The former United States ambassador to the United Kingdom, Philip Lader, will take part in a key session entitled “The Middle East in context to the global marketplace”.
Lader represented the United States as ambassador to Great Britain and Northern Ireland for four years till 2001, and was also once a member of president Clinton’s cabinet. He now sits on the board of numerous global corporations and is currently chairman of global media communications services company, WPP Group PLC and a senior adviser to Morgan Stanley.
The session also features Arthur de Haast, global CEO, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels and Lisa Hughes, vice president and publisher, Conde Nast Traveller.
Jonathan Worsley, AHIC conference co-organiser, said that while the growth phenomenon across the region’s markets is a positive hot topic, it is also a subject that attracts the voice of the cynics.
“AHIC has secured former US ambassador, Philip Lader, to give his view on the region and just how it will vie on the global playing field, and for how long,” said Worsley.
Worsley cited recent reports that highlight the region’s heady tourism growth up 13 per cent to 46 million tourists in 2007. He said that this is the highest recorded growth globally last year.
“Growth reports suggest that world travel and tourism between 2009 and 2018 will grow at an average rate of 4.4 per cent per annum, with Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East set to experience higher growth rates of 5.9 per cent, 5.7 per cent and 5.2 per cent respectively,” Worsley said.
“On the contrary, mature markets such as the Americas and Europe, fall below with average growth of 2.1 per cent and 2.3 per cent respectively.”
MEED’s Edmund O’Sullivan, AHIC co-organiser, agreed saying that the region’s fast paced development and subsequent growth opportunities are making international headlines, with Dubai paving the way as an extraordinary example of how one can create a world beating travel and tourism industry out of almost nothing.
“Hospitality chains and investors from around the world are eyeing the Middle East as a multi destination hot spot, with Dubai’s success now being replicated in countries such as Oman and Qatar, as well as Abu Dhabi,” O’Sullivan said.
“These days, it is not uncommon for new and existing investors and developers to pass over continental Europe in favour of the Middle East.”
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