The Arabian and African Hospitality Conference (AHIC) address the most demanding issues affecting the hotel market in post-pandemic world at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, with more than 700 hospitality owners, investors, developers and operators from across the Middle East and Africa have gathered together to kick off the 2021 edition of AHIC.
AHIC 2021 has brought together 4 close-knit investment communities, The Arabian Hospitality Investment Conference (AHIC), Saudi Arabia Hospitality Investment Conference (SHIC), African Investment Forum (AHIF) and The Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) organised by Bench and Meed.
Jonathan Worsely, Chairman of Bench and Founder of AHIC commented:” After careful preparation, we are thrilled to be here in Dubai and launch this very special edition of AHIC, just a few days before Expo 2020 Dubai begins.
United by the theme “Rise Together” more than 700 officials of different sector are here to network, share insights and do business, with potential for partnerships greater than ever. We are excited to present our guests with programme featuring close to 200 speakers, including keynote interviews with hoteliers such as Sebastian Bazin, CEO and Chairman of Accor, Jose Silva CEO of Jumeriah Hotels and Resorts, and Kennet Macpherson, CEO of IHG (Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa).
“While conversation on the main stage has centred on how to recover from Covid-19 pandemic, we also have roaster of workshops, numerous networking opportunities and a host of special features including the Sustainability Hospitality Challenge and the AHIC Innovation Den.
The First day of AHIC 2021 was powered by AHIC intelligence, with industry data, insights, and projections for the region’s pipeline, performance, and profitability setting the tone for the rest of the discussion.
STR’s managing director, Robin Rossmann, highlighted some of the main learnings from the previous 18 months.
He stated that 97% of Middle East hotels have already reopened, with certain markets expecting complete occupancy recovery by the end of the year, and that half of Dubai’s hotels are close to or above 2019 average daily rates.
“The biggest surprise has been the rate”. This might take three to four years to rebound following a slump, although many markets are near to 2019 levels.
AHIC also had sessions dedicated towards the GRIF community with focus groups on how to expand the concept beyond GCC customer tendencies, the potential of food halls, and flexile destination dining.
“GRIF has championed the regional F&B industry throughout the epidemic, and it has been fantastic to finally bring the leaders of this incredibly resilient sector together”, Jennifer Pettinger- Haines, Co-founder GRIF and MD Middle East, Bench, commented.