AHIC 2019, featuring 100+ speakers from around the world and expecting to attract over 900 delegates, has been curated around the theme Synchronised for Success.The programme will debate numerous demands on the Middle East’s hospitality industry and the need for investors, owners and operators alike to be aligned as they tackle these. The 15th edition of AHIC is taking place from 9 -11 April 2019 at the bespoke AHIC village at the Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Center in Ras Al Khaimah.

The first day of AHIC 2019, Tuesday 9 April, will be a ‘Day of Disruption’, set to bring invaluable learnings from outside of the industry with sessions led by Google, the Foundation for Art and Blockchain and The Coca-Cola Company, while plenary sessions include exclusive data analysis on future market demand from the likes of HVS, STR, Colliers and Drees & Sommer.

Day 1 Session HighlightAHIC Leadership Talk; What is your compass in times of disruption, innovation and global turmoil?

Nick van Marken, Global Chief Development Officer of van Marken Limited in a conversation with Sébastien Bazin, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Accor.

Followed by Disrupting traditional all-inclusive, changing the business model.

Nick van Marken, Global Chief Development Officer of van Marken Limited, Fettah Tamince, Founder and Chairman of Rixos and Gaurav Bhushan, Global Chief Development Officer of Accor discuss how their joint venture is disrupting the all-inclusive business model and how they intend to develop both the brand and the experience side of the business.

Tuesday 9 April, 16:20 – 17:00

On Wednesday 10 April, the official opening of AHIC 2019 will take place by conference host and patron His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. The second day of the conference will feature a series of keynote presentations, roundtable and panel discussions as well as break out sessions on a range of different topics all in line with this year’s theme of Synchronised for Success.

Day 2 Session HighlightSynchronised for Success

Three owners and three operators sit down with Stephen Sackur, Presenter of HardTalk to discuss how the industry copes with the rapid build-up of hotel rooms and which business models will help retain and attract more owners and investors?

Operators: Olivier Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, Pascal Gauvin, Managing Director IMEA of IHG and Mark Willis, Chief Executive Officer MEA of Accor. Owners: Dr Badr Al Badr, Chief Executive Officer of Dur Hospitality, Fardan Ali Al Fardan, Senior Investment Advisor of Equitativa (Emirates REIT Manager) and Christophe Landais, Chief Executive Officer of Action Hotels.

Adjudicated by Kees Hartzuiker, Chief Executive Officer, Roya International

Wednesday 10 April, 11:40 – 12:20

The final day of the conference will discuss different hotel operating models in the morning, with the afternoon being dedicated to market opportunities with a focus on outward investment and travel from China as the conference’s concluding session.

Day 3 Session Highlight – Outward investment and travel from China
The impact of the Belt and Road Initiative on the hospitality and tourism industry worldwide and the ideal structure for attracting Chinese investment is discussed by Filippo Sona, Managing Director-Global Hospitality of Drees & Sommer, Benson Huang, Chairman of the Board & Managing Director of Sichuan New World Investment Group, Dustin Pan, Senior Vice President of Oceanwide Investment and Securities, John Probandt, Co-founder of Checkmate Investing and Dr. Adam Wu, Chief Operating Officer of China Invests Overseas by CBN.

Followed by a discussion with regional developers His Excellency Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, Shurooq and Samuel Sidiqi, Chief Executive Officer of RAK Properties.

Thursday 11 April, 12:20 – 13:00

AHIC 2019 promises to provide more opportunity than ever for delegates to deepen existing relationships and forge new ones among the leaders of the hospitality investment community through the unparalled networking and destination experience activities on offer throughout the event.

Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority said: We are delighted to be hosting the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) once again in the beautiful Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. It is always a great pleasure to see key players from the hospitality industry coming together to share ideas, market trends and insight to further grow and develop this booming sector in the Middle East. This year’s theme ‘Synchronised for Success’ truly embodies RAKTDA’s ethos in growing tourism within the Emirate with the support of various partners and stakeholders to accelerate its progress, increase its appeal, and attract local and foreign investment. We look forward to welcoming all the delegates and showcasing the Emirate’s unrivalled authentic experiences”.

“Delegates will have the opportunity to experience Ras Al Khaimah in unique ways this year which we’re vey excited about”, said Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events and Founder of AHIC. 

“Adventure lovers can glide over the Jebel Jais Mountains on the world’s longest zip line. Petrol heads can get behind the wheel of a luxury supercar provided by Supercar Rental. Sports fans can challenge peers and new acquaintances to a round of golf on the Al Hamra Golf Club’s Par 72 Championship course and for those looking to revitalise mind and body, a guided morning session of hatha yoga and meditation is taking place in the gardens of Waldorf Astoria. Finally, for the night owls, the famous AHIC after hours receptions will be hosted by Waldorf Astoria and Ritz Carlton Al Wadi Desert.”

For more information about AHIC 2019, please visit: www.arabianconference.com

Anne Bleeker
In2 Consulting FZ LLC for MEED
Phone: +971 56 6030886
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About AHIC 2019

AHIC, now in its 15thyear, is the annual gathering for the Middle East’s hospitality investment community organised by global hotel investment event organiser Bench Events in partnership with Middle East business intelligence brand, MEED. 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.AHIC 2019 will be in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, from 9 April to 11 April 2019 in partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA). Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, AHIC 2019 will be co-hosted by its founding patron, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, whose continued support of the industry and AHIC has been critical to the region’s tourism growth.