Arabian Travel Market aims to attract European tourists to the Middle East

Jabal AlFil, known as Elephant Rock, in AlUla, Saudi Arabia
Jabal AlFil, known as Elephant Rock, in AlUla, Saudi Arabia Copyright Canva
By Hannah Brown
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What is the future of travel in Arabian countries? We find out from the experts.


The 29th Arabian Travel Market (ATM) fair is currently taking place in Dubai. This industry event sees businesses from across the sector come together to discuss the future of international travel and tourism.

As a traveller, you might be wondering how this affects you but it’s a great way to discover new destinations and activities for your future holidays.

We’ve all heard of Dubai but insights from the industry event could have you considering a trip to one of the other six United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Oman or Saudi Arabia. 

Where is Ras Al-Khaimah?

Ras Al-Khaimah (RAK) is one of the seven Emirates, along with Dubai. It’s the northernmost emirate with a coastline along the Arabian Gulf.

There’s been a big push in recent years to develop it as an appealing destination for tourists following the popularity of Dubai.

One of the big talking points at ATM is how the array of activities, tours and attractions on offer plays an increasingly large role in people’s choice of holiday destination, as well as the ease of travel.

“Our key markets come from Germany and the UK, but we also have growing markets from the Czech Republic, from Poland and other markets that find direct travel very easy to come into the Emirates,” explains Raki Phillips, CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA).

Exciting activities are definitely something RAK has taken into consideration too as it’s now home to the world’s longest zipline.

Visitors can jump from Jebel Jais mountain, the highest peak in the UAE before hurtling down a colossal 2.83km zipline - the equivalent of 28 football pitches - at speeds of up to 160km/hour.

Why visit Saudi Arabia?

“I think travellers in Europe are looking for culture,” says Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO of the Saudi Tourism Authority.

“[Saudi Arabia] is incomparable - it's been hidden away from everyone else with all its rich civilisation and largest Arabian dunes.”

Saudi offers a variety of activities. Its long coastline along the red sea gives plenty of opportunities for diving and snorkelling through incredible coral reefs.

The ancient city of AlUla is Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO world heritage site. Here you can explore the ancient tombs carved into the rock at Hegra, see stunning natural geography such as Jabal AlFil (Elephant Rock) or go on an adventure by foot, bike or dune buggy.

Watch the video above to learn more.

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