DUBA: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said the UAE is committed to accelerating the development and expansion of the country’s vital sectors. As part of its ambitious development vision, the UAE has made remarkable leaps in the tourism and aviation sectors over the past 50 years, which have enabled the country to transform itself into one of the world’s leading nations in these major industries, His Highness said.

"We are constantly working with our partners to enhance the growth of the tourism and travel sectors at local, regional and international levels. The UAE plays a unique role on the global stage as a country that bridges the markets of the east and the west. Our unique strengths place us in a good position to play an influential role in in opening new horizons of growth for these sectors globally, and create fresh opportunities for the worldwide economy. We are optimistic about the future and confident of our ability to navigate challenges and keep pace with global transformations."

"Our integrated efforts backed by comprehensive strategic plans have enabled us to tide over the impact of global challenges in the last two years. Hosting the six-month Expo 2020 Dubai, the largest World Expo in the history of the event, has further reinforced Dubai’s status as a hub for business, tourism and investment. By bringing together the global tourism and travel community in Dubai, we seek to contribute towards shaping a new future for these sectors. Dubai will continue to harness its capabilities and expertise to identify opportunities to add new value to the global economy."

His Highness’s remarks came as he toured Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2022, which is currently being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The event, which concludes on Thursday 12th May, features 1,500 exhibitors representing 158 countries, and is set to attract 20,000 visitors.

H.H. Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Finance.

During the tour, His Highness toured the exhibition area and was briefed on this year’s event, which has seen an 85 percent increase in floorspace compared to the previous edition.

H.H. Sheikh Mohammed toured various pavilions and stands of participating countries that have converged on Dubai to promote their tourism destinations.

Also accompanying H.H. Sheikh Mohammed during the tour were H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Media Council; and Helal Al Marri, Director General of Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism (DET).

Being organised at the Dubai World Trade Centre in collaboration with DET, ATM 2022’s theme – ‘The future of international travel and tourism’ – will be reflected throughout the show. The ATM Global Stage and ATM Travel Tech Stage will host 40 conference sessions comprising 150 speakers.

New this year is the ATM Draper-Aladdin Start-up Competition, which has generated a huge buzz since its launch. The initiative will see up to 15 travel, tourism, and hospitality innovators pitch for up to $500,000 of funding – not to mention the opportunity to compete for an additional $500,000 of investment as part of the hit TV show, Meet the Drapers.

In addition, ATM 2022 will include in-depth buyer forums dedicated to India and Saudi Arabia; live interviews with aviation and hospitality experts; debates on the future of sports, city and responsible tourism; the ITIC-ATM Middle East Summit on tourism investment; digital influencer networking; best stand awards; and the return of ILTM Arabia, with its focus on the lucrative luxury travel market.

ATM 2022 is part of Arabian Travel Week, a 10-day festival of travel and tourism events taking place in Dubai.

The event is held in conjunction with the Dubai World Trade Centre and its strategic partners including Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), the Destination Partner; Emirates, the Official Airline Partner; and Emaar Hospitality Group, the Official Hotel Partner.