The Middle East’s luxury travel market is evolving rapidly, extending beyond opulent experiences to incorporate heritage, innovation and sustainability. Tourism experts from around the globe will shine a spotlight on the sub-theme of luxury at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2024, which will take place from Monday 6 to Thursday 9 May at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
High-spending travellers are willing to pay extra for experiences that do not detrimentally impact the communities or ecosystems in which they are located, according to YouGov’s Global travel & tourism whitepaper 2023: Luxury travel post-pandemic. More than three-fifths (61%) of UAE residents say they are willing to pay a premium for responsible, eco-friendly and sustainable tourism experiences, demonstrating that consumers no longer see the luxury segment as being limited to indulgence.
With brands such as Kerzner International’s Atlantis The Palm, Mandarin Oriental Dubai (BVI) Limited, Jumeirah International LLC, Air Charter Service, Hyatt International, Mayfair Jets, Minor Hotel Group, Nirvana Holding, The Leading Hotels of the World and Desert Gate Tourism having already confirmed their attendance, ATM 2024 will welcome a diverse selection of luxury travel exhibitors from across the Middle East and beyond. The exhibition will provide an ideal forum for attendees from every corner of the globe to explore the shifting landscape of luxury travel, including future trends and innovations, entrepreneurial drivers and opportunities for growth.
Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director, Arabian Travel Market, said: “By incorporating luxury travel as a sub-theme at ATM 2024, we are aligning our event with the future of travel. This segment will act as a lens through which we can view not only extravagant experiences but also eco-conscious choices, cultural preservation, and cutting-edge technologies. ATM embodies a vision where indulgence harmonises with ethics, setting a new standard for the travel industry.”
The value of the global luxury travel sector stood at an estimated $1.28 trillion in 2022, according to figures from Grand View Research. The market is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7% during the period 2023-30. This upward trend is reflected in the Middle East, where the majority of respondents from both the UAE (74%) and KSA (69%) told researchers from Marriott Bonvoy that they were planning to spend more on their vacations in 2023 compared to previous years.
Innovation is also acting as a major driver within the luxury travel segment. Technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are revolutionising the way visitors preview destinations, hotels and activities before booking, while artificial intelligence (AI) and big data are facilitating increasingly personalised recommendations, tailored experiences and anticipatory services for high-net-worth travellers.
“The Middle East has maintained and strengthened its reputation as a global hub for luxury tourism and travel over the past 12 months,” Curtis added. “It has been exciting to see this segment evolve throughout the region as national leaders have continued to invest in the development of luxury tourism infrastructure in a bid to drive economic diversification. ATM 2024 will provide an environment in which to examine these trends in greater detail, and I cannot wait to hear what valuable insights delegates have to offer.”
In line with its theme, ‘Empowering Innovation: Transforming Travel Through Entrepreneurship’, the 31st edition of ATM will once again host policymakers, industry leaders and travel professionals from across the Middle East and beyond, encouraging them to forge new relationships, exchange knowledge and identify innovations that can reshape the future of global travel and tourism. From startups to established brands, the upcoming show will highlight how innovators enhance customer experiences, drive efficiencies, and accelerate progress towards a net-zero future for the industry.
Building on ATM 2023’s ‘Working Towards Net Zero’ theme, environmentally responsible travel will represent another key focus next year. Informed by the UAE’s Year of Sustainability and the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), which will take place in Dubai from tomorrow 30 November, ATM 2024 will explore how innovation can be leveraged to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), creating a greener travel and tourism sector for future generations.
More than 40,000 travel trade professionals, including 30,000 visitors, attended the 30th edition of ATM in May 2023, setting a new show record. The exhibition attracted more than 2,100 exhibitors and representatives from over 155 countries, providing a global platform for unveiling ATM’s net-zero pledge.
Held in conjunction with Dubai World Trade Centre, ATM 2024’s strategic partners include Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Destination Partner; Emirates, Official Airline Partner; IHG Hotels & Resorts, Official Hotel Partner; and Al Rais Travel, Official DMC Partner.