By Lynne Nolan
ATM Special: Plans for a new annual platform in Dubai for investors, planners and operators to showcase and invest in tourism projects have been unveiled.
‘Matchmaking' will be pivotal to Tourism Development Projects & Investment Market (TDIM) 2008 in Dubai, a new trade show to be managed by Reed Exhibitions.
"The focus will be on matchmaking programmes between members of the community that makes tourism happen. This is not a real estate show, as we will focus purely on the universe of tourism, with a lot of networking and business meetings," said Frederic Theux, president of Reed Exhibitions Middle East.
The annual event, to be held from January 20 to 22 at Dubai's International Convention & Exhibition Centre's Zabeel Hall, will support coordination among governmental institutions and private tourism project developers.
Theux said TDIM has been created in response to company research, which found that asset providers such as governments, architects, operators and master developers require a platform to ‘build relationships' and evaluate developments in the industry.
He tipped Sudan, South Africa, Jordan and Lebanon as strong emerging tourism destinations, and said he predicts new projects from those countries would be present at TDIM.
The event will showcase tourism projects positioned in the planning stages in a bid to attract investors, operators, global destination brands, planners and financial institutions, and featuring a unique Business Meeting Programme. Theux also revealed that negotiations were already underway with the International Union of Architects.
Ara Fernezian, show manager of TDIM 2008 said the event will also lend global destinations brands the opportunity to explore joint ventures in the region, and provide destinations with exposure among highly targeted visitors.
News of the platform to encourage planners, investors and operators has already triggered a positive response from key players in the industry, including Dubai's Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing and Dubailand.
Mohammed Alhabbai, CEO of Dubailand said the planned event would ramp up the visibility of the city's entertainment and tourism projects such as Universal Studios, and provide an excellent opportunity for negotiations between international developers and investors.
Theux backed up Alhalabbai's comments with the results of Reed Exhibitions' survey on tourism projects in the MENA region, which found the value of developments to be completed by 2018 to be AED1.2 trillion, with the UAE holding an 85% share.