ATM Press conference
Haitham Mattar, Managing Director, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Issam Kazim, CEO, DCTCM, part of DET, Vasyl Zhygalo, Managing Director, RX Middle East / Portfolio Director WTM and IBTM, RX, Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director for the Middle East, Arabian Travel Market and Adnan Kazim, CCO, Emirates Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: It is not likely that high inflation and rising oil prices would dent consumer and tourism demand in Dubai for the upcoming travel seasons, according to Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) CEO Issam Kazim. The tourism industry is constantly changing, and given the dynamic nature of Dubai’s tourism industry, DET has adopted a diversified market approach that works closely with partners to manage challenges such as inflation and oil prices, explained Kazim.

“We often engage in dialogue with them (our partners). And this situation is not new to us. We dealt with it in 2008-2009 and more recently during the pandemic,” Kazim told Gulf News. “We constantly monitor demand from forward bookings, and we can see that the demand for Dubai is going up,” he added. Despite concerns about the impact on discretionary or disposable income, the Emirate is witnessing significant growth within the leisure travel sector, confirmed Kazim. “And this is in terms of length of stay in Dubai as well as contribution to the GDP,” he added.

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And DET is not going into this blindly. “We have a proactive approach to managing risks and costs and consider the impact on residents and tourists. And when we see any indications leading to changes in that demand, we regroup collectively and put measures in place to manage that demand,” he said. “We’re always engaged across every aspect of the industry to ensure Dubai remains competitive,” explained the CEO.

The DET CEO was speaking on the sidelines of a press conference that announced planned events ahead of the 30th edition of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), scheduled for May 1-4. Senior officials in the Emirate’s travel and hospitality sector revealed that this year, ATM is expecting participation from 2,000 exhibitors, representatives from more than 150 countries and an expected 34,000 attendees.

Emirates to announce a new partnership

The Chief Commercial Officer at Dubai’s flagship airline, Emirates, Adnan Kazim, said the airline would announce new partnerships during ATM this year. “In terms of codeshare agreements, we signed a codeshare with United and Air Canada this year that is operating at full force. It expands our coverage to 550 to 600 new destinations. We also have a solid partnership with Qantas that was signed ten years ago, and we have renewed it for five more years (until 2028),” he said.

“We will be announcing a new partnership during ATM this year, and we will also be showcasing our Economy Premium Cabins at our stand at the exhibition,” he said without divulging any additional details.

Kazim said the airline is working extra hard to increase capacities in China to cater to the market quickly recovering post-pandemic. It will also deploy 95 out of its 116 fleets of A380 super-jumbos into service by March 2024.