As the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) is stepping up its ambitious plans to receive a million business and leisure travellers each year by 2010, the country is beefing up its participation at the Arabian Travel Market 2005 (ATM), the Middle East’s premier travel and tourism show.
With the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006 less than 20 months away, the construction of a new US$ 5 billion airport well underway and an iconic development project, which will create 30 kilometres of new coastline, Qatar’s presence in Arabian Travel Market 2005 is set to attract massive attention.
“Qatar’s commitment to ATM has traditionally been strong and this fresh spate of tourism developments and infrastructure, combined with the excitement generated by next year’s Asian Games are all good reasons for further growth of the country’s inbound tourism industry,” said Chris Chackal, Group Exhibitions Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions, the organiser of ATM.
“A total of 350 square metres has been committed to this year’s event by companies and organisations in Qatar, which include Qatar Airways, The Pearl-Qatar and QTA.”
Qatar Airways, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, and the operator of the New Doha International Airport (NDIA), which is scheduled to open in 2009 and to be fully developed by 2015, has taken a 110 square metre pavilion at ATM 2005.
Designed to help shape Doha as a key regional and global business and leisure travel hub at the crossroads of east and west, the new airport will be the world's first to be designed and built specifically for Airbus's new A380-800 double-decker 'super jumbo' - the largest passenger aircraft ever built.
Qatar’s industry body will field a delegation of 17 of the country’s most prominent tourism related businesses, including hotels, tour operators and car rental companies in a 200 square metre pavilion.
The Pearl-Qatar, a US$ 2.5 billion man-made island being reclaimed offshore the state capital, Doha, will make its tourism expo debut at ATM, with its own 40 square metre pavilion. The development is billed as a great addition to Qatar’s growing tourism attractions portfolio as it will include freehold island retreats, five-star hotels, luxury shopping and a 400-berth international yachting hub.
“Such developments do lift the bar for the region’s rapidly growing tourism base and ATM visitors will be the first in the world to get a taste of things to come in this glamorous project,” said Chackal.
With its offering of three luxury hotels, three marinas and 60,000 square metres of luxury retail and dining space, The Pearl-Qatar is amongst 83 companies and tourism organisations which have signed up as first time exhibitors for ATM 2005.
Together they have taken close to 2,000 square metres of the show’s expanded floor space, with UAE and regional companies taking the largest stands.
RTE says it has already exceeded its target on the size of this year's ATM. Floor space now totals 15,308 sqmts, which is 31% larger than ATM 2004.
“The massive regional development projects such as the Pearl-Qatar and the hosting of major sporting events such as the Asian Games 2006 conjure up a dynamic combination further boosting the Middle East as a high end tourism destination and cementing ATM’s position amongst the world’s most important industry events,” said Chackal.
Currently, exhibitors from 60 countries, including 52 national and regional tourism bodies have confirmed their participation for ATM 2005, which runs from May 3-6 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
“Of these, at least 83 exhibitors will make their ATM debut introducing fresh products and services into the Middle East and further raising new business opportunities for the show’s visitors,” said Chackal. “This, we believe, will attract more Qatari travel trade professionals than ever before.”
A total of 110 Qatar travel trade industry specialists converged to Dubai last year, registering a 5% improvement as compared to the 2003 event.
This year, entry fees from ATM’s two public sessions will be donated to the ‘Just A Drop’ charity to provide fresh water to communities ravaged by the December tsunami in Asia.
Arabian Travel Market 2005 is held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister and under the auspices of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Government of Dubai.