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The best stands at this year’s Arabian Travel Market in Dubai

I was honoured to be on the judging panel for the best stands at this year’s Arabian Travel Market, along with fellow judges Matt Gibson, CEO, UpThink; Andrew Wingrove, Group Director, Motivate Media Group; Joe Mortimer, Editor-at-Large, Destinations of the World News; and Philip Wooller, Area Director Middle East & Africa – STR.

Thanks to its futuristic and eye-catching design amongst 1,500 exhibiting companies, the SAUDIA stand was crowned as winner of both the Best Stand Design and the People’s Choice Award at the popular Best Stand Awards. Using vivid colours and futuristic design elements, the three-level SAUDIA stand featured a mesmerising and immersive staircase. For the Best Stand Design category, the focus was on identifying a stand with a creative design that makes the best use of available space and appears inviting from a visitor perspective.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “Arabian Travel Market is once again proud to celebrate the best of exhibition stand design and event experiences with the return of the Best Stand Awards. A common theme highlighted throughout the exhibition halls this year was the ability to create an immersive experience that offers an engaging and imaginative look into the company’s products and services.”

Judges selected the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi stand for Best Stand Feature for its ability to pull in the crowds from the exhibition floor, while the Dubai Tourism, Saudi Tourism Authority and Emaar Hospitality Group stands were all highly commended in this category.

The coveted award for Best Stand for Doing Business was awarded to Jumeirah International for its inviting and aesthetically brilliant design that incorporated a busy and stimulating environment for networking and business. Runner ups in this category included Turkish Airlines, Ras Al Khaimah and Al Mousa for their creative use of technology and installations.

The Best New Stand category win was awarded to Ishraq Hospitality, who were making their debut at the show this year, for their wooden design reminiscent of the desert landscape.

The final award was the Best Stand within the ATM Travel Tech, which shines a light on the importance of technology to the industry and rewards exhibitors with a tech focus. TBS/Vbooking’s innovative design impressed the judges for its immersive metaverse experience.

The winners of this year’s awards were presented with their awards on the exhibition show floor yesterday. Launched in 2015, the Best Stand Awards were created to recognise creative design, people skills and the business-friendly appeal of exhibiting companies’ stands at ATM.

Summary of the ATM 2022 stand award winners

People’s Choice Award – SAUDIA
Best Stand Design – SAUDIA
Best Stand Feature – Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi
Best Stand for Doing Business – Jumeirah International
Best New Stand – Ishraq Hospitality
Best Stand at the Travel Tech Show – TBS/Vbooking

About Arabian Travel Market (ATM)

Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 29th year, is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2021 showcased over 1,300 exhibiting companies from 62 countries across nine halls at Dubai World Trade Centre, with attendees from more than 110 countries over the four days. Arabian Travel Market is part of Arabian Travel Week. #ATMDubai

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. You could probably happily wander around the exhibition all day admiring the stands. I’m amazed at the high standards.

  2. This is a whole new world to me I don’t go to exhibitions in my line of work. There must be a whole industry behind these stands.

    1. There absolutely is, Steven. Exhibition stands like some of the ones you see here take many days to put up, and require substantial investment.

  3. Paul, assuming that you’ve done Arabian Travel Market before, was 62 exhibiting countries back-up to pre-pandemic levels?

    Or do you think we’ve still got some way to go before confidence fully returns?

    1. Hi John – I have been before but haven’t paid much attention to how many countries are in attendance, so am not sure on a previous figure on that front, sorry. In terms of numbers of stands, and attendance, it felt much like when I last attended before the pandemic. I did get a much greater sense of optimism for the industry than I’ve felt for a good couple of years.

  4. Let’s hope that this sort of event signals that the travel industry is on its way back, so many people have been deprived of their income by the lack of tourists.

    In many countries that I’ve been to it’s been obvious that many poor communities rely on tourists to put bread on the table.

    1. Yes, let’s hope so. I for one feel travel is definitely on its way back now. It’s been a long time coming, but I feel we are very much on the road to recovery now.

  5. The scale and vision of these stands really is jaw-dropping. There must be some huge budgets around.

  6. It must be nice to have a work trip to Dubai. I still haven’t flown since before the pandemic in 2019.

    After the horror stories of changing rules and quarantines and new variants I’ve lost a lot of confidence.

    1. Hi Janet – I’m sorry to hear that. The first time I flew “post” pandemic, I was quite apprehensive about it all too (more about all the red tape, and whether I had my paperwork all in order) but, now that I’ve done a few trips, it feels just as straightforward as it always used to. Rules are much more relaxed now than they used to be so I’d say get out there and travel, and you’ll soon hopefully realise it’s not quite as daunting as you fear.

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