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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