ARABIAN HOTEL INVESTMENT CONFERENCE WITNESSES A STRONG OPENING WITH OVER 600 ATTENDEES
- A NUMBER OF SIGNIFICANT DEALS AND ANNOUNCMENTS MADE IN AHIC’S FIRST DAY
Dubai, 6 May 2015: The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference witnessed a strong opening today with over 600 delegates attending an extensive programme of panel discussions and sessions on variable topics on the hospitality industry, taking place this year from 5-7 May at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.
Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench events said in his opening speech: “I would like to thank our patron, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports, President of Dubai Dept for Civil Aviation, and Chairman and CEO of Emirates on his ongoing support for AHIC and I would like to thank all of our attendees today, it’s exciting to see this number of industry leaders together under one roof attending this amazing Conference.
This year’s theme is ‘Hotel Development for Tomorrow’s Traveller’, we are here today to discuss what the future generation are looking for and what growth expectations are for this industry."
Daniel Silke, renowned South Africa's leading Political Analyst said in his presentation to the AHIC audience that by 2016 88% of the world’s population will live in the emerging marketing and 2/3 of the global GDP growth will happen there as we. He told the attendees that much of the growth witnessed in the Middle East in the hospitality and tourism industry is due to the massive expansions of the Gulf region airline companies. Silke explained: "By 2025 the world will welcome nearly 1.8 billion visitor per year, an 58% increase from the 1.1 billion international visitor arrivals who crossed boarders in 2014."
According to JJL 2015 Middle East Hotel Intelligence Reports which was released today at AHIC, the Middle East and Africa region continues to witness solid hotel development activity and destination building. The UAE is expected to retain its status as the region’s main tourist hub with active and differentiated strategies being implemented in other countries in the region such as Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar. Hotel assets continue to be favoured by sophisticated investors and require the right level of professional expertise whether internal or third party provided.
Chiheb Ben-Mahmoud, Executive Vice President – Head of Hotels & Hospitality Group, Middle East & Africa at JLL, said: “While Dubai hotels ADR’s and occupancy rates have been declining, their levels remain strong and healthy and can be expected to improve the competitive position of the city compared to other competing and established destinations in Europe and Asia. Dubai continues to strengthen its position as a leading tourism destination in the Middle East due to its ease of access, quality branded hospitality offering, modern infrastructure, leisure and entertainment options and safe environment. Long term hospitality development in Dubai has been bolstered by the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for Tourism for 2020, supported by the planning and implementation efforts of DTCM.”
A number of significant announcements were made today at AHIC, including:
- IHG and Bukhamseen Group Strengthen 30-Year Relationship with Multi-Deal Signings in Kuwait -Includes two new builds; one conversion and contract renewal of Holiday Inn Kuwait Salmiyah
- IHG and Dur Hospitality Announce First Hotel under Master Development Agreement - Holiday Inn to open in Tabuk this year
- Dubai World Central Expands Hospitality Offering with Three New Strategic Partnerships - Additional 1,300 rooms to Cater to Business and Leisure Travelers around Al Maktoum International Airport and Expo 2020
- Shaza Hotels to open Bahrain hotel in 24 months - Shaza Seef Bahrain will be the first Shaza Hotel to open in Bahrain
- Colliers International Presents MENA Hotel Market Forecast at AHIC - Egyptian markets witness largest forecasted increases in RevPar while Abu Dhabi looks set to benefit from demand side drivers
- Dusit Builds on Existing Partnership with Three New Agreements - in the Emirates
- FRI Hotels and Resorts pursues Robust Residential portfolio as part of the Aggressive Global Expansion Strategy
AHIC is organised by Bench Events and MEED, and will include key participants such as Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and Jumeirah Group, Platinum Sponsors, Accor, Al Habtoor Group, Hilton Worldwide, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), Marriott International, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Wyndham Hotel Group as Emerald Sponsors. Centara Hotels & Resorts, Citymax Hotels, Colliers International, Crystal International Standards, ESPA, Faithful + Gould, FRHI Hotels & Resorts, Golden Tulip, Hodema Cosulting Services, HVS, Insignia Worldwide, Invest Tourism Maldives, JA Hotels & Resorts, JLL, Melia Hotels International, Premier Inn, PwC, Roya, Shaza Hotels, STR Global, Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces and Yas Marina Circuit as Gold Sponsors.
About Bench Events
Bench Events has a long track record of delivering, with its partners, the premier hotel investment events across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Bench Events’ Chairman, Jonathan Worsley, was one of the founders of the highly successful International Hotel Investment Forum which is now in its eighteenth year (www.berlinconference.com). In 2005, he was responsible for launching the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai (www.arabianconference.com); and in 2008 launched the Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference (www.russia-cisconference.com). In 2011 Bench Events added two events to its portfolio, co-hosting the Turkey & Neighbours Hotel Investment Conference (www.cathic.com) and the Africa Hotel Investment Forum which in 2013 was held in Nairobi, Kenya (www.africa-conference.com). In 2014 Bench Events launched the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (www.restaurant-invest.com) in Dubai to great acclaim.
Bench Events recently supported the Kenyan Red Cross following the Westgate Mall shootings and the anti-poaching efforts of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. In 2014, Bench Events will be undertaking to set a world record by playing cricket on top of Mt Kilimanjaro. Contact Matt Weihs on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information www.benchevents.com.
For 50 years business leaders have been relying on MEED (Middle East Economic Digest) to give them a wealth of factual, unbiased business information that they need to be successful. The MEED brand represents an unrivalled portfolio of high caliber business information products, online services and premier networking events. MEED Conferences is part of the leading information brand in the Middle East working to provide delegates with the very latest business sensitive information. Over the past 12 years, MEED Conferences has organised events attended by senior government officials and thousands of international business people. The conference series is aimed at companies actively seeking business in the markets of the Middle East. MEED is well established as the source of strategic and accurate regional information placing it in a unique position to bring together high-caliber speakers. www.meed.com