News for the Hospitality Executive
United Arab Emirates, 19 March 2013: The Chairman of Al Habtoor Group, Khalaf Al Habtoor, was chosen to be awarded with ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC 2013), for his significant accomplishments over the years in the hospitality and tourism industry in the UAE.
AHIC 2013 advisory board chose Mr. Al Habtoor to receive this Award, for his invaluable contribution to the region’s hotel industry. He has also played a major role in driving the tourism industry forward in the UAE, by meeting the growing demand of the number of tourists with significant hotel projects.
Starting in 1970, Khalaf Al Habtoor has been involved with every successful step Dubai takes, he founded the Al Habtoor Group and had been working with a local construction firm but spotted a gap in the market and left to start his own company. The group then won a number of major construction projects throughout the country, and Mr. Al Habtoor spotted further opportunities, and began reinvesting the company's profits into building a diversified business empire.
Today, it is recognised as one of the most successful companies in the region. The Al Habtoor Group today is considered one of the UAE's most respected and successful businesses, the Group operates in the UAE and international markets.
Mr. Al Habtoor describes his journey of success saying: “Success is not something one reaches and sits back and enjoy; it’s rather the spirit to keep moving forward and continue the journey with.”
He added: “UAE tourism is steadily growing, we have constantly witnessed significant increase in hotel occupancy and tourists numbers, and we are improving tremendously. UAE is the safe haven for investors in all areas, mainly tourism. This is due to the unique infrastructure UAE provides, the best services, the stability and the transparency in the laws.
I am honoured to be recognised by one of the top hospitality conferences in the region. I have always been keen to see Habtoor Hotels participate in AHIC, because it offers a valuable platform for industry leaders to share their success stories and achievements.”
Habtoor Hotels owns and operates four hotels in Dubai, and has over 30 years of hospitality experience, the Metropolitan Hotel on Sheikh Zayed being its first venture. The Al Habtoor Group is now developing Dubai's first-ever integrated resort comprising of three hotels on one complex as well as a Las Vegas style theatre. It will be managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and will include the first super luxury St. Regis hotel in Dubai, a W hotel and a Westin hotel - with more than 1,600 rooms making it the largest hotel complex in the Middle East and one of the biggest in the world. It is due to open in 2015.
The Group is also developing the Waldorf Astoria on the Palm Jumeirah. It will be the first luxury resort by the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts brand in Dubai. It will have more than 320 rooms and suites and will feature four signature restaurants, two bars, a private beach and large luxury health club and spa. The property will also have a business centre, six meeting rooms and a 600-capacity ballroom. The resort is due to open at the end of 2013.
Commenting on the choice of Mr. Al Habtoor for the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’, Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events which co-organises AHIC, said: “Mr. Al Habtoor has distinguished himself through the outstanding projects, continued excellence, passion and commitment to be part of the rise of the UAE. It is a great pleasure for us to honour industry leaders who have contributed significantly in helping the hospitality industry grow in this country.”
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
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