday Shopper. Providing a renewed focus for the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector – under one roof over the course of one week – the inaugural Arabian Travel Week will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from Saturday 27th April – Wednesday 1st May 2019. For more information visit: arabiantravelweek.com
CONNECT Route Development Forum delivers a total networking experience, bringing together airports, airlines and aviation suppliers in a format that offers formal one-to-one pre-arranged meetings, engaging industry seminars together with social opportunities to cement relationships with existing clients and engage with new ones. Created and organised by The Airport Agency-France, CONNECT is now in its 16th year and set to attract over 650 participants in June 2019 at its flagship event taking place in Cagliari, Sardinia. For more information, visit: www.connect-aviation.com
The inaugural CONNECT Middle East, India & Africa event will be the first and only networking forum in the Middle East. Ideally located in Dubai to address the booming aviation market of the Middle East, it will bring together the aviation and the tourism industry which are the backbone and catalyst to economic development. For more information, visit: www.connect-aviation.com/2019-meia/
About ATM Holiday Shopper
ATM Holiday Shopper is the brand-new travel event for consumers offering the very best travel and tourism discounts and deals plus the chance to learn about a range of emerging and unexplored destinations and activities from destinations around the world. The inaugural event will take place in Hall 1 of the Dubai World Trade Centre on Saturday, 27th April 2019 from 12:00 – 20:00. For more information, visit: www.atmholidayshopper.com
About ILTM Arabia
International Luxury Travel Market Arabia is an exclusive event for those looking to attract HNW travellers from the Middle East to their destination. Returning for its third year, ILTM will allow international luxury suppliers and key luxury buyers to connect via one-to-one pre-scheduled appointments and networking opportunities. ILTM will take place on Sunday 28th April and Monday 29th April 2019. For more information, visit: www.iltm.com/arabia/
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face to face through data and digital tools at over 500 events a year, in more than 30 countries, attracting more than seven million participants.
About Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf, spa and ski travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.
About World Travel Market
World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises six leading B2B events across four continents, generating more than $7 billion of industry deals. The events are:
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. About 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating about £3.4 billion of travel industry contracts. http://london.wtm.com/. Next event: 4-6 November 2019 – London.
Travel Forward is a new travel technology event co-located with WTM London 2018 and part of the WTM portfolio of events. The inaugural Travel Forward conference, exhibition and buyer programme will take place on 4–6 November 2019 at ExCeL London, showcasing next-generation technology for travel and hospitality. http://travelforward.wtm.com/.
WTM Latin America attracts about 9,000 senior executives and generates about US$374 million of new business. Taking place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 8,000 unique visitors attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news. http://latinamerica.wtm.com/. Next event: 2-4 April 2019 – Sao Paulo.
WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. http://africa.wtm.com/.
Next event: 10-12 April 2019 – Cape Town.