News for the Hospitality Executive
Doha, Qatar 25 March 2013: The organisers of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC 2013) chose Doha for their third, invitation only, regional briefing this year to shed light on the growing hotel industry in Qatar. The briefing, hosted by Hilton Worldwide, was held yesterday at Hilton Doha, and attended by over 60 key industry leaders, local investors, developers and financiers.
The briefing discussions focused on the performance of Qatar’s hotel industry and foreseeable opportunities and challenges. Participants included Rudi Jagersbacher, President of Middle East and Africa at Hilton Worldwide, Darrell Sheaffer, General Manager-Hotels & Resorts, Hospitality Development Company and Tony Williams, Tourism Development Consultant, Qatar Tourism Authority. The industry insight sharing event also highlighted the major development of tourism infrastructure taking place in Doha and attracting more regional and overseas tourists to the country, as just one of the many activities that will continue to stimulate the Qatar market.
Edmund O’Sullivan commented: “Qatar’s hospitality market is set to witness a significant rise in the coming years. It is indeed one of the key markets AHIC is focusing on and registering its rapid developments. Hospitality and tourism are among many other sectors that will be strongly affected with the country’s preparations for the World Cup, where the government is showing great commitment to date in building a top class infrastructure and a primary model that caters to all industries. Moreover, hosting a mass tourism event such as the World Cup means that Qatar will have to diversify its hotel offering.
Qatar Tourism Authority plans to invest $20bn on tourism infrastructure development as the country prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. According to an official report, the country plans to build 45,000 additional hotel rooms to ensure that it meets FIFA's room capacity requirement of 60,000 rooms. 21 new hotels are planned to open between 2013 and 2017. With the opening of several major hotels, including the Hilton Doha, and many more under construction, Qatar is ready to welcome the world to its shores and continues to prepare for future growth.
Rudi Jagersbacher, President of Middle East and Africa at Hilton Worldwide, and host of the briefing, also offered: “with almost 1500 additional rooms in the pipeline, Hilton Worldwide appreciates and shares Qatar’s vision to develop sustainable marketplace and tourist and business destination. We are introducing a diverse range of hotel brands to Doha, including the legendary Waldorf Astoria and DoubleTree, to bring greater guest accommodation choice to a city.”
Philip Wooller, Area Director of Middle East and Africa at STR Global, also said in the review presentation he gave at the briefing: “Qatar is one of the fastest growing hotel markets in the Gulf and many of the GCC countries will be looking over with interest as Qatar develops its infrastructure as part of the $65 billion investment plan.”
He added: “Initial reaction to the hotel occupancies may appear lukewarm but when new supply and demand numbers are taken into consideration its clear to see that Qatar is developing into a major force in the region. Despite new supply numbers reaching as high as 33% year on year in the upscale category, demand increases are not too far behind at 28% year on year. It’s also interesting to note that Doha maintains some of the strongest Average Room Rates across the region and that coupled with the large food and beverage contribution provides a healthy return at GOP level.”
Moreover, the latest buoyant tourist statistics in the 2012 Annual Report showed that, Qatar witnessed 22% growth of GCC visitors during the first quarter of 2012. The report also states Qatar registered the highest growth rate of Asian visitors with a total of 36,385 visitors in the first quarter of 2012, followed by European tourists with a total of 10,456 tourists.
The briefing also included a presentation by Nehme Ayoub, Manager - Transaction Real Estate, Hospitality and Leisure Advisory Services Group, Ernst & Young Middle East on the current state of Qatar’s hotel market for investors and an overview on the vision moving forward. The presentation showed that Qatar is set to witness a significant impact on its hospitality industry, driving a high growth of corporate business, transiting guests and sporting tourists. The State will be seeing a big transformation in its hospitality industry, forecasting that the number of hotel rooms in Qatar to grow to 19,431 in 2016.
AHIC 2013, which is organised by MEED and Bench Events, will take place at the Madinat Jumeirah from 5-6 May 2013. The conference will include key participants such as Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, IHG, Jumeirah Group, Corinthia Hotels, Hilton Worldwide, IFA Hotel Investments, Marriott International, SMIT, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Wyndham Worldwide, ACCOR, Aecom, Argentina National Institute of Tourism Promotion, Citymax Hotels, Digivalet, Ernst & Young, Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, Golden Tulip Hotels MENA, HVS, JA Resorts & Hotels, Jones Lang LaSalle, Kenya Tourist Development Corporation, Melia Hotels International, Minor International PCL, Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development, Orient Express Hotels, Premier Inn, Quadriga, Raffles Hotels & Resorts, Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities, STR Global, Turnkey Ventures and WATG.
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.
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 (www.berlinconference.com). In 2005, he was responsible for launching the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai (www.arabianconference.com); in 2008 launched the Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference (www.russia-cisconference.com) and in 2011 will premier the Central Asia and Turkey Hotel Investment Conference (www.cathic.com). 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. www.benchevents.com
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. www.meed.com
About Hilton Worldwide
Hilton Worldwide is a leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxurious full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced hotels. For 93 years, Hilton Worldwide has offered business and leisure travelers the finest in accommodations, service, amenities and value. The company is dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences across its global brands. Its brands are comprised of more than 3,900 hotels and timeshare properties, with 650,000 rooms in 90 countries and include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®. Visit www.hiltonworldwide.com for more information and connect with Hilton Worldwide at www.facebook.com/hiltonworldwide, www.twitter.com/hiltonworldwide, www.youtube.com/hiltonworldwide, www.flickr.com/hiltonworldwide and www.linkedin.com/company/hilton-worldwide.
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