Focus on the Ripple Effect in the ME


The Middle East is one of the world’s fastest growing regions with hospitality investment at its core.

The theme of the fourth AHIC conference is Ever Increasing Circles - The Ripple Effect of Hotel Investment in the Middle East. It aims to look at the influence and impact that this growth has on the region and the rest of the world. More than 1,000 industry leaders are expected to attend.
New for 2008 is a pre-conference session on hotel investment in India entitled A Summit on India and chaired by Martyn Lewis CBE, veteran news broadcaster and former BBC news presenter. The conference will discuss the trends, investment opportunities and demand dynamics in India on the opening day from 2.30pm.
There will be a keynote presentation by Surjit S Bhalla, chairman and managing director, Oxus Investments.
Following this is a panel discussion entitled Industry Overview Market Trends and Investment. 
From 6.30pm will be the official conference opening reception at the Mina A’Salam ballroom, Madinat Jumeirah, which is hosted by Jumeirah.
On Sunday May 4 is a welcome address by Jonathan Worsley, chairman, The Bench, at 8.30am.
Following this will be a discussion on the Middle East in the global market place moderated by Russell Kett, managing director, HVS.
A number of sessions entitled Interview with Industry Leaders follows, hosted by John Defterios CNN Marketplace Middle East.
From 11.30am is Owners View of the Hospitality Industry and Where to Invest Next? Moderator will be Richard Hartman, retired executive director, IHG.
This will be followed by a session on The Business Case for Fractional Ownership in The Middle East, and interviews with leading architects on How Not to Develop a Resort Project, moderated by Robert Lee, executive director, investment projects,
Session four is entitled The Dubai Bubble, during which experts are asked their views on the likely performance of the hotel market in the next 10 years. A review of some of the mega projects including Abu Dhabi’s proposed tourism positioning follows.
New developments, staffing and service standards will also be discussed and there is a session on developer versus operator issues, the future of Islamic hospitality and whether Africa is the next emerging market for hotel investments.
A networking reception takes place at 6.30pm at The Palace, The Old Town, Burj Dubai, hosted by Accor Hospitality.
On May 5 there is a keynote presentation by Simon Anholt, specialist in creating brand strategies for nation branding who helps leaders develop policies, strategies and investments to improve their international standing and reputation.
From 9am is a global investment opportunities session where moderator Martyn Lewis speaks to panelists from the tourism ministries of Brazil and Mozambique and the premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Lewis Gordon Pugh, the first person to complete a long distance swim in every ocean of the world, will also address the industry. Pugh, a maritime lawyer, swims to raise awareness about the devastating effects of climate change. He now lobbies politicians and business leaders to protect the environment.