Industry Update
Press Release16 September 2020

AHIC ON THE ROAD: the speakers, the sessions and the soundbites you need to know

Don’t miss the 16th edition of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) taking place in a brand new format, addressing how the hotel industry can ‘Transform Tomorrow’

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Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC)

AHIC 2020 will be 'on the road' for its 16th edition this year, taking place virtually and onsite over three days from 29 September to 1 October. The three-day event is packed with critical insights from industry leaders and networking opportunities designed for a new world.


The programme, which features over 60 speakers, will be broadcasting live from pop-up studios across Dubai. Each day, hosted in a new location with select live audiences, will be streamed onto a virtual platform purposed for both onsite and virtual attendees. Safety protocols will be strictly observed onsite, and the live component is subject to government regulations permitting.

Through the mobile and web applications, both sets of attendees will be able to network and schedule meetings onsite or through one-to-one video calls, truly bringing everyone into the 'same room'. Attendees will also be able to create personalised schedules, choosing content, outdoor experiences, and networking opportunities that they would like to attend either virtually or onsite in Dubai.

Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events and Founder of AHIC, said: "Now more than ever, the industry needs to gather and work together to 'Transform Tomorrow'. We believe collaboration plays a key role in these challenging times, which is why AHIC on the Road is the perfect forum at which to connect with fellow industry leaders, exchange experiences and learnings, and most importantly, plan for the future."

"Over three days in both live and virtual sessions, we will tackle the transformation of business into future-proof operations; a business able to succeed in the 'new normal' of 2020 and beyond, where travel restrictions, changed operating environments and a tighter hold over costs will put pressure on owners and operators alike," added Worsley.

The first day of AHIC 2020 will be split into two parts; the first of which will be focused on investment and feature discussions with hotel owners as well as the Hotel Investment Outlook 2020 presented by JLL Hotels & Hospitality. The afternoon will focus on the 'Future of Hotel F&B' and will be hosted by Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts from Pierchic, which will be broadcasted around the globe.

Ahead of hosting AHIC 2020, José Silva, Chief Executive of Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, said: "The vision I had for Jumeirah when I joined as CEO three years ago, was to be a world class destination for outstanding culinary experiences and an incubator of creativity. The ambitious moves we have made to redefine our culinary positioning have been intrinsic to the reputational and commercial success we have achieved to date.

Whilst we didn't anticipate at the start of 2020 that we would face an event of such magnitude, our agility, culture and breadth of culinary expertise has led us to transform our business model to better respond and deliver on our vision as leaders in world class culinary experiences."

The second day, hosted by Accor at the Rixos Premium JBR, will feature a series of plenary sessions discussing the transformative forces at work in hospitality and how we can harness them. In the afternoon, the programme will see a series of break-out streams that will look at how the industry is transforming through technology. This includes sessions on disruptive technologies, big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) as well as a panel featuring CIOs from Accor, Kerzner, Marriott International, Amaala and Jumeirah Group to discuss how owners and operators have embraced technology during Covid-19.

Mark Willis, CEO Middle East & Africa for Accor mentioned: "We look forward to hosting the second day of AHIC 2020 at our wonderful Rixos Premium JBR property. The day promises to be filled with interesting discussions delving into the new reality of the hospitality industry, as well as look into ways in which hotel operators have, and continue to, transformed the way in which they operate, given the unforeseen circumstances we have experienced this year."

Day three is the 'Day of Transformation' and will uncover how the industry is transforming to move forward. Hosted by Viya, Dubai's lifestyle rewards app, and taking place at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, the morning programme will feature sessions on 'Building Back Better' and rethinking the hotel workforce. In the afternoon delegates will have the opportunity to choose from a series of 'AHIC Your Way' break-out sessions, which will feature 45-minute roundtable discussions including the topics of innovation in design and building,Saudi Arabia, asset management, sustainability and learnings for the future.

In addition, 'AHIC off the Record' will feature a series of closed-door conversations around some of the key markets and development opportunities in the GCC. In these sessions, delegates have the opportunity to meet, pose questions and share knowledge with industry experts and fellow attendees. Topics include finance, the transformation of management agreements and owners off the record.


Three sessions not-to-be-missed

GRIF @AHIC - A Focus on Hotel F&B - How are hotels transforming their F&B offering to be Covid compliant and also compete with the ever-evolving and sophisticated demands of today's guest to ensure maximum ROI for owners? Including an Interview with Jose Silva, Chief Executive, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts.

Tuesday 29 September 16:00 - 18:00

AHIC Insights CEO Chat - Mark Willis, Chief Executive Officer, Accor Hotels Middle East & Africa in conversation with HE Eng. Essa Al Maidoor, General Director, Dubai Developments.

Wednesday 30 September 13:00-13:30

Rethinking Your Hotel Workforce - What learnings from the last six months about operational efficiencies can be carried forward for the future? How can we look at job roles and functions in a hotel differently by thinking outside the box? A panel discussion with:

Hassan Ahdab, President Hotel Operations, Dur Hospitality

Clive Smith, Managing Director - Hotels Division, Al Hokair Group

Zoltan Kali Senior, Vice President, Omran Hospitality

Thursday 1 October 12:40-13:30


More than just a conference

AHIC on the Road will feature a series of safe and regulation compliant activity-based outdoor networking experiences:

  • AHIC Community Run at the Dubai Marina Prominade hosted by The First Group
  • AHIC Roya Tennis Competition hosted by Roya at the Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina
  • Morning Yoga at the Rixos Premium JBR hosted by Accor
  • AHIC Golf Tournament at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club hosted by hosted by Dubai Golf and Viya, Dubai's lifestyle rewards app


AHIC 2020 Essential information

Dates: 29 September to 1 October 2020

Venue Day 1: Pierchic, hosted by Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts

Venue Day 2: Rixos Premium Dubai JBR, hosted by Accor

Venue Day 3: Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, hosted by Viya, Dubai's lifestyle rewards app


Tickets: Prebook via

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AHIC on the Road AGENDA 2020

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AHIC 2020

Broadcasting live from pop-up studios across hotels in Dubai — Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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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.

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