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Dubai Top Hotel Market Performance and African Countries’ Risks
to be Discussed at Arabian Hotel Investment Conference

Agenda Set for AHIC 2013 to Occur May 4-6, 2013 in Dubai

United Arab Emirates, 04 March 2013:
The programme for the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) 2013, which will take place from 4 – 6 May at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, was announced this week. The Conference this year is held under the theme ‘Connecting People, Creating Knowledge’, streaming from event’s core principals of bringing people together and generating valuable content for hotel investment community.

The programme includes extensive participation from the top hotel investment industry professionals, who will be discussing the positive outlook of certain markets, as well as addressing the very real issue of country risk which pertains to doing business within some areas of the Middle East.

One of the main focuses for the conference this year will be highlighting Dubai’s hotel performance and outlook for 2013. According to Jones Lang LaSalle's latest Hotel Investor Sentiment Survey, Dubai is the best performing hotel market in the Middle East and North Africa region and is the one to watch in 2013. Since 2009, Dubai hotels have reported a strong recovery in occupancy and average daily rate (ADR) levels with growth in demand outpacing the addition of new supply. Jones Lang LaSalle said in the report that Dubai's total capacity will witness a big jump from the 54,300 rooms currently available with an additional 4,500 hotel rooms expected to be completed in 2013, and a total 11,000 units in the pipeline through until 2014.

Gabriel Matar, Regional Director of Middle East and Africa at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, will be speaking at a key panel discussion, titled ‘The Profitability of a New Build In Dubai’, looking at the key areas in Dubai where the potential for hotel investment lies, and what is the anticipated profitability. It will also highlight what, where and how should investors build today and what are the returns they can anticipate for the next five years.

Matar commented: “In the Middle East and Africa, trading performance expectations have improved significantly since the last hotel investment survey although the outlook still remains slightly negative for the short and medium term. The improvement in sentiment is largely due to an overall stabilisation in the region since the Arab Spring and tourist flows have started to return to countries such as Egypt and Tunisia, yield requirements remain higher in Mena. Dubai yield expectations are at 10 per cent.”

On a broader view on the region, STR Global has also published their Global Performance Report for January 2013 this week, highlighting that the region reported an 8.2% increase in occupancy to 59.8%, a 1.3% increase in ADR to US$182.81 and a 9.6% increase in RevPAR to US$109.29.
Elizabeth Randall, Managing Director of STR Global, who will be giving a review at the AHIC 2013 on key performance indicators in MENA region, says: "The entire region posted a 9.6% increase in RevPAR for the first month of 2013 and was the best global performer in RevPAR% change, the Middle East is growing in both occupancy and ADR. Whilst still recovering in occupancy, the ADR in the African nations is still suffering as a result of continued political turmoil.”

According to the report, Manama, Bahrain, reported the largest occupancy increase, rising 40.0% to 56.6%, followed by Cairo, Egypt (+17.2% to 42.7%), and Muscat, Oman (+14.9% to 67.9%). Amman, Jordan, fell 29.4% in occupancy to 45.7%, posting the largest decrease in that metric. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, increased 14.0% in ADR to US$241.24, achieving the largest increase in that metric. Beirut, Lebanon, experienced the only double-digit ADR decrease, falling 25.5% to US$157.26. As for the RevPAR metric, Manama (+39.8% to US$120.39) and Cairo (+14.5% to US$44.83) achieved the largest RevPAR increases for the month, while Beirut fell 34.7% in RevPAR to US$72.79, reporting the largest decrease in that metric, followed by Amman with a 22.5% decrease to US$72.60.

In line with that, a special panel discussion at AHIC has been dedicated to discuss ‘Country Risk in the Region’, helping investors know how to plan their investment strategy with the current political uncertainty in some countries of the region, and what is the investment landscape for those looking to go into new markets. The session will be presented by Rachel Ziemba, Head of Emerging Markets at Roubini Global Economics, and panellists include: Salman Haider, Executive Managing Director of Hotels at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, Christophe Landais, Managing Director of Middle East at ACCOR, Paul Pisani, Senior Vice President of Hotel Development at Corinthia Hotels and Hadi Nezir, Chairman of UB Holding.

Another panel discussion will focus on how funding a hotel project is different to other real estate projects, discussing the possible implications for refinancing once the development stage is over, and what are the alternative means of finance outside of the conventional. Titled ‘What You Need To Know About Funding Hotels’, the session will include Lo’ai B. Bataineh, Deputy General Manager, Investment and Development at Oman Arab Bank, Gabriel Von Bonsdorff, Assistant Vice President of Investments at IFA Hotel Investments and Ivor McBurney, Vice President Finance – Development Projects, Kingdom Hotel Investments.

In addition to the panel discussions and sessions, AHIC this year offers great informal networking opportunities to its attendees, with an opening reception hosted by the Jumeirah Group at Mina A'Salam on Sunday 5 May, and another evening reception on Monday 6 May at Fairmont The Palm, hosted by IFA Hotel Investments.

AHIC 2013 will include key participants such Jumeriah Group, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, IHG, Corinthia Hotels, IFA Hotel Investments, Marriott International, SMIT, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Wyndham Worldwide, Hilton Worldwide, ACCOR, Citymax Hotels, Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, Raffles Hotels & Resorts, Argentina National Institute of Tourism Promotion, Golden Tulip Hotels MENA, HVS, Jones Lang LaSalle, Melia Hotels International, Orient Express Hotels, Premier Inn, Quadriga, STR Global, Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities, Turnkey Ventures and WATG, Quadriga, Anantra Hotels and Resorts, Ernest & Young, Aecom, and KTDC.

Conference held from 4 – 6 May 2013 at the Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; full programme can be found at:

Bench Events

Bench Events has a long track record in hosting 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 thirteenth year ( In 2005, he was responsible for launching the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai (; in 2008 launched the Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference ( and in 2011 will premier the Central Asia and Turkey Hotel Investment Conference (  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.


Rosemary Youssef
+971 50 354 8805

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Also See: In Preparation for the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC 2013) Organizers Hold Briefings to Discuss Key Industry Updates and Statistics for the Saudi Arabian Hotel Market; AHIC 2013 to Occur May 4-6, 2013 / February 2013

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’ / May 2011

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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