Organisers of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) held a high-level Advisory Board meeting at The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management last month to commence planning for the 2016 event.
With attendees including Abdellah Essonni, Chief Executive Officer of ABJAR Hotels International; Dr Badr Al Badr, CEO, Dur; Philippe Zuber, Chief Operating Officer, Emaar Hospitality Group; Fredrik Jonsson, Head of Asset Management – Hospitality at the Investment Corporation of Dubai; Salim Bitar, Chief Executive Officer, Rani Investment and Olivier Ebner, Senior Manager, Global Project & Structure at National Bank of Abu Dhabi the board identified the key challenges and opportunities facing regional hotel owners and investors. These issues will form an integral part of reIC 2016 programme taking place over the 26th – 28th of April .
From retaining and training pesonnel in the hotel industry and sustaining visitation in the UAE after 2020, to Sharia financing and nurturing investment from China, the topics highlighted by the board were numerous and wide ranging and provide a significant indication of the shape of the industry and the future issues which will need to be addressed collectively.
Under the patronage of His Highness h Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and celebrating its twelfth anniversary in 2016, AHIC is organised through a collaboration between Bench Events and MEED Events.
“The aim of our annual Advisory Board meeting is to ensure we are getting straight to the heart of the topics and themes which investors and the industry want to discuss,” commented Jennifer Pettinger, Managing Director Middle East of Bench Events. “The industry in the Middle East relies on us to provide a networking platform which will be both insightful and relevant to them and their wider businesses. More than 90% of attendees in 2015 rated AHIC as very good or excellent so we will continue to build exceptional speaker programmes and panel debates which define AHIC.”
Following the Advisory Panel meeting, an evening reception was hosted by Action Hotels at Coya. Key attendees included H E Sheikh Mubarak, Al Sabah, Chairman, Action Hotels and Cherif Hosny, Chief Hospitality Officer, MERAAS Holding and Ahmed Ramdan, Founder, Ròya International. The networking event was a rare opportunity for the industry’s most senior decision makers to get together.
“AHIC is an extremely important event for the hotel investment community and we were delighted to host the region’s leading hospitality professionals on the occasion of the Advisory Board meeting. As one of the leading hotel owners in the Middle East, we are delighted to support such initiatives and promote professional networking opportunities. Hosting and sponsoring events through AHIC permits us an opportunity to expand industry conversation beyond our immediate business need,” said Alain Debare, CEO of Action Hotels.