Wednesday 30, March 2016

Riyadh – MENA Herald: Organised by the Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage (SCTH) and Dur Hospitality, The Hotel Investment Conference, was held on the 28th of March at the side lines of the Saudi Travel & Tourism Investment Market (STTIM), in partnership with the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) at the Ritz Carlton Riyadh.

HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, President and Chairman of the Board of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), and HRH Faisal bin Bandar governor of Riyadh, recognised Dur Hospitality for sponsoring the hotel investment conference, a part of the ninth edition of the Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market (STTIM 2016), where Major tourism investment discussions took place exploring diversified subjects addressed by industry leaders from around the world. Supported by the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference, this conference was the last part of a series of briefings that have been held in Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt and also in Jeddah ahead of the main conference in Dubai 26-28 April.

Key industry leaders gathered at The Hotel Investment Conference, which kicked off by the opening speech of Dr. Salah Al Bakheet, Vice President of SCTH for Investment and Tourism Development followed by Mark Watts, Editor in MEED gave an economic outlook focusing particularly on the Saudi Arabian Transformation Programme and the implications this has on the investment sector for tourism.

A lively discussion on investment opportunities and issues for budget hotels and serviced apartments was moderated by Chiheb Ben Mahmoud, Executive Vice President and Head of Hotels and Hospitality for MEA JLL and involved four leaders from the Saudi hotel industry, Hussain Al Rakhis, Director of Business Development for Action Hotels; Yousif al Eid, Vice President of Investment and Development at Dur Hospitality; Dr. Costas Verginis, Senior Director of Lodging Development for Marriott International and Mark Shea, Head of Hospitality Middle East at Faithful and Gould.

Dialogue on Saudi Arabian hotel brands and the importance of their growth and support was then followed by a frank discussion on the financing of tourist facilities and the growth of infrastructure in smaller towns in Saudi Arabia.

Filippo Sona, Head of Hotels MENA Region, Colliers International presented market research specifically for Riyadh including hotel performance forecasts for the year ahead including an increase in branded hotel supply from 9,041 keys in Riyadh in 2016 to 15,755 keys in 2018.

Dr. Badr Al Badr, CEO, Dur Hospitality said :“As a Hospitality Leading developer and operator, Dur Hospitality’s core business revolves around establishing partnerships and we are here to enhance Public Private Partnerships between SCTH and the other operating companies, to highlight the latest trends in the hospitality sector, and knowledge transfer between key industry leaders and specialists, explore business opportunities, and execute local and regional projects,”

“We were delighted to be able to hold the briefing concurrently with the Hotel Investment Conference after hosting an event in Jeddah earlier in the year. The series of briefings we’ve held across the regional bring together experts and provide an unrivalled platform to share insights for all hospitality stakeholders” said Jennifer Pettinger-Haines, Managing Director Middle East of Bench Events. She added: “The briefings have been a great build up to AHIC which is taking place 26-28 April in Dubai and affords the industry an opportunity to come together from across the region”.