Arabian Travel Market 2021 signals new dawn for tourism

Arabian Travel Market 2019 welcomed almost 40,000 people, with representation from 150 countries and over 100 exhibitors making their debut.
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Updated 19 November 2020

Arabian Travel Market 2021 signals new dawn for tourism

Reed Travel Exhibitions, organizer of Arabian Travel Market (ATM), has announced that the 2021 edition of its annual showcase, will take place live at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from May 16 to 19, 2021.

Now in its 27th year and working in collaboration with DWTC and Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the theme of the show next year will be “A new dawn for travel and tourism,” spotlighting the current state of the industry and more importantly, what the future holds. It will also look at the emerging trends and how innovation can drive the industry forward.

Supporting ATM’s theme, a recent Colliers report — MENA Hotel Forecasts, estimates that 2021 will be a year of recovery, based on the assumption that hotel performance across the region is already improving. Major destinations such as Dubai and Cairo are leading the way with estimated full year 2021 occupancy levels of 68 percent and 65 percent, respectively.

They were closely followed by Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah, Muscat and Amman, with average occupancies of 58 percent, 56 percent, 51 percent, 48 percent, and 45 percent respectively. Overall, average year-on-year growth of the 20 destinations researched was 47 percent.

Prior to the pandemic, the direct contribution of travel and tourism to the Middle East’s GDP was predicted by the World Travel and Tourism Council, to reach $133.6 billion by 2028. So, given subdued oil prices and a general economic slowdown due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is clear that the regional economy will be relying on travel and tourism to recover quickly, once a vaccine has been fully developed and rolled out.

Danielle Curtis, exhibition director ME, Arabian Travel Market, said: “If approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, Pfizer estimates it can roll out 50 million (COVID-19 vaccine) doses this year and up to 1.3 billion in 2021, enough to vaccinate almost 675 million people. So, we are confident that by May next year, we will be on the threshold of a new dawn for our industry.”

ATM 2021 will also play an integral role in Arabian Travel Week and for the first time, a new hybrid format will mean a virtual ATM running a week later to complement and reach a wider audience than ever before. ATM Virtual, which made its debut earlier this year after ATM 2020 was postponed, proved to be a success attracting 12,000 online attendees from 140 countries.

“It is imperative that we include a virtual element to Arabian Travel Week because many industry professionals from around the world cannot attend the live event in person every year. 

It would also be naïve of us to imagine that governments throughout the world will relax their travel restrictions, to the same degree, at the same time and of course reopening airports and flight routes will also vary by country,” said Curtis.


SABIC launches anti-fog film for COVID visors

Updated 28 November 2020

SABIC launches anti-fog film for COVID visors

SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, has announced the successful commercialization of an anti-fog film it designed especially for COVID-19 protection equipment, such as safety face shields and goggles, used in frontline work environments.

Lexan HP92AF features a one-sided coating that extends the time-to-fog even at very high ambient humidity, ensuring long-lasting optical clarity. The product has confirmed its superior anti-fog performance in extensive testing under the harshest conditions. It does not exhibit any hazing at saturation as could be observed with competitive materials. Moreover, the anti-fog coating technology has no compromising effect on the abrasion resistance and impact strength of the polycarbonate film.

“We have identified a gap in the market when it comes to the effective protection of frontline workers against the COVID-19 pathogen. In work environments subjected to sudden temperature changes and high humidity, visors and safety goggles often fail to provide adequate long-term anti-fog performance. This forces workers to either not wear such visors and safety goggles at all or to take these off for frequent wiping,” said Ahmet Kizilirmakli, senior business manager Americas, SABIC.

“Our new Lexan HP92AF anti-fog film offers the solution many companies have been looking for. Excellent optical quality and high-impact strength of polycarbonate combined with our advanced anti-fog technology make the product the ultimate choice for face shields and other clear view personal protection equipment with long-lasting optical clarity in these environments,” he added.

Besides visors, face masks and safety goggles, other targeted applications include motorcycle visors, ski goggles, automotive cluster lenses, medical instrument lenses and displays as well as industrial lenses.

SABIC’s new anti-fog film product shows excellent die cutting and printability. The anti-fog film is thermoformable and withstands repeated cleaning with lukewarm water, mild soap solutions, or common glass cleaners.

With a width of 48 inches, Lexan HP92AF is globally available in a wide range of gauges from 7 to 30 mil (178 to 752 µm).

“The rapid commercialization of Lexan HP92AF anti-fog film underscores our commitment to helping our customers enhance the protection of frontline workers against COVID-19,” said Mark Troszak, film segment leader at SABIC.

“In high-humidity environments, the time-to-fog makes a difference. This product can ensure optimum optical clarity over extended periods, allowing the users of face shields and other transparent safety equipment to concentrate on their jobs safely without being impaired by fogging,” he added.

Troszak said that SABIC has the capability to satisfy customer-specific requirements by adapting this technology to other existing Lexan-coated film solutions.