The first edition of Equip’Hotel Middle East Exhibition and Conference (EHME), a major trade show focused on the region’s hospitality industry, came to a successful close last week with the majority of visitors comprising key decision-makers from across the Middle East region.
“80 percent of the visitors at Equip’Hotel are chief executives, general managers and purchasing and supply managers from the hotel and hospitality companies in the region and around the globe,” said Naji El Haddad, Show Manager of Equip’Hotel Middle East.
Exhibitors at EHME have expressed satisfaction at the quality of trade visitors at the show.
Maha Al Badie, Executive Director of Euphoria, an Abu Dhabi-based company that offers turn-key projects for the hospitality sector such as linens to spa products and uniforms said: “The show was very successful and we plan to participate again next year.” She added that they received orders from big hotel brands which include Emirates Palace, Rotana Group, Sheraton and Millennium and other companies from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and France. “We have also received quite a good number of interests from private buyers,” she said.
“EHME is a great place to trade and source new products. We met a good number of international exhibitors,” said Mohammed Al Nashwan, President of Hartt Property.
Elie Bouchedid, Dean of the hospitality department of the American University of Science and Technology in Lebanon added: “The Hosted Buyer Program and the exhibition was very well organized, it gave us a chance to meet with international and local exhibitors in a relaxed environment.”
The event showcased the latest products, services and technologies for the hotel, restaurant and catering sectors. Several innovative products included HealthWay air systems; hand held terminal with touch screen; Flaq, an eco-friendly floor light piece; hand-made chandeliers made from manipulated glass; a custom-made spa in stainless steel, glass and wood with therapeutic massage; Happy Sticks, incense in a matchstick box and Royal Intimity, a mobile sanctum.
Two specialist conferences were also held during EHME. Speakers for the “Growth of Green Hotels Conference” were experts from around the world including Hospitality and Green Building pioneers, top consultants and senior managers from the IT and Building sector.
The other conference was hosted by MKG Hospitality, a leading hotel, catering and tourism sector consultancy. Vanguelis Panayotis, CEO of MKG Hospitality has presented his overview of Abu Dhabi’s and the Middle East’s hotel market, the challenges of quality management in the hotel sector and the rise of Shariah-compliant hotels.
According to Panayotis, the UAE and Qatar remain MENA’s best-performing destinations for hotels. “Our year-to-date hotel analysis showed that Qatar has been the region’s best-performing country in terms of revenue per available room (RevPAR), with just over $213. This has been driven by a healthy average daily rate (ADR) of over $306 and a relatively high occupancy rate (OR) of 69.5%. The UAE on the other hand seems to have sacrificed ADR (now at $260) in order to achieve an OR of almost 81% and attain a RevPAR of just over $210,” he said.
“The Middle East is also forecasted to be the fastest growing region by 2020, with an estimated growth of 7.1 per cent per year, 69 million tourist arrivals and nearly $4 trillion in tourism investments,” Panayotis added.
EHME (www.equiphotelme.com) is organised by Reed Exhibitions Middle East with the support of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority. The UAE capital’s leading hospitality groups, Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH) and National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels (NCTH), are show partners.
150 exhibitors from 17 countries took part at the inaugural edition of the show. 89 international companies are from the US, Canada, Spain, Italy, Norway, Turkey, Switzerland, Portugal, Lebanon, Egypt, Oman, Syria and Thailand while the remaining 61 are from the UAE. Germany and France had national pavilions at the event.
Exhibitors at EHME represented 14 sub-sectors: Building Layout & Fitting products; Tableware; Laundry; Coffee Making & Bar equipment; Hotel & Restaurant concepts; Food & Beverage; Vending; Kitchen Equipment; Linen & Professional wear; Furniture & Design; Guest Amenities; Spas; Bathroom & Wellness; and Sound & Lighting Technologies.
The visitors at EHME included buyers from international hotel groups, officials managing hotel apartments and tourist facilities, restaurant and catering operators, chefs, distributors, importers, wholesalers, educational institutions, government authorities, investors, promoters, developers, design and planning consultants, architects and interior decorators.