With the biggest turnout yet, the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference is kicking off, highlighting the scale of development and interest in the Middle East’s hospitality sector. Over 800 delegates and 120 industry leaders from 46 nationalities met at the second Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in the Madinat Jumeirah hotel in Dubai.
“The region has created a marvelous vision. In total 50 percent of the world’s cranes are in Dubai. But is development in the region sustainable or is it a mirage?” said Jonathan Worsley, conference coordinator at the opening of the summit.
The question was reiterated by Jeff Weinstein, editor of HOTELS magazine, “There will also be a dozen new hotel and property investment opportunities being announcerd at Arabian Travel Market”
“But are we experiencing ‘irrational exuberance’ in terms of investment—in the words of Alan Greenspan?”
Vast liquidity, boosted by high oil prices and a rise in regional consumer spending indicates that—yes—hotel and hospitality investments in the GCC region is sustainable, this was the consensus among panel speakers and discussion leaders at the conference.
Delegates are attending the conference, which runs until May 1, in order to find potential clients, identify opportunities for investment in the hotel sector and network.
“Growth in the region is over five percent and looks sustainable. The question is - how will people spend the money is the question,” says Daniel Thorniley of the Economic Intelligence Unit.
“The outlook for Arab-Arab tourism and western tourism to the GCC looks good.”
The potential for Egypt, Libya and Turkey in the hotel investment sector was highlighted. But the “jewel in the crown”