AHIC 2018: Modern leaders, forward-thinking investors and bold hoteliers to take centre-stage | News

The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2018 will provide unique insights into modern leadership, forward-thinking investment and new operating models via a stellar line-up of speakers confirmed for the annual gathering for the Middle East’s hospitality investment community.

Taking place from April 17th-19th at the purpose-built AHIC Village in the grounds of the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, this 14th edition of AHIC promises to address the critical issues of innovation, leadership, destination development and industry disruptors amid the macroeconomic outlook from the investors’ perspective.

The event will attract 700 hotel investors, major developers, leading financiers, and C-level hotel executives to attend three days of content, networking and events, including live-on-stage interviews with some of the world’s most respected businessmen and hotel leaders and the first AHIC Global Project Showcase, featuring hospitality investment opportunities from around the world.

Held in partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, AHIC 2018 will be inaugurated by sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, who will give a keynote opening speech.

His highness will reveal further insights into the strategy for Ras Al Khaimah, one of the world’s fastest growing tourism destinations, and share anecdotes that will inspire fellow leaders at AHIC.

Haitham Mattar, chief executive of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, commented: “We are looking forward to showcasing Al Marjan Island at AHIC 2018 and to taking part in the dynamic conference programme.

“Tourism is one of Ras Al Khaimah’s most important economic sectors and is considered a key engine for continued GDP growth and job creation.

“Our decision to support AHIC 2018 comes at a pivotal time in our three-year Destination 2019 Tourism Strategy, which aims to attract one million visitors by the end of 2018.

“To accommodate this growth in visitors, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority is providing potential investors with a range of innovative opportunities to develop stand-out properties across the emirate.

“We have considerable opportunities within several development projects, including Al Marjan Island, which has been earmarked for an additional 16 hotels by 2025.”

His highness’ welcome will be followed by a keynote interview with one of the Middle East’s most respected businessmen, his excellency Mohamed Alabbar, founder, Emaar Properties, who has not only played a critical role in establishing Dubai’s reputation as a tourism hotspot but is also renowned for his entrepreneurial outlook and passion for digital disruption.

Alabbar said: “With its natural setting, diverse attractions and a fast-evolving hospitality infrastructure, Ras Al Khaimah is setting new milestones in the industry, and evolving as one of the popular tourism hubs in the region.

“AHIC 2018 will put the spotlight on the emirate and drive inward investments and underline the diversity of tourism offerings that our nation presents to the world.

“Through the Conference, which discusses future trends, we can collectively contribute to strengthening the prospects of the tourism and hospitality sectors and unlock their true potential.”

AHIC, now in its 14th year, is the annual gathering for the Middle East’s hospitality investment community organised by global hotel investment event organiser Bench Events in partnership with Meed Events.

AHIC creates a knowledge and networking platform for global and regional investors of all backgrounds, offering essential insights to investing in hotels, showcasing regional and international hospitality investment opportunities and facilitating direct connections with hospitality industry stakeholders.

Jonathan Worsley, chairman of Bench Events and co-founder of AHIC, said: “We are delighted and proud to open AHIC 2018 with insights from two such respected business leaders.

“I’ve no doubt the contributions from sheikh Saud and Mohamed Alabbar will set the scene for highly relevant debate and discussion around the all-important topics of leadership and innovation as they impact the global hospitality investment industry.”

World Travel Awards president Graham Cooke will welcome winners from across the region to the Middle East Gala Ceremony 2018

Taking place alongside AHIC, World Travel Awards recently revealed its Middle East Gala Ceremony 2018 will be hosted in Ras Al Khaimah on April 19th.

The red-carpet ceremony heralds the opening leg of the World Travel Awards Grand Tour 2018 – a search for the finest travel and tourism organisations in the world.

The Grand Tour also marks World Travel Awards’ 25th anniversary of honouring excellence in the international hospitality industry.

It will be World Travel Awards first visit to Ras Al Khaimah, the most northerly of the UAE’s seven emirates.

The burgeoning tourism hotspot boasts an enviable climate, traditional culture, sandy beaches and a wealth of activities.

Hospitality leaders from across the region will gather for World Travel Awards Middle East Gala Ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah to see who among them has been voted the best in the business.

Graham Cooke, founder, World Travel Awards, said: “It will be an absolute pleasure to visit Ras Al Khaimah for the very first time.

“Fringed by the majestic Al Hajar Mountains amid swathes of terracotta coloured dunes, Ras Al Khaimah promises an authentic Arabian experience.”

“World Travel Awards has maintained its position as the industry leader for the past 25 years, consistently proving its value as the global benchmark for excellence in the travel, tourism and hospitality business.”

Find out more about the event here.

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