Under the theme of ‘Focus on the Future’, the Saudi Arabia Hotel Investment Conference (SHIC) will present industry insights into how to capitalize on the multitude of hospitality investment opportunities arising in the Kingdom.

Organised by Bench Events and MEED and hosted by DUR Hospitality at the Riyadh Marriott Hotel on 26 February 2018, SHIC will bring together around 300 hotel investors, owners, developers and operators to help further the growth of the hospitality industry in the Kingdom.

The inaugural event will be headlined by His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, President, Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage and Her Royal Highness Princess Basmah bint Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairwoman, Global United Centre for Research and Analysis, who will deliver an address on ‘The Future of Saudi Tourism – Transitioning to Tomorrow’, sharing insights into Vision 2030 and opportunities for hospitality investment and development in line with the government’s vision.

Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events and Co-Founder of SHIC, said: “We are delighted to have the support of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Her Royal Highness Princess Basmah bint Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for the inaugural edition of SHIC.”

He added: “Having organized the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) for the past 14 years, we have witnessed phenomenal interest from our delegates into hospitality investment opportunities in the Kingdom. Now, as the country’s drive for a more diversified economy highlights new tourism and hospitality infrastructure, we believe it is the ideal time to connect investors and operators at SHIC, with an event dedicated to discussing and debating the issues most impacting the hotel industry’s growth in Saudi Arabia.”

Programme highlights include Gerald Lawless, Chairman, World Travel & Tourism Council, presenting ‘Destination Development’ as well as Jaan Albrecht, Chief Executive Officer, Saudia together with Abdellah Essonni, Chief Hospitality Officer, MAAD International and Yasser Faisal Al Sharif, Chief Executive Officer, Jabal Omar Development Company discussing ‘Transformational Development in the Holy Cities’.

Worsley concluded, “The SHIC programme will also feature data from STR whose latest Pipeline Report reveals that Saudi Arabia currently has 40,020 rooms across 89 projects in the construction pipeline. Accordingly, Saudi Arabia has the largest number of hotel rooms under construction in the MENA region at present, making the Kingdom the region’s most active hotspot for investors and operators alike.”

The total value of hospitality investment projects in Saudi Arabia stands at US$1.9bn according to a forecast by MEED Projects.

Dr Badr Al Badr, CEO of Dur Hospitality and host sponsor of SHIC, believes that the Saudi economy will witness a positive shift in the coming years when the government executes the recently announced initiatives bolstering confidence in tourism investments.

“The Public Private Partnerships drive in Saudi Arabia is presenting new opportunities to attract investment into hospitality,” said Al Badr.

“Following the announcement of the KSA Vision 2030, a more attractive investment environment is opening the doors for private investors into new areas of the Saudi Arabian economy. This creates significant opportunities for hotel investors,” Al Badr continued.

He added: “A large percentage of Saudi Arabia’s hotel pipeline focuses on the Holy Cities as economists are anticipating 30 million religious tourists by 2025. But hotel development will also be prompted by non-religious destinations, cultural cities and archaeological sites.”

According to the Saudi Council of Economic and Development Affairs, tourism’s contribution to the GDP will go from a current 3.5% to over 10% by 2030.

Access to the Saudi Arabia Hotel Investment Conference is available in conjunction with the AHIC VIP Package which includes other high-end experiences and access to exclusive content at AHIC 2018.

To register your interest for this high-level invitation-only event, please visit www.arabianconference.com/shic

Anne Bleeker
In2 Consulting FZ LLC for MEED
Phone: +971 56 6030886
Send Email

About SHIC 2018

SHIC is a one-day knowledge and networking event for hotel investment industry leaders and influential figures from government, technology, construction and design to discuss and share hospitality investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia. Organised by the team behind AHIC, SHIC”s mission is to connect hotel investors owners, developers and operators to help further the growth of the hospitality industry in the Kingdom. The inaugural edition of SHIC will be hosted by DUR Hospitality on 26 February 2018 at the Marriott Convention Center at the Riyadh Marriott Hotel.

About AHIC 2018

AHIC, now in its 14th year, is the annual gathering for the Middle East”s hospitality investment community organised by global hotel investment event organiser Bench Events in partnership with MEED Events. AHIC creates a knowledge and networking platform for global and regional investors of all backgrounds, offering essential insights to investing in hotels, showcasing regional and international hospitality investment opportunities and facilitating direct connections with hospitality industry stakeholders. AHIC 2018 will be held in a purpose-built AHIC Village on the beach of the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, from 17 April to 19 April 2018 in partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA). Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, AHIC 2018 will be co-hosted by its founding patron, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, whose continued support of the industry and AHIC has been critical to the region”s tourism growth.

AHIC 2018 Sponsors

AHIC 2018 is hosted by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority. Sponsors include: Al Marjan Island, Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), Hilton and The Rezidor Hotel Group as Platinum Sponsors; Dur Hospitality, Emaar Hospitality Group, (IHG) InterContinental Hotels Group, IWG (Insignia Worldwide Group) and Wyndham Hotel Group as Emerald Sponsors; and Action Hotels, Colliers International, Louvre Hotels Group, Melia Hotels International, STR and Time Hotels as Gold Sponsors.

About Bench Events

Global event organiser Bench Events has a long track record of delivering multiple premium hotel investment conferences and forums across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Market leading annual conferences include the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) in Dubai, now in its 14th year, the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) the new Asia Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (AHTIC), The Summit in London and the Latin American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conferences (SAHIC). Bench Events” extensive portfolio also includes the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) in Dubai and AviaDev, designed to promote the future air connectivity in Africa. Bench Events” mission is enabling prosperity by facilitating growth, networking, and thought leadership in the hospitality industry worldwide. www.benchevents.com

About MEED

MEED is a remarkable senior management media brand, that encompasses subscription to the MEED Business Review publication and website, www.meed.com, as well as organising the MEED Quality Awards for Projects, AHIC and Innovation Live! MEED also works with clients on bespoke content, events, broadcast and digital offerings. MEED also has two high-value content businesses, MEED Projects and MEED Insight. MEED Projects is the Middle East’s premium project tracking database and MEED Insight offers tailored research and in-depth analysis. Established in 1957, MEED, has been integral to delivering business information and news, intelligence and analysis on the Middle East economies and activities ever since. www.meed.com

About Dur Hospitality

Dur Hospitality is a publicly listed Saudi hospitality company established in 1976, that owns, develops, and manages a broad range of hospitality and residential properties across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Its 2.37 billion Riyals diversified portfolio encompasses more than 20 properties, in addition 21 projects under development. In 1983, Dur hospitality launched its first Saudi Hotel brand, “Makarem Hotels”, the award winning local brand specialized in delivering Saudi authentic hospitality services as per the international standards, in the Holy cities of Makkah and Madina. Additionally, Dur operates hotels across Saudi Arabia through its franchise agreements with IHG and Marriott International.

In the real estate sector, Dur designs, develops and manages residential communities, employing its extended background in hospitality to offer integrated facility management services under its own Brand “Dur Communities”. www.dur.sa/ar