The organisers of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC 2015) recently held their annual Advisory Board Meeting at The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management in Dubai. The meeting witnessed attendance from hospitality experts to identify untapped opportunities and key challenges for investors in the region.
The meeting was attended by over 40 regional and international names, including; Olivier Granet, senior vice president development at ACCOR, Henning Fries, managing director of Hospitality at Habtoor Hotels, Taras Ettl, vice president development – Middle East & Africa of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Chiheb Ben Mahmoud, executive vice president, head of hotels & hospitality group, Middle East & Africa at JLL Hotels.
Elie Milky, director business development, Middle East and Africa at the Rezidor Hotel Group, said: “Various markets are keeping us busy starting with KSA and the UAE, and the different submarkets from within. Some markets are returning such as Egypt, with ad-hoc opportunities in Libya, Kurdistan, Oman and Qatar. Expanding cities are creating various sub-markets for potential hotel investment, and obstacles include increased competition, increasing value of land, pockets of regional instability, among others.”
The board members agreed that untapped opportunities in the Middle East still involve the midscale and lifestyle select segments, as well as branded serviced apartments. However, some of the speakers also highlighted challenges present in some regions, where demand fluctuates and legal regulations impact progress.