According to AHIC organiser Jonathan Worsley, the conference was in the right place at the right time, and the theme of the second will reflect the ongoing development of the hotel investment sector in the region.
He said: “As well as an unparalleled networking event, the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference focused on some of the issues that concern every player in the regional industry, from mega projects to financing and areas such as fractional ownership and human resources.
“Together with members of our advisory panel, we are now evaluating topics of interest to set the agenda for 2006, and are looking to cover key issues such as supply and demand, new source markets, the role of low-cost and charter airlines, the cost of development to the environment and urban planning.”
The 2005 Arabian Hotel Investment Conference, held as a precursor to the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, was sold out with 525 delegates from the Middle East and around the world, and underlined the strong growth rate in the regional hotel sector.
“Every hotel chain is eyeing the Middle East, and with Dubai’s success now being replicated in countries such as Oman and Qatar, as well as down the road in Abu Dhabi, there is no doubt that the second Arabian Hotel Investment Conference will attract an equally positive response from the global hospitality sector,” said Worsley.
His confidence was underlined by industry leaders who were unstinting in their praise of the inaugural AHIC held at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.
CEO and president of Rezidor Hospitality, Kurt Ritter, said AHIC proved to be “an invaluable platform for industry leaders” and he was already looking forward to the 2006 conference, while Mövenpick CEO, Jean-Gabriel Peres commented, “one of the best networking events of the industry.”
Praising the format that combined conference presentations with panel breakout sessions, senior vice president of Wimberly Allison Goo & Tong (WATG), Ronald Van Pelt, said: “The conference provided an overview of what is happening in the region as well as the ability to obtain more detail on specific areas during the other sessions,” while Kingdom Hotel Investments’ senior vice president, Tim Hansing, said AHIC was a “great place to start new deals and close existing ones.”
Christophe Piffaretti, corporate vice president at Kempinski Hotels outlined the strength of the first Arabian Hotel Investment Conference: “If you want to do business in the Middle East, AHIC is the place to be … with all the key players in the industry from mega resort developers to private investors, hoteliers and bankers.”
The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference will run from April 29 – May 2, 2006 at Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah. The conference is organised by CB Richard Ellis Hotels, the largest commercial real estate firm in the world, and MEED, the Middle East business information group. Details of AHIC can be found on .
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