AHIC speakers and sessions announced

16 September 2020
The 16th edition of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) is taking place on 29 September to 1 October and features a new format

The 16th edition of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) will be ‘on the road’ on 29 September to 1 October 2020, taking place virtually and at venues around Dubai. The three-day event will offer insights from industry leaders and networking opportunities to help hoteliers navigate the "new normal" for hospitality investment and operations.

The programme, which features more than 60 speakers, will be broadcast live from pop-up studios around Dubai, visiting a new location each day. The broadcast will be streamed onto a virtual platform, making it available for onsite and virtual attendees. Safety protocols will be strictly observed onsite, and the live component is subject to government regulations.

Through mobile and web applications, virtual and in-person attendees will be able to network and schedule meetings on site or via one-to-one video calls. Attendees will also be able to create personalised schedules, choosing the content, outdoor experiences and networking opportunities that are most relevant to their needs.

Hotel operators have transformed – and continue to transform – the way in which they operate, given the unforeseen circumstances we have experienced this year.”

Chairman of Bench Events and founder of AHIC, Jonathan Worsley, says: “Now more than ever, the industry needs to gather and work together to ‘transform tomorrow’. We believe collaboration plays a key role in these challenging times, which is why AHIC on the Road is the perfect forum at which to connect with fellow industry leaders, exchange experiences and learnings, and most importantly, plan for the future.

“Over three days in both live and virtual sessions, we will tackle the transformation of business into future-proof operations; a business able to succeed in the new normal of 2020 and beyond, where travel restrictions, changed operating environments and a tighter hold over costs will put pressure on owners and operators alike.”

Daily events

The first day of AHIC 2020 will be split into two parts. In the morning, the focus will be on investment, featuring discussions with hotel owners and the Hotel Investment Outlook 2020, presented by JLL Hotels & Hospitality. In the afternoon there will be a session on the ‘Future of Hotel F&B’, which will be hosted by Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts at its Pierchic restaurant at Jumeirah al-Qasr and will be broadcast around the globe.

GRIF @AHIC – A Focus on Hotel F&B

How are hotels transforming their food and beverage offering
to be compliant with Covid-19-related regulations and
meet the demands of today’s guests,
while at the same time ensuring maximum return on investment for owners?
Including an interview with Jose Silva, chief executive, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts

Tuesday 29 September 16:00-18:00

Ahead of hosting AHIC 2020, chief executive of Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, Jose Silva, said: “Whilst we did not anticipate at the start of 2020 that we would face an event of such magnitude, our agility, culture and breadth of culinary expertise has led us to transform our business model to better respond and deliver on our vision as leaders in world-class culinary experiences.”

The second day, hosted by Accor at its Rixos Premium property in Jumeirah Beach Residence, will feature a series of plenary sessions discussing how to harness the transformative forces at work in the hospitality industry.

In the afternoon, the programme includes a series of break-out streams that will look at how the industry is transforming through technology. This includes sessions on disruptive technologies, Big Data and artificial intelligence, as well as a panel featuring chief information officers from Accor, Kerzner, Marriott International, Amaala and Jumeirah Group that will discuss how owners and operators have embraced technology during Covid-19.

AHIC Insights CEO Chat

Mark Willis, CEO, Accor Hotels Middle East & Africa
in conversation with
HE Eng Essa Al Maidoor, General Director, Dubai Developments

Wednesday 30 September 13:00-13:30

CEO Middle East & Africa for Accor, Mark Willis, said: “The day promises to be filled with interesting discussions delving into the new reality of the hospitality industry, as well as look into ways in which hotel operators have transformed – and continue to transform – the way in which they operate, given the unforeseen circumstances we have experienced this year.”

Day three features the theme of transformation and will uncover how the industry is evolving. Hosted by Dubai lifestyle rewards app Viya and taking place at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, the morning programme will feature sessions on ‘Building Back Better’ and rethinking the hotel workforce. In the afternoon delegates will have the opportunity to choose from a series of break-out sessions that will feature 45-minute roundtable discussions on the topics of innovation in design and building, the Saudi market, asset management, sustainability and learnings for the future.

Rethinking Your Hotel Workforce

What learnings about operational efficiencies from 
the past six months can be carried forward for the future?
How can we tackle job roles and functions in a hotel differently?
A panel discussion with 
Hassan Ahdab, president – hotel operations, Dur Hospitality; 
Clive Smith, managing director – hotels division, Al-Hokair Group;
and Zoltan Kali Senior, vice president, Omran Hospitality

Thursday 1 October 12:40-13:30

In addition, ‘AHIC off the Record’ will feature a series of closed-door conversations onsome of the key markets and development opportunities in the GCC. In these sessions, delegates will have the opportunity to ask questions of – and share knowledge with – industry experts and fellow attendees. Topics will include finance, the transformation of management agreements and owners' off-the-record concerns.

More than just a conference

AHIC on the Road will feature a series of safe and regulation-compliant, activity-based outdoor networking experiences:

  • AHIC Community Run at the Dubai Marina Prominade hosted by The First Group
  • AHIC Roya Tennis Competition hosted by Roya at the Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina
  • Morning Yoga at the Rixos Premium JBR hosted by Accor
  • AHIC Golf Tournament at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club hosted by hosted by Dubai Golf and Dubai lifestyle rewards app Viya

For more information and tickets, visit: www.ahic.com.

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