The climate crisis was under the spotlight during the opening session of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The discussion gathered tourism and economy figureheads from across the Middle East region to address how the travel industry needs to adapt to tackle the issue of climate change and meet current regulations by implementing new sustainable policies, funds, and support.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid tours ATM 2023
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, toured the 30th Arabian Travel Market.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid was accompanied by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE; and His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Media Council.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said the development of the Arabian Travel Market into a leading global event for the travel, tourism, and hospitality sectors reflects Dubai’s growth as a hub for the global business and investment community and a key venue for industry thought leaders to engage in constructive dialogue on unlocking new growth opportunities. The theme of the event, ‘Working Towards Net Zero’ reflects the UAE and Dubai’s commitment to shaping a sustainable future for humanity, His Highness added.
“Our vision is to make Dubai the preferred global destination for business and investment. We seek to build on our exceptional economic achievements to open new horizons of growth. By combining the competencies of local talent with the synergies and expertise brought by our strong international partnerships, Dubai will continue to raise excellence in the tourism industry,” His Highness said.
Also accompanying HH Sheikh Mohammed on the tour were His Excellency Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; and His Excellency Lieutenant General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai.
His Highness was also briefed about ATM 2023’s focus on sharing ideas and knowledge on expediting the sector’s journey towards decarbonization, especially as the UAE prepares to host COP28, the global climate change conference, in November 2023.
During his tour of ATM 2023, HH Sheikh Mohammed was also briefed about major global tourism destinations participating in the trade show. He visited several local, regional, and international pavilions at the event.
The opening session at ATM looked at the industry’s crucial role in climate change – a particularly pertinent topic as the UAE prepares to host COP28 later this year. According to Sustainable Travel International, tourism is responsible for approximately 8% of global carbon emissions from transport, food and beverage, accommodation, and related goods and services.
The UNDRR works closely with governments, the private sector, and stakeholders across the globe, including 22 Arab nations, to reduce disaster risk. Building a picture of the current situation, Mohanty said, “Globally, in the last 20 years, there have been $2.97 trillion in economic losses due to disasters. Climate change is leading to more frequent and severe climate-related hazards such as floods, heat waves, cyclones, and hurricanes. In turn, the tourism industry loses enormous amounts of money due to these hazards. Therefore the return on investment is clear – invest now to help protect the future.”
Elsewhere on the agenda
Day one of ATM 2023 featured 20 sessions across the Global Stage, Travel Tech Stage, and Sustainability Hub. Other highlights from the day included the Technology: The Enabler of Sustainable Travel session, the funding of sustainability, and Enhancing the Customer Experience Through AI. The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance also touched on the importance of protecting the locations, livelihoods, and communities in which hotels are based, in the Achieving Net Positive Hospitality session.
For more on ATM 2023, click here.