Bpifrance, the French public investment bank has partnered with Business France, the national agency for international development of the French economy, to develop a mission to explore market opportunities in the hotel and restaurant services sectors in the UAE.
During the recent Arabian Travel Market (ATM) trade show, delegates and representatives from the industry took part in the mission to develop partnerships and business associations.
The UAE’s strong economic diversification and its hub position in the Middle East lends itself to being one of the most favorable countries for the hospitality sector, with growth at exponential rates. French businesses in the hotel, restaurant and catering services brought their renowned expertise to the discussion tables with their Emirati counterparts, further bridging and reinforcing the strong bonds shared by the two nations.
With more than 700 hotels and 138,000 hotel rooms; representing a minimum of € 6.1 billion investment, Dubai alone, is one of the strategic cities of focus for the mission.
Pedro Novo, head of export finance at Bpifrance said: “This mission is perfectly in line with the DNA of Bpifrance, identify the leading companies in their sector and facilitate their international acceleration by providing specific funding and support services. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), real hub of the Middle East, Asia and Africa, which has made tourism a priority in terms of investment, constitutes an ideal destination for French hospitality and catering companies, who were able to highlight the French Touch”.
Key French hospitality entrepreneurs who participated included B&B Hotels, Louvre Hotels Group, Oceania Hotels, Maison Albar Hotel, Dumas Paris, École Superieure Dhotellerie De Paris, Grand Luxury Group, Epicure Corporate and Potel Et Chabot. The sectors discussed ranged from hotels, restorations & catering services to hospitality training institutes.
Marc Cagnard, French trade commissioner in the UAE and managing director at Business France Middle East said: “ As a leading tourist destination, France welcomes more than 83 million international tourists yearly accross + 20 000 hotels – more than 1 700 fourstar and 320 five-star. Within the frame of the hospitality week in Dubai, we wanted to organize a French Hospitality Mission to support 10 french entrepreneurs that we carefully selected to fit with local demand in the UAE. French experts wanted to show their expertise, know how and create synergies with local counterparts in order to highlight the local offer in the lead up to Expo 2020 and beyond it.”