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Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) 2011 Presents His Highness
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum with Their Inaugural ‘Outstanding
Achievement Award’ and Gerald Lawless with Their ‘Leadership Award’

United Arab Emirates, May 2 2011 – At the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC 2011) today, HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum was presented with the ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’, and Gerald Lawless, Executive Chairman of Jumeirah Group, received the ‘Leadership Award’.

HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman, Dubai Airports, President of Dubai Department for Civil Aviation and Chairman & CEO, Emirates, was chosen by the AHIC Advisory Board, made up of fifty hotel stakeholders, key investors and governmental representatives from across the Middle East and Africa, as the winner of their newly-created ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’, in recognition of the role he has played in supporting the tourism industry in Dubai and across the region during the global economic downturn.

Gerald Lawless, Executive Chairman of Jumeirah Group, was chosen as the recipient of the AHIC 2011 ‘Leadership Award’ for his success in driving the Group forward in its ambition to become one of the most distinctive and innovative hospitality groups in the world.

The successful strategy is illustrated by the fact that the Jumeirah Group today announced that average occupancy rates reached over 85% in Dubai beachside properties for the first four months of 2011, whilst the Group has already opened three new hotels opened in 2011, in Dubai, China and the Maldives, and at least four more to follow.

Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events which co-organises AHIC, commented: "The choice of Sheikh Ahmed for the ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ and Gerald Lawless for the ‘Leadership Award’ is a reflection of their invaluable contribution to the region’s hotel industry and the role they have played in helping the recovery from the economic downturn. As Patron of AHIC, the continuous support of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum has helped it become the leading business platform for the region’s hotel investment market.”

About Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC)
The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference is being organised by Bench Events and MEED, the Middle East business information group, and will run this year from April 30 - May 2 2011 at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. AHIC’s exclusive Advisory Board this year is made up of 50 hotel stakeholders, key investors and governmental representatives from across the Middle East and Africa.

AHIC attracts over 600 industry leaders annually from over the 40 countries, including many of the most influential names within Middle East’s hotel investment community as both speakers and attendees. Previous awardees include HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, HRH Prince Al Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, CEO of Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding Company, and HE Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan. Details of AHIC can be found on

Platinum sponsors: Carlson, IHG, Jumeirah Group, The Rezidor Hotel Group, Wyndham Worldwide.

Emerald sponsors: Corinthia Hotels, Hilton Worldwide, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, MAROC, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Seven Tides.

Gold sponsors: Accor, AECOM, The Address Hotels and Resorts, Argentina National Institute of tourism Promotion, Golden Tulip, Hamilton Hotel Partners, Horwath HTL, Hyatt, Marriott, Orient Express, Rotana, Tourism & Leisure EuroPraxis Consulting Viceroy Hotel Group, WATG.

Bench Events
Bench Events has a long track record of delivering, with its partners, the premier hotel investment events in Europe and the Middle East. Bench Events’ Chairman, Jonathan Worsley, is one of the organisers and founders of the highly successful International Hotel Investment Forum now in its fourteenth year ( In 2005, he was responsible for launching the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai (; and in 2008 launched the Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference (  In 2011 Bench Events will add three events to its portfolio, co-hosting the Central Asia and Turkey Hotel Investment Conference  (, the International Hotel Investment Forum, Asia Pacific ( in addition to launching Hotel Investment Conference Africa, in Morocco (

Bench Events’ sister company, JW Bench, is a benchmarking company that has successfully launched the Conference Bench and the Productivity Bench. An industry first, the Conference Bench, measures performance data for conference and banqueting space in 10 cities throughout Europe and the Middle East.

About MEED
For 50 years business leaders have been relying on MEED (Middle East Economic Digest) to give them a wealth of factual, unbiased business information that they need to be successful. The MEED brand represents an unrivalled portfolio of high calibre business information products, online services and premier networking events.

MEED Conferences is part of the leading information brand in the Middle East working to provide delegates with the very latest business sensitive information. Over the past 12 years, MEED Conferences has organised events attended by senior government officials and thousands of international business people. The conference series is aimed at companies actively seeking business in the markets of the Middle East. MEED is well established as the source of strategic and accurate regional information placing it in a unique position to bring together high-calibre speakers.


Alisdair Haythornthwaite
+971 56 690 1725

Rosemary Youssef
+971 50 354 8805

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Also See: Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC 2011) Highlights Growth Potential in Saudi Hotel Market Indicating a Need for 230,000 Hotel Rooms By 2020 To Meet Tourism Demands / April 2011

Arabian Hotel Investment Conference Speakers Indicate the Hospitality Industry will Continue to Lead Recovery in United Arab Emirates in 2011 / March 2011

Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC 2011) to Feature Hotel Industry Leaders Discussions on Impact of Ongoing Political Change in the MENA Region / March 2011

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