The Arabian & African Hospitality Investment Conference (AHIC) will return live and in-person this week.
The event will take place from September 20-22 at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.
Organisers hope it will offer much-needed conversation, networking and market insight to help hotel investors, owners and operators steer the post-pandemic hospitality landscape in the Middle East and Africa.
Reimagined for 2021 under the theme ‘Rise Together’, the new-look show will bring together the four close-knit investment communities of the Arabian Hospitality Investment Conference (AHIC), Saudi Arabia Hospitality Investment Conference (SHIC), Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) and the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF).
Jonathan Worsley, chairman of Bench and founder of AHIC, said: “By the time AHIC opens in September, our delegates will have navigated 18 months of virtual meetings and business conducted behind screens.
“The advisory board, held at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, provided a mirror into the unmatched value of face-to-face networking, with hotel owners and operators beginning the AHIC conversation; sharing their problems, suggesting solutions, and ultimately coming together to develop a roadmap for the future.”
Data will be a key feature of AHIC, with performance and pipeline analysis critical to planning future investments.
Philip Wooller, area director – Middle East and Africa, STR, gave a preview of the pandemic recovery so far.
He said: “When we compare RevPAR for March 2021 to the same month in 2019, China leads the way, followed by the Middle East, Australia and US.
“Our data shows that the Middle East is 66 per cent of the way to being back to where it was pre-Covid-19.
“Arguably the biggest success story globally is Dubai, where the uber luxury segment has rebounded beyond expectation; hotels are commanding rates higher than in 2008, some of them well above pre-pandemic figures.
“Dubai’s commendable handling of the pandemic has clearly cemented its reputation as one of the safest cities in the world,” observed Wooller.