Tuesday 5 December 2023

Stellar line-up announced for Saudi hotel investment conference

RIYADH, December 18, 2018

The second edition of the Saudi Arabia Hotel Investment Conference (SHIC) will feature keynote sessions from the kingdom’s leading industry experts, headlined by Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, president, Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, and including interviews with Eng. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Issa, chairman of Dur Hospitality Company and Abdullah AlDawood, Group CEO of Altayyar Travel Group.
Organised by Saudi Event Management and Marketing (Semark), in partnership with Bench Events, Meed and Dur Hospitality, SHIC will be held at the Marriott Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter from January 22-23, 2019, providing a forum for more than 300 hotel investors, owners, developers and operators to discuss the growth of the hospitality industry in the kingdom.
Curated in response to demand for information on the multitude of investment opportunities arising in Saudi Arabia, SHIC will feature keynote addresses, interviews, data presentations, panel debates, masterclasses and roundtable sessions designed to provide delegates with valuable insights into the evolving Saudi Hospitality market at a pivotal time.
Prince Sultan will deliver his address on ‘Realising Travel & Tourism’s part of Vision 2030’, sharing insights into the government’s framework for supporting investment into the hospitality sector, as well as an update on plans for visas.
Jonathan Worsley, chairman of Bench Events and co-founder of SHIC, said: “We are delighted to once again have the support of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who will headline SHIC for the second year. The commitment to SHIC from the prominent speakers on our programme is testament to the wealth of opportunities in the kingdom and commitment from government and industry alike to delivering on Vision 2030.”  
Market outlook
According to data from SHIC’s partner, Meed Projects, the outlook for hospitality investment in the kingdom is strong, with $3.9bn worth of hotel deals set to be awarded over the next five years. Already, the kingdom has seen new hotels worth in excess of $10bn built since 2012.
“The list and value of future hotel investments in the region is only going to get larger,” said Ed James, Meed Projects director of content and analysis. “Saudi Arabia has made tourism a centrepiece of its 2030 Vision with the multi-billion-dollar Neom and Red Sea mega-developments. Ultimately, whether it is for business, pleasure or a combination of both, the Mena region is perfectly positioned to benefit from ever-increasing tourism numbers and investment.”  
Data and analytics specialist STR forecasts that the room inventory in Saudi Arabia is set to almost double between now and 2024. There are 273 properties in the pipeline comprising 90,449 rooms. Currently, 403 existing hotels comprise 93,814 rooms.
Philip Wooller, area director, Middle East and Africa, who will be presenting at SHIC on ‘Trends and Pipeline - Threats and Opportunities in the Kingdom’, said: “The Saudi hotel industry has a pivotal role in achieving the Saudi Vision 2030 goals. We are already seeing development and construction accelerating across a number of hotel projects as steps are taken to attract more visitors to the kingdom. The branded, as well as independent hotel pipeline, will certainly provide future visitors, as well as local residents of all demographics and budgets with diverse offerings and plenty more choice.”
One of the companies contributing to this growth is Dur Hospitality Company and at SHIC, the group’s Chairman, Engineer Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Issa, will give a rare insight into his personal motivations and ambitions, as well as the company’s future plans and strategies.
Ahead of SHIC, Engineer Al-Issa said: “As Saudi Arabia witnesses a historic period of transformation, with tourism being one of the growing key sectors, it calls for a wide range of hospitality solutions to meet the future needs of both domestic and international visitors. Dur Hospitality, a home-grown company with more than 40 years of local market experience, is well aligned to this blueprint for growth, with a portfolio of 20 completed projects and 21 more under development worth SAR2.5 billion, including hotels developed in partnership with major global brands and our very own spiritual hospitality concept – Makarem. I am personally excited about Saudi Arabia’s bright future and its potential as a global tourism destination of note.”
Stellar Line-Up
Also at SHIC, Abdullah AlDawood, group CEO of Altayyar Travel Group, the former vice president of Investment Banking Services at Deutsche Bank, Middle East and North Africa, will be interviewed on the topic of ‘Transforming Industry - Adapting and Unlocking Value’.
Other new speakers at SHIC 2019 include Jay Rosen, head of investment and finance at The Red Sea Development Company, who will review new areas in the kingdom that are open to investment following Vision 2030; Mike Hernandez, executive director – Real Estate Development, Quiddiya Investment Company, who will discuss investment opportunities related to key demographics; and Ahmed Bin Madhi, director of asset management, Rua Al Madinah Holding Company, who will share updates on developments in the Holy Cities.
Worsley commented: “The Madinah hotel market is going through a fundamental change due to the huge supply and new product offerings. The Rua Al Madinah Project will bring massive scale to this market and we will hear Ahmed Bin Madhi address the power of religious tourism as a driver for the hospitality industry and the economy”.
Young people and female entrepreneurs will also take centre-stage at SHIC, with the launch of the first SHIC Young Leaders Award, recognising the impact on the hospitality industry of a Saudi National aged under 30, and a panel session on Business Women in the Saudi Hospitality World.
In yet another new feature for SHIC 2019, 10 hotel operators will take part in an invitation-only ‘Three Minute Pitch to Owners’, presenting mid-market brands and new concepts such as Makarem Hotels, La Quinta, Radisson Red, Shaza Hotels, Campanile, Comfort, Hampton by Hilton and Rove Hotels to 100 investors.
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 2019. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Saudi Arabia | Conference | Hotel investment |

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