Prominent tourism figures will be participating in-person at the opening session of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) Global Stage 2021 – ‘Tourism for a brighter future’ which is being held on Sunday 16 May 2021, at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).

The line-up includes foremost speakers, such as His Excellency Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Dr. Taleb Rifai, former Secretary-General of the United Nations' World Tourism Organization, Scott Livermore, Chief Economist at Oxford Economics Middle East and Thoyyib Mohamed, Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation.

Moderated by CNN, the session will examine the critical factors that will deliver a strong, fast-paced and sustainable recovery in travel and tourism and the pivotal role that the sector will play in the UAE’s overall economic growth. Other topics that will be discussed include, knowledge and cultural exchange, technological innovation and international collaboration. 

Also high on the agenda is the Gulf-Israeli ties session which will discuss the vast travel and tourism opportunities presented by bilateral agreements between the Gulf and Israel. Main speakers include H.E. Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises for the UAE, Orit Farkash-Hacohen, Minister of Tourism for Israel and H.E. Mr. Zayed bin Rashid Alzayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism to the Kingdom of Bahrain and Chairman of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority.

The four-day conference will address a broad range of topics, from travel and health, as well as dedicated forums on China, Saudi Arabia and India, plus a dedicated hotel summit, looking at the changing roles of hotels and the changing hospitality landscape.

The Saudi Arabia Tourism Summit will discuss the Vision 2030 strategy’s positive repercussions, the ambitious megaprojects and how the country is setting new global industry benchmarks. It will feature high-level experts including Captain Ibrahim Koshy, CEO, Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), Dr. Afnan Alshuaiby, Founder & CEO of FNN International and Chairperson of Arab international Women’s Forum, Jerry Inzerillo, CEO, Diriyah Gate Development Authority and John Pagano, CEO, Red Sea Development Company.

Commenting, Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “The general theme of this year’s show is ‘A new dawn for travel and tourism’ and the opening session will get the show, off to a positive, practical and optimistic start.

Running in parallel with the Global Stage is the four-day Travel Forward Theatre at ATM, which through world-class technology experts and renowned industry figures, will provide industry-leading insights about the latest technologies and trends that will undoubtedly shape the future of travel and tourism.

Other highlights include the International Tourism and Investment Conference, plus other co-located events including the Digital Influencer Speed Networking event and Buyers’ Club forums.

In-person on the show floor, 62 countries represented by main stand holders and sharers will be participating this year. They include the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Germany, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Italy, Greece, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Maldives, the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico and the USA to name but a few.

“Undoubtedly, discussion on the show floor will be focused on the very latest ‘COVID’ news from around the world – vaccine rollouts, social and travel restrictions and as consequence, the current state of the industry emerging trends and what the future holds,” said Curtis.

ATM 2021 will also play an integral role in Arabian Travel Week, which will feature exhibitions, conferences, breakfast briefings, awards, product launches and networking events.

Also, for the first time, a new hybrid format will mean a virtual ATM running a week later to complement and reach a wider audience than ever before. ATM Virtual, which made its debut earlier this year after ATM 2020 was postponed, proved to be a resounding success attracting 12,000 online attendees from 140 countries. For full conference programme details for ATM Virtual 2021, go to:

“Many industry professionals from around the world, may not be able to attend the in-person event, particularly this year with travel restrictions still in place, so It is imperative that we include a virtual element to accommodate them,” said Curtis.

Dubai is committed to maintaining the highest standards of health and safety and its effective citywide management of the pandemic received a strong endorsement from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which gave the city a ‘Safe Travels’ stamp.

“Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world to visit with a wide range of precautionary measures in place to ensure the safety of tourists at every stage and touchpoint of their travel journey, from arrival to departure,” said Cutis.

“Well over nine million doses have already been administered in the UAE, so it is appropriate that Dubai should host the first major in-person travel event in the world since the outbreak of the global pandemic and that HE Al Marri should be addressing delegates during the opening session,” she added.

ATM 2021 takes place at the DWTC on Sunday 16 to Wednesday 19 May, with strategic partners including Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) as Destination Partner, Emaar Hospitality Group as Official Hotel Partner and Emirates as Official Airline Partner.

If you are planning to attend ATM in-person, please feel free to post using the hashtag #ImGoingtoATM.

Registrations for ATM 2021 are open. To register, go to             

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