With this much-anticipated, highly influential event now well and truly under way, here’s a round up of key news, events and happenings from FHS Day 1.
An FHS exclusive report, Navigating the Investment Terrain – GCC Development Costs and Trends, has been released by HVS and Wood Couture, shedding light on the trends that are redefining hotel development and giving insight into the cost per key and cost per square metre for different asset types. Collectively, Hala Matar Choufany (HVS) and Filippo Sona (Wood Couture) have advised on more than 10,000 projects in the region.
Hilton has announced plans to increase its presence in the Middle East by more than 125% in the years ahead. Please find attached the press release in English and Arabic.
The FHS Startup Den finalists pitched their new venture concepts to an elite panel of judges and Erika Doyle, Founder & Owner of Drink Dry was announced as this year’s winner. Please find attached the photo of the finalists with Erika pictured far right.
Ideas and innovation that will shape the future of hospitality in the Middle East were highlighted at the finals of the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge global student competition. The winners will be announced tomorrow (Tuesday) on FHS Day 2.
Industry professionals shared a market snaphot of key trends in relation to the hospitality sector at FHS Intelligence Talks, breaking down the fundamentals underpinning the market performance, pipeline costs, AI and contracts.
Looking ahead to Day 2:
Tomorrow’s sessions start at 8:45am on the Summit Stage. The welcome address by Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, Group CEO, Miral takes place at 10:40am, followed by H.E. Mohamed Ali Rashed Alabbar, Founder & Managing Director of Emaar Properties; Founder & Director of Noon.com; Chairman of Eagle Hills; Chairman of Americana Group who will be interviewed on his global entrepreneur’s vision in an exclusive fireside chat by Stephen Sackur, Presenter, HARDTalk;
At 9:25am, UAE Minister of Economy, HE Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, will be in conversation with Stephen Sackur, on the subject of Tourism-Led Policies for a Better World: The Importance of the Industry Getting a Seat at the Government Policy-making Table. Also joining the debate are HE Dr Ghada Shalaby, Vice Minister, Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt; and Haitham Mattar, Special Advisor, UNWTO and Managing Director MEA and South West Asia, IHG Hotels & Resorts;
At 11:50am on the Summit Stage the Award Ceremony will take place for the winners of the 2023 Sustainable Hospitality Challenge student competition;
There are several Signings and Announcements planned on the Expo Stage beginning at 12:00pm:
12:00 Saudi Tourism Investment Company ASFAR
15:30 Boutique Group
16:00 Valor Hospitality
· Panel discussions featuring leaders from Accor, Boutique Group, Hilton, IMKAN, Ministry of Tourism - Saudi Arabia, NEOM, Radisson, Rua Al Madinah, Spectrum - Next, ASFAR, IHG, Marriott, Millennium Hotels, Rotana, SMIT Morocco, and Taiba Investments continue throughout the day.