The organisers of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference held their annual Advisory Board Meeting at The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management in Dubai earlier.
The event is designed for hospitality leaders and experts to identify the untapped opportunities and key challenges for investors into the Middle East’s hotel sector.
AHIC 2015 board members agreed that untapped opportunities in the Middle East still involve the mid-scale and lifestyle select segments, as well as branded serviced apartments, the latter proving an increasingly attractive option for many hotel operators and investors.
However, some of the speakers also highlighted the challenges present in some regions, where demand fluctuates and legal regulations impact progress.
Elie Milky director business development, Middle East & Africa at the Rezidor Hotel Group, said: “Various markets are keeping us busy starting with KSA and the UAE, and the different submarkets from within.
“Some markets are returning such as Egypt, with ad-hoc opportunities in Libya, Kurdistan, Oman and Qatar.
“The deals we are involved in cover various segments from the midscale to the luxury segments, with asset classes ranging from traditional hotels to serviced apartments.”
He added: “Expanding cities are creating various sub-markets for potential hotel investment, and obstacles include increased competition, increasing value of land, pockets of regional instability, among others.”
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An STR presentation on the Middle East’s hotel performance and trends, which was shared with the advisory board members on the day, showed that Dubai’s midscale and economy class hotel occupancy rates reached 88 per cent this month, with other regions witnessing similar rates.
As of July 2014, the Middle East has witnessed an increase of 5.5 per cent year to date RevPAR and a 41 per cent in the number of hotel rooms.
Jonathan Worsley, chairman of AHIC organiser Bench Events commented: “We are excited to meet with key industry representatives to hear their views on the market performance and current trends.
“Their thoughts and ideas prove invaluable when generating the key topics to be addressed by the AHIC 2015 agenda.”
The Advisory Board Meetings also offered an opportunity for Emirates Academy students to participate at some of the sessions that took place throughout the day, to benefit from the industry experts views on the market trends and challenges, and to meet personally with their role models in this industry.
AHIC 2015 Conference will take place next year from May 5th-7th 2015 at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.