NEW destinations – and revitalised ones – will be discussed at a panel discussion featuring Jakaya Kikwete, the president of Tanzania, at the second Arabian Hotel Investment Conference at the end of April.
Alongside Kikwete, Mubarak Al Muhairi, director general of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, will present his case for the rapidly developing tourism industry in the emirate, and James Pringle, senior counsellor for the MA Kharafi Group and chief executive director for the group’s activities at Port Ghalib, will discuss Egypt’s potential.
Tourism will continue to be the key driver of Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification, with new integrated developments such as at Al Raha Beach and Al Reem Island driving new tiers of investment in the capital. The emirate hopes to increase tourism numbers from almost a million in 2004 to more than three million by 2015.
Says Al Muhairi, “Over the next few years we will develop luxury hotels through to business hotels to accommodate the increasing business we expect from the MICE sector. It is essential that a proper tourism infrastructure is in place.”
Port Ghalib is a gold sponsor of AHIC, and Pringle pointed to KPMG studies that highlighted the need for an integrated international destination resort community in Egypt. He says Port Ghalib will be Egypt’s first high-quality international level destination resort community, on a par with destinations like Puerto Banus, Costasmeralda, and Port Grimaud. Port Ghalib’s 500-berth international marina will be upgraded to 1,000 berths by 2007. Already open is the 200 room Coral Beach Diving Hotel, managed by Millennium Resorts and Hotels and set to open in 2007 are the Budours Palace and the Sahara Sun resorts, developed by Sun International.