Insightful mix of topics lined up

The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference, or Ahic, which starts today, will highlight the investment climate in the Middle East after the Arab Spring as top industry experts are lined up to provide insights to the industry.

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Published: Sun 29 Apr 2012, 10:33 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 11:29 AM

The two-day conference starts with an introductory speech by Nenad Pacek, founder and president of Global Success Advisers, entitled “Macro-Economic Overview: the Middle East After the Arab Spring”, which will set the tone for the rest of the conference, which will be dominated by the state of the regional hotel investment climate.

Pacek will talk about the business, economic and political outlook for the Middle East and North Africa in 2012 and 2013 in the wake of the political turmoil that has seized parts of the region since Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi’s anti-government protest sparked a wave of pan-Arab reaction in late 2010.

“The tourism and hospitality sectors in the GCC have improved. This is evidenced by increased tourism arrivals and stronger hotel performances throughout 2011 especially in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Robust market fundamentals coupled with political and economic stability appeal to investors, this correlates with increased investor demand and appreciative pricing of assets,” Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels executive vice-president for Middle East and Africa Stewart Coggans said.

According to the latest STR figures, year-on-year to March 31, hotel occupancy is up 8.9 per cent, average daily rates up 7.2 per cent and RevPAR is up 16.8 per cent, underscoring the region’s buoyant hotel sector.

“We have an exciting, comprehensive schedule of events lined-up for this year’s conference tailored to provide valuable information for hotel investors on broad issues such as the Arab Spring. With Dubai currently topping the world in hotel occupancy rates, and as the UAE posts record-high levels of foreign direct investment with more than $10 billion, or Dh36.7 billion, pouring into the country from overseas, it provides the ideal location to highlight the benefits of a thriving hospitality industry,” said Jonathan Worsley, chairman and CEO of Bench Events and board member of STR Global.

More than 80 speakers and over 500 local and international delegates representing more than 40 countries will be attending the event, which runs until April 30. Meed Events is organising the conference in partnership with Bench Events.

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