ATM 2022 will examine MENA hotel industry

Published on : Monday, November 22, 2021

ATM to examine MENA hotel sector as research suggests a return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022, driven by corporate demand and halo effect of regional mega events

Hotel demand across the majority of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) markets is expected to achieve parity with 2019 levels of performance in 2022, according to the latest industry forecast from Colliers International, commissioned by RX (Reed Exhibitions), the organiser of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2022.

With year-on-year upticks anticipated across most MENA markets, the report spells excellent news for panelists and attendees at next year’s ATM Hotel Industry Summit, which will take place during ATM at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 8-11 May 2022.

Several regional markets are set to achieve hotel occupancy rates of 70% or above in 2022, including Dubai (Dubai Creek and Festival City: 76% | Sheikh Zayed Road: 74% | Palm Jumeirah: 78% | Dubai Marina and JBR: 80%); Ras Al Khaimah (70%); Cairo (70%); Alexandria (70%); and Doha (72%).

While corporate demand, including meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE), bolstered the MENA hotel industry’s initial post-pandemic recovery, the Colliers report notes that the region’s domestic and leisure segments are likely to take on an increasingly important role in 2022, amid ongoing changes in operational practices for global business travel.

In addition, the researchers predict that mega events, such as Expo 2020 Dubai and FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, will not only drive a major influx in demand for their hosts, but are also likely to deliver a beneficial ‘halo effect’ for surrounding markets.

Back by popular demand, the ATM Hotel Industry Summit will provide a valuable opportunity for leading figures from across the industry to share their expert perspectives on the latest trends. The MENA hotel sector will represent a key focus at the upcoming ATM, which will take place at DWTC from 8-11 May 2022.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME – Arabian Travel Market, said: “ATM 2021 proved a major drawcard, despite the many challenges posed by Covid-19. We welcomed 28 main stand holders, including key global and regional hotel brands. Shared stands hosted 390 companies from the hotel sector, most of which fell under the ‘destination’ umbrella, and 45% of our exhibitors specialised in accommodation products.

“With the MENA travel and tourism sector’s recovery now in full swing, we expect ATM 2022 to be even busier. A range of big hitters from the hotel sector have already confirmed they will be attending, including Jumeirah International; Atlantis, The Palm; Marriott Hotels International; J A Resorts & Hotels; Steinberger Hotels; Minor Hotel Group; Best Weston International; and many more. And there’s still six months to go until the main event.”

The Colliers research notes that consistent government backing for tourism and travel throughout the pandemic has been – and will continue to represent – a key factor in the sector’s recovery. Domestic-focused initiatives, which supported regional hotels during heightened travel restrictions, are expected to result in ongoing improvements for markets such as Ras Al Khaimah, UAE and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Hotel performance in the UAE and Qatar, meanwhile, is expected to receive a further boost from mega events. Expo 2020 Dubai is likely to have a positive impact on all markets in the Emirates, while next year’s FIFA World Cup is predicted to act as a major driver in Q4 2022 – not only for Qatar but also in terms of overspill demand within key transit hubs such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Overall, the UAE’s hotel sector is predicted to witness a 12% year-on-year uptick in 2022, while Qatar’s capital city, Doha, is likely to exceed 2019 levels of hotel demand both this year and next.

“The predictions set out in Colliers International’s latest forecast are not only extremely encouraging, but they are also in keeping with the expectations of many other industry experts,” added Curtis. “We anticipate that the sector will continue to gain momentum and find itself in an even stronger position by the time of the show, which is why we cannot wait to welcome delegates and attendees for some insightful discussions and lively debate at the ATM Hotel Industry Summit.”

Delegates will debate a range of pressing industry issues, such as how tourists’ priorities are shifting and the ways in which the sector can continue to rebuild and innovate within a post-pandemic landscape.

The summit will take place on ATM’s Global Stage, reflecting the importance of the hotel sector to both the travel and tourism industry and the MENA region’s wider economy. The event will comprise two sessions, both of which will be moderated by industry experts from Colliers International and hosted in collaboration with ATM 2022’s Official Hotel Partner, Emaar Hospitality.

The first session will explore the future of the MENA region’s hotel industry, tackling issues such as the sector’s trajectory, likely tourism hotspots, and the potential to bring novel hospitality concepts to fruition.

The second session will discuss the perennial question of what guests really want. From experiential and eco-conscious stays with a local edge and wellness experiences that go beyond spas, to loyalty programmes and apps that meet new lifestyle demands, panelists will consider the evolving priorities and motivations of guests in 2022 and beyond.

Now in its 29th year and working in collaboration with the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), ATM show highlights in 2022 will include, among others, destination summits focused on the key source markets of Saudi Arabia, Russia, China and India.

Travel Forward, the leading global event for travel technology, will shine a spotlight on next-generation innovations for tourism and hospitality, ATM buyer forums and speed networking events, as well as ARIVAL Dubai @ ATM. Through a series of webinars, this dedicated forum covers current and future trends for tour operators and attractions, with a focus on growing business through marketing, technology, distribution, thought leadership and executive-level connections.

ATM 2022 will also host dedicated conference summits on its Global Stage, covering aviation, hotels, sports tourism, retail tourism and a special hospitality investment seminar. The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organisation, will once again be participating at ATM. The GBTA will deliver the latest business travel content, research and education to help drive the recovery and support growth in business travel.

ATM will play an integral role in Arabian Travel Week, a festival of events dedicated to enabling travel professionals from all over world to collaborate and shape the recovery of the Middle East travel industry, through exhibitions, conferences, breakfast briefings, awards, product launches and networking events.

The UAE remains one of the most Covid-secure countries on the planet, with consistently low case rates and robust measures in place to ensure the safety of tourists at every stage of their visit, from arrival to departure. Like its neighbouring emirates, Dubai is committed to maintaining the highest standards of hygiene and safety. Its management of the pandemic has been endorsed by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which has awarded the city a ‘Safe Travels’ stamp. 

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