Hotel investment conference set to break previous records


His Highness Shaikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president, Dubai’s Department of Civil Aviation and chairman & CEO, Emirates Group has confirmed his ongoing patronage of the fourth Arabian Hotel Investment Conference, according to conference organiser Jonathan Worsley.

He also indicated that delegate registration looks set to break the 1,000 barrier mark in 2008, up 100 per cent in four years.
Worsley said that the three day hospitality investment forum will again see the ‘who’s who’ of the global hotel investment industry thrash out the hot topics that are driving the region’s bullish sector.
“We are thrilled to have HH Shaikh Ahmed confirm his support for the fourth year in a row, a true sign that AHIC is cemented as the significant event on the region’s hospitality investment calendar,” Worsley said.
“Industry research has revealed that AHIC has become known as the place where introductions are made that enable new ventures and business opportunities in the sector to seed and grow.”
Worsley added that the industry too is expected to grow by 4.4 per cent per annum in real terms between now and 2016, with Middle East travel and tourism investment estimated to reach $39.4 billion during the same period.
The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference will run from May 3 to 5, 2008 at Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah Convention Centre.
AHIC 2008 sees the introduction of a first day summit session, and India has been selected as the summit’s flagship topic.
“India’s hospitality sector is fast gaining gear to accommodate international interest, both in business and leisure sectors, in a country poised for rapid growth,” said Worsley.
He said that demand for upscale hotel rooms in India is on the rise, and so are prices.
“Recent figures bear out this optimism with room rates in the major metropolitan centres rising nearly 40 per cent over 2006, while global names such as Shangri-La, Four Seasons, Marriott and Hilton have all announced major expansion plans for India,” he concluded.
The conference will devote the key opening session (on May 3) to the potential opportunities and pitfalls of the burgeoning hotel investment market in India. “Already, we are seeing many regional names entering the Indian market - Emaar, Nakheel, ETA Star, KM Properties and Dubai Properties have all announced plans for India. There is perceived potential in every sector from luxury palace resorts to branded budget chains and executive residences,” he continued.
“This buoyant scenario aside, there are difficulties associated with investing in this market and the India Summit at AHIC 2008 will address these issues,” said Worsley.