Global role for regional hotel industry to be highlighted


MORE than 800 leaders representing the ‘who’s who’ of the global hotel investment industry are set to meet for the third year running at the industry’s top hotel development networking event, the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC), in Dubai from April 28 to 30.

“As patron, Shaikh Ahmed will lead a world-class speaker line-up, each briefed to stir debate on the issues and opportunities that come in the wake of rapid sector and market development. 2007 speakers include Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud, secretary-general, Supreme Commission for Tourism, Saudi Arabia and Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah,” said Jonathan Worsley, AHIC’s co-organiser.
Under the theme of Global Aspirations, this year’s forum will table a variety of topics including investment to and from the region.
Worsley said it was interesting to see that AHIC sponsors were actively pursuing an international growth agenda with one third of Jumeirah’s portfolio now overseas and Istithmar Hotels acquiring hotels in New York and elsewhere. 
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi’s Rotana Hotels, Suites & Resorts, currently notches six properties outside of the GCC and is looking to fuel its growth to 42 properties in the next two years. Rotana recently announced a pioneering private placement, and an IPO listing inside three years is mooted by industry consultants.
Other topics for discussion include opportunities in emerging markets; anomalies of Middle East management contracts; presentation on selected mega projects in the region; residential real estate & hotels – the ultimate combination?; and the future of independent luxury lifestyle hotels in a consolidating environment.