Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) announces 2010 programme

4th Feb 2010
Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) announces 2010 programme

The programme for the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2010, taking place from 1 – 3 May 2010, was today announced. The Conference will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airlines.

The focus for the conference this year is ‘Unlocking Investment Opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa’, and the event brings together over 500 of the top hotel investment industry professionals through an interactive programme that includes panels, breakfast briefings and breakout sessions.

The debates will be led by a selection of industry leaders, including:
* HE Sheikh Mubarak Abdulla Al Mubarak Al Sabah, Chairman of Action Hotels
* HE Saif Mohammed Al Hajeri, Chairman of Abu Dhabi National Hotels
* Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer of Etihad Airways
* Gerald Lawless, Executive Chairman of Jumeirah Group
* Kurt Ritter, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Rezidor Hotel Group
* MarkWynne-Smith, CEO EMEA of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels
* Sarmad Zok, Chief Executive Officer of Kingdom Hotel Investments

The AHIC 2010 Leadership Award will also be presented to Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and Chairman of TDIC.

Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events which co-organises AHIC, commented: “The consensus appears to be that the worst of the global economic crisis is over, which makes the themes being debated at AHIC 2010 more important than ever. Intelligent and targeted investment is vital for the industry as the region recovers from the downturn, and the insight that will be offered by the group of speakers that will gather in Dubai in May will be invaluable for everyone involved in the industry.”


The positive outlook for the region’s hotel investment market was supported by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) ‘2009 International Tourism Results and Prospects for 2010’, released in January 2010. The report highlighted that global international tourist arrivals for business, leisure and other purposes saw a 2% upswing in the last quarter of 2009, with the Middle East, and Asia and Pacific leading the recovery through positive growth in both regions in the second half of 2009. The report also forecast growth of 5-9% for the Middle East in 2010, compared to a 3-4% world growth forecast.

Recent figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) showed that MENA regional airlines grew overall passenger traffic by 11.2% in 2009, and ended with growth of
19.2% in December 2009 compared with December 2008. This growth was led by significant expansion by Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways, which have taken strong positions in the markets between Asia and Europe, illustrating the importance of the region as a bridge between East andWest.

Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer of Etihad Airways, commented: “Air travel plays a vital role in bringing visitors to the region, and the growth in passenger numbers in 2009, despite
the difficult industry conditions, is a positive sign for everyone involved in the MENA region’s hotel and tourism sectors.”

Peter Baumgartner will be talking about ‘The impact of future airline travel patterns on hotel industry demand in MENA’ at AHIC 2010 (Day 2, Sunday 2 May 2010).

Furthermore, the Jones Lang LaSalle Hotel Investment Outlook 2010 predicts the birth of the hotel transaction market in 2010, due to short term financing issues for some operators but a
positive long term outlook. The report highlights that hotel supplies currently present in MENA will not be sufficient to meet demand in the longer term, and once conditions improve extensive
growth in tourism demand could allow for a quick absorption of current and future hotel supply.

Mark Wynne-Smith, CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, EMEA, commented: “We see increased regional hotel transactions as being a key trend in 2010, with strengthening interest from high
net worth individuals, such as Middle Eastern and Asian investors and sovereign wealth funds. Development activity will likely remain subdued in some markets in the short-term but we expect
pick up across the entire market in the medium and longer term. The hottest markets in North Africa will be Morocco and Egypt, whilst the Middle East markets will see developers balance out
their portfolios by expanding outside the UAE.”

Mark Wynne-Smith will be moderating the ‘Leaders’ Panel – Global and MENA Hotel Investment Opportunities’ at AHIC 2010 (Day 2, Sunday 2 May 2010)

For more information please contact:
Alisdair Haythornthwaite +971 56 690 1725 / [email protected]
Rosemary Youssef +971 50 354 8805 / [email protected]

Platinum sponsors: Ministry of Tourism Brazil, The Rezidor Hotel Group and Wyndham Worldwide.

Emerald sponsors: The Address Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, IHG, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, Jumeirah Group, Moroccan Tourism Development Agency (SMIT)

Gold sponsors Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, Accor Hospitality, Bell Pottinger, Corinthia Hotels, Golden Tulip Hotels & Resorts, Hamilton Hotel Partners, Hodema Consulting Services,
Horwath HTL, Kempinski Hotels & Shaza Hotels, Langham Hotels International, Molinaro Koger, Rotana, Schletterer Wellness and SPA design, Siemens, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide,
TRI Hospitality Consulting, Viceroy Hotel Group,WATG.

Selected Programme Highlights:


AHIC Opening Reception
Jumeirah Group is hosting the opening cocktail reception for all AHIC delegates on the opening night of the conference, with an Arabian heritage-themed experience taking place in the Majilis Al Mina and Majilis Al Salam ballrooms.


Leaders’ Panel – Global and MENA Hotel Investment
How are industry CEOs protecting and growing their businesses? Where and how are they unlocking investment opportunities?

MarkWynne-Smith, CEO Europe, Middle East & Africa, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels

Eric Danziger, President & CEO, Wyndham Hotel Group
Kurt Ritter, President & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group
Gerald Lawless, Executive Chairman, Jumeirah Group
Pierre Frédéric Roulot, President, Golden Tulip Hospitality & Louvre Hotels
Sarmad Zok, Chief Executive Officer, Kingdom Hotel Investments

Successfully Tapping into the Regional Arab Travel Market

Where are the gaps in the market for new supply? Who has been successful? How large is the potential market?

Alex Kyriakidis, Global Managing Partner – Tourism Hospitality & Leisure, Deloitte

HE Sheikh Mubarak Abdulla Al Mubarak Al Sabah, Chairman, Action Hotels
HE Saif Mohamed Al Hajeri, Chairman, Abu Dhabi National Hotels
Mansour Amer, Chairman, AMER Group
Selim El Zyr, President & CEO, Rotana

Attracting the Attention of Today’s Hotel Investor
Understanding the objectives of MENA’s investors.

Jalil Mekouar, Executive Vice President - Head of Middle East & Africa, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels

Souad Benbachir, CEO, T-Capital & Executive Director, CFG Group
Mohamed Al Sari, Managing Director, GGICO
Roger Blackall, Director of Hotels & Hospitality Division, Premier Group WLL, Kingdom of Bahrain
Joe Sita, President, IFA Hotel Investments

How to Finance Your Project?

What and where are the ‘new’ sources of debt and equity finance? Understanding the funding criteria and aligning expectations.

Gaurav Shivpuri, Director - Capital Markets, Jones Lang LaSalle MENA

Fouad Chraibi, Chairman, H Partners Investment Fund
Tim Luckhurst, Director, Real Estate Advisory Middle East, RBS Global Banking & Markets
Fergal G Harris, Head of Commercial Real Estate Middle East, Standard Chartered Bank

Networking Reception - Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa
AHIC delegates are invited by Emaar Hotels & Resorts to an exclusive evening at the world’s first Armani Hotel, designed by Giorgio Armani and located in the distinctive Burj Khalifa.


The Country Forum

What you need to know to invest intelligently in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco. Listen
to those shaping the direction of tourism and hotel investment.

John Defterios, Host, CNNMarketplace Middle East

HE Mohamed Zoheir Garana, Tourism Minister, Egypt
HE Yassir Zenagui, Minister of Tourism and Handicraft Kingdom of Morocco
HE Dr Rajiha Abdul Ameer Ali, Minister of Tourism Sultanate of Oman
Dr Salah K AlBukkayet, Vice President – Investment, Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities

2010 AHIC Leadership AwardWinner

The Award will be presented to Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon al Nahyan, Chairman of TDIC and Chairman, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, followed by a conversation with John Defterios, Host of CNN Marketplace Middle East



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