ATM Dubai: The Future of Travel Is Experiences

Experiences are the reason people travel. Arival @ ATM will examine the central role tours, activities, attractions and events will play in travel’s recovery

Reading Time: 3 minutes 23 seconds

As tourism revives in 2022, experiences — tours, activities, attractions and events — will take center stage at travel’s renewal. Arival @ ATM Dubai 2022 will explore the essential themes transforming in-destination experiences and what that means for travel in the Middle East and around the world

In the past, Dubai was largely a stopover market for many travelers who took a few days to do a bit of shopping while flying to other locations for their holidays. While tourism has always been the main industry, the emirate is increasingly becoming its own destination — particularly for those from south and Southeast Asia, as well as Europe.


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Experiences have always had a part to play in Dubai’s growth — from hosting many of the world’s largest things, such as the Burj Khalifa and its observation decks, the one kilometer-long XDubai XLine, and the Ain Dubai ferris wheel on Bluewater Island, to flyboards, skydiving and and desert safaris. On top of this, we are now seeing tours pop up that show off local people, culture and cuisine of the U.A.E., such as with Meet The Locals.

Other countries in the region are also making a push for tourists. Jordan is currently in the middle of a large campaign centered around Wadi Rum and Petra, Saudi Arabia has opened up to tourists and is working hard to appear welcoming, and Qatar will host the football World Cup in the winter of this year.

Arival @ ATM will examine how the region can use experiences to drive an increase in tourism and add it to a strategic tourism mix, along with flights and hotels. There will be discussions with leading attraction and tour providers, about what Google is planning for the experiences sector, as well as a look at how Dubai could revolutionize distribution for tours and activities. Here’s our pick of the sessions

The Other Side of Dubai: Meet the Locals

The story of Dubai’s rise as a global hub of commerce and tourism is extraordinary, but there is much more than cosmopolitan modernity. Khadija Behzad, an Emirati entrepreneur, wants to show visitors a different side of Dubai, and help them connect with the local people, culture and cuisine of the U.A.E.

Fireside Chat: Fernando Eiroa, CEO, Dubai Holding Entertainment

As the recently appointed CEO of one of the largest attraction operators across the MENA region, Ferando Eiroa is setting strategy for multiple theme parks, entertainment experiences and the world’s tallest ferris wheel, Ain Dubai. In this wide-ranging interview, we’ll discuss the post-pandemic outlook for travel in the region, key themes defining traveler behavior and experiences, the role of technology in the guest experience, and how to steer such a significant enterprise through a period of continued global uncertainty. 

Google Things to Do (and What It Means to You)

The world’s biggest search engine has taken a big step into the Best Part of Travel with Google Things to Do, a new initiative that presents attraction and experience ticket prices and purchasing options directly in Google search results. This has big implications for attraction operators and ticket resellers. Steve Martinez, Founder & CCO of LIVN will walk through how Google Things to Do works and how attractions and experience operators can leverage it to drive more direct bookings. 

Interview: Dubai Is Re-Envisioning Distribution. Can It Work?

Dubai and dnata share a big vision for tours and attractions distribution: deliver a destination-wide technology platform to connect UAE operators with online travel agencies, global distributors and travelers directly, and make it easier than ever for visitors and locals to discover and book all of the emirate’s amazing things to do. But change is never easy. In this interview with Alaa Alkhatib, the head of PrioHub, we’ll explore the vision, the opportunity, the challenges, and the questions and concerns from attractions and distributors. We’ll also examine whether this could be a model for the future of connected distribution for tours and experiences beyond Dubai.

Arival @ ATM Dubai 2022 will be held on Monday, 9 May 2022. Registration is free for all visitors to ATM


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