Industry Update
Press Release 9 February 2017

Global hotel industry CEOs from Hilton, AccorHotels and Louvre Hotels Group to headline the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2017

Keynote speakers including Chris Nassetta, Sébastien Bazin and Pierre-Frédéric Roulot descend on Dubai to offer an international perspective on the dynamic Middle East hospitality industry

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Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai

Keynote speakers including Chris Nassetta, S ébastien Bazin and Pierre-Fr éd éric Roulot descend on Dubai to offer an international perspective on the dynamic Middle East hospitality industry


Global leaders from some of the world's largest hotel chains will take to the stage at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2017 (AHIC), being held at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai from April 25-27, in a series of CEO keynote sessions.

The annual knowledge and networking platform for the hotel investment community is set to welcome Chris Nassetta, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hilton; Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO, AccorHotels; and Pierre-Frédéric Roulot, Chief Executive Officer of Louvre Hotels Group, as it takes on a distinctly international theme for its 13th edition.

Speaking ahead of AHIC, Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events and Founder of AHIC, said: "As the Middle East plays an increasingly important role in the international hospitality industry for owners and operators alike, it seemed only right to bring a global perspective to AHIC. We are delighted to welcome our keynote speakers to the conference and look forward to hearing their take on the current state of the hospitality industry and their plans to adapt to an ever-evolving marketplace."

The AHIC conference programme will open on Wednesday 26 April with a one-to-one interview with Chris Nassetta, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hilton, live on stage hosted by Richard Dean, Presenter of The Business Breakfast on Dubai Eye.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Nassetta said: "The Middle East is a very important market for the hospitality industry, and Hilton sees tremendous growth potential here in the years ahead. I am honored to keynote AHIC this year, and I look forward to a great conference and many productive conversations with the region's key leaders."

The opening keynote will be followed by a panel session entitled Global Catalysts For Change, featuring Stefan Leser, Group Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group; Olivier Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer, Emaar Hospitality Group; Steven Daines, COO New Businesses and CEO HotelServices Africa and Middle East AccorHotels; and Jean-Gabriel Pérès, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kerzner International.

This session will tackle the impact of the ongoing digital revolution, the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), the advent of the sharing economy and the changing face of the consumer on today's hotel businesses. The speakers will share their insights, learnings and predictions on these so-called disruptors.

Stefan Leser, Group Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group, commented: "Jumeirah Group's partnership with Bench Events was instrumental in getting The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference established and we have been proud hosts at Madinat Jumeirah since the first conference in 2004. I am a firm believer in collaboration and AHIC is a significant opportunity for industry leaders and influencers to connect, and work together, to further grow and develop the Middle East hospitality sector both regionally and internationally."

On Thursday 27 April, Pierre-Frédéric Roulot, CEO of Louvre Hotels Group, which is owned by Shanghai-based Jin Jiang International Hotels (Group) Co., will present a keynote session on the growing influence of the East on the international hotel industry.

In advance of AHIC, Roulot said: "Today, we are witnessing record travel between Asia and the Middle East and Louvre Hotels Group is positioned to play a strategic role in the regional travel growth.

"Our established presence across Europe, along with the expansion in China with new build hotels such as the Campanile Shanghai, in addition to the acquisition of Indian hospitality chain Sarovar highlights our commitment. Connectivity between key Asian and Middle Eastern markets in which we are well represented, offers us a compelling and exciting challenge".

AHIC 2017 will close with a much-anticipated keynote interview with Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO, AccorHotels, live from Paris via video conference.

In this session, Bazin promises to reveal insights behind the diversification of AccorHotels and his outlook for the future.

Bazin commented: "We operate in a world where change is the only constant and obviously our industry has been tremendously disrupted in the recent past years in many aspects, economy, technology, cultural, etc. Those changes bring amazing opportunities provided we are agile and dare to take risks. This is what we have been undertaking for the past three years at AccorHotels: opening one new hotel every 36 hours to expand our presence while inventing new products and services away from a hotel room to increase our market share into something different from what we are accustomed to."

The full programme for AHIC 2017 has now been launched and is available here.

AHIC 2017 will bring together more than 700 hotel owners, investors, developers, operators, consultants and experts from professional services to debate the hospitality investment climate against a backdrop of global catalysts for change and the macroeconomic environment.

The conference will feature panel sessions entitled: The MacroEconomic Outlook for Middle East Hospitality; Do You Need An International Brand?; An A-Z of Reflagging Your Hotel; The Investment Climate Warms Up to the Mid-Market; and Concepts for the GCC.

Speakers on the topic of the MacroEconomic Outlook include Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International; Amine Moukarzel, President MENA, Louvre Hotels Group; Dr Badr Al Badr, Chief Executive Officer, Dur Hospitality; and Jean-Paul Pigat, Senior Economist, Global Markets and Treasury, Emirates NBD.

Sessions specifically targeted at hospitality investors will tackle issues such as white label operations, asset management, alternative models of investment, how to exit a contract, overseas acquisitions, working with master developers and achieving ROI on F&B.

For registrations and for more information, visit:

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Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC)2018

AHIC Village, Waldorf Astoria — Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates
event information

About AHIC 2020

AHIC, now in its 16th 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 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 2020 will be held at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai from 14 April to 16 April and 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.

AHIC 2020 Sponsors

Sponsors include: Jumeirah Group as Host Sponsor; Accor, Al Hokair Group, Marjan, and Dur Hospitality as Platinum Sponsors; Emaar Hospitality Group, Millennium Hotels and Resorts and Marriott International as Emerald Sponsors; and Alkamal International, febc, Insignia, JA Resorts & Hotels, Knight Frank, Louvre Hotels Group, Melia Hotels International, Shaza Hotels, SSH, and STR as Gold Sponsors. Al Tamimi and Company, and MMAC Design Associates are the Silver Sponsors, while The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management is a Supporting Partner.

Frances Barton
Media Relations Director, In2
Phone: +971 4 455 8500
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