Arabian Travel Market 2016: A spotlight on mid-market travel

A key segment for MENA’s tourism and hospitality sector, mid-market travel is to be the official show theme at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2016.

Exhibition manager, ATM, Nadege Noblet-Segers explained the reasoning behind this: “Data released by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) revealed that up to 50 per cent of the 3,600 new hotel rooms to enter the Dubai market in the final months of 2015 have a three-star or lower rating, while competitive room rates are set to rival the luxury market, as 69 per cent are to have four-stars or less according to research.

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“This will add much-needed midscale room stock to the emirate’s hotel landscape, where three-star or below room supply only accounted for 29 per cent of total availability in the first quarter of 2015,” she further stated.

With a keen eye on the mid-market segment, Dubai is already putting in place initiatives to further stimulate the investment into midmarket hotels. These include the release of government land plots for three- and four-star hotel projects; the speeding up of the construction permit approval process to just two months; and the waiver of the 10 per cent municipality room tax for four years upon completion.

Dubai currently has a total hotel key count of approximately 94,000, a figure that is set to rise to between 140,000 and 160,000 keys by 2020 with around 20 per cent set to target the mid-market hotel sector.

ATM 2016 is set to take place at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from April 25-28, 2016, and will boast an additional hall to cater to heightened numbers of visitors.

With substantial representation from hotels with products in the mid-market sector, ATM 2016 has already witnessed interest and healthy growth from destinations spanning the globe, tour operators and tourist attractions all with mid-market product offerings. From an aviation perspective, flydubai and Flynas have already confirmed their participation at the 2016 show.