AHIC conference geared for growth


THE fourth Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) is set to beat all previous attendance records with more than 1,000 delegates expected, according to conference organiser, Jonathan Worsley.

Worsley, chairman of The Bench, said levels of interest continued to surge from both within the region and from overseas, with delegate numbers looking to more than double in the four years since its launch.
HE, Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Economy has confirmed her attendance in the Industry Leaders’ session at the upcoming Arabian Hotel Investment Conference.
“Shaikha Lubna is set to share key insights into the region’s burgeoning tourism and hospitality sector and its continuing ability to contribute to economic growth, often as the catalyst,” said Worsley. The session will be moderated CNN news anchor, John Defterios.
Worsley said that recent figures show that the contribution of the hospitality sector, both directly and indirectly, to the UAE’s total GDP is in excess of 20 per cent and 30 per cent (respectively).
Meanwhile, Shaikha Lubna said that the region’s hospitality and leisure sectors continue to show potential to attract new spending into regional economies.
“In the UAE particularly, we have witnessed excellent economic growth in tourism, aviation, hospitality real estate and complementary sectors. The UAE’s non-oil sector represents over 60 percent of our GDP,” she said.
AHIC attracts investors, developers, operators, financiers, consultants, architects and design specialists. Worsley said that the primary objectives for AHIC were four-fold: “From the outset, we were looking to raise awareness of the region’s tourism industry; to create a forum for the discussion and establishment of best practice and to encourage high level networking opportunities.
“Above all, we wanted to facilitate a conference that became the leading hotel investment conference in the Middle East that attracted key decision makers from the region and beyond.”
 Worsley said that these objectives were being enthusiastically endorsed by the industry and that the surge in attendance stands as a sign of AHIC’s acceptance as the premier event for region’s hospitality investment sector.
AHIC is one of the fastest growing conferences in its sector of which nearly 50 per cent of delegates come from outside the Middle East.