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Industry gathers in Dubai for AHIC

Industry gathers in Dubai for AHIC

AHIC 2010 is being attended this year by over 600 industry professionals from 42 countries, and has enjoyed a significant increase in participants from the hotel investment sector.

One of the highlights so far was the Leaders’ Panel, which looked at how industry CEO’s are protecting and growing their businesses, and where and how they are unlocking investment opportunities in the region.

Participants included Eric Danziger, president of Wyndham Hotel Group, Kurt Ritter, president of the Rezidor Hotel Group and Gerald Lawless, executive chairman of Jumeirah Group.

AHIC chief Jonathan Worsley with Michael Scully from Seven Tides

Mark Wynne-Smith, chief executive of Europe, Middle East & Africa, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, who moderated the panel, commented: “One of the key themes that was discussed was the expected increase in investments in the budget and mid-level hotel sectors in the region.

“This diversification in the market will help protect against fluctuations in price and occupancy levels caused by the impact of broader economic factors and is an important step as the regional market continues to mature.”

The Address Hotels + Resorts team at AHIC

These themes were reiterated, and expanded upon, in the panel focusing on ‘Successfully Tapping into the Regional Arab Travel Market’, which looked at gaps in the market for new supply.

Armani Hotel chief executive Marc Dardenne

Participants for this event included: HE Sheikh Mubarak Abdulla Al Mubarak Al Sabah, chairman of Action Hotels, HE Saif Mohamed Al Hajeri, chairman of Abu Dhabi National Hotels and Rotana chairman Selim El Zyr.

Jonathan Worsley, chairman of Bench Events which co-organises AHIC, commented: “I am delighted at the increased turnout this year, and particularly the constantly growing participation by investors in the sector, as well by attendees from the MENA region.

“The quality and quantity of the debates that have been held by the participants so far has been extremely high, and it is proving to be great opportunity to facilitate networking and deal-making prospects.”

Abu Dhabi National Hotels chairman HE Saif Mohamed Al Hajeri and AHIC head Jonathan Worsley at AHIC 2010