Leading executives and officials attending the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2012 (AHIC) in Dubai will discuss investment opportunities in a Qatar among other topics.
Flush with cash from multi-billion dollar sales of gas, Qatar has embarked on an aggressive infrastructure spending programme as it prepares to host the 2022 World Cup, and for life beyond.
The direct contribution of travel and tourism to Qatar’s GDP is expected to reach US$1.1 billion in 2012, compared to US$800 million in 2009, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.
“The economic conditions are excellent. We see Qatar as a crucial addition to our GCC portfolio and look forward to seeing our core brand Radisson Blu make its entry into the market in 2012. The country has certainly become a key hotel investment destination,” commented Kurt Ritter, President and CEO, the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.
Over the next five years the Gulf state will invest around US$65 billion in new transportation schemes. These include the new US$11 billion Doha International Airport, the US$6 billion Doha port project and a US$25 billion metro and railway.
Qatar is investing US$20 billion alone into tourism infrastructure for its World Cup preparations according to the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), with most of this investment going into building new hotels.
The Gulf state plans to have 30,000 hotel rooms by 2013, up from 15,500 late last year, and aims to add 5,000 new hotel rooms each year up until 2022, bringing the total number of hotel rooms to 75,000, according to QTA.
Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, organiser MEED Events in partnership with Bench Events has put together a three-day programme designed to explore the outlook for hotel investment in the Middle East’s changing landscape.
As well as focusing on the Middle East’s investment landscape after the Arab Spring, AHIC will hold a session that looks at the issues facing Egypt, while key industry figures will address the challenges of developing and operating in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.