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Arabian Hotel Investment Conference to discuss Soaring Hotel Investment Sector

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Tuesday, 18 March 2008

The Middle East's tourism growth potential is far from realised, according to Jonathan Worsley, conference co-organiser of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC).

"Although the Middle East is pegged to be the fastest-growing region by 2020, with estimated growth of 7.1% per annum, 69 million tourists arrivals and almost US$4 trillion in tourism investments announced, there is more to come," he predicted.

Travel and tourism professionals and industry veterans will debate the regional growth estimates at AHIC, now in its fourth year.

"Dubai's hospitality sector, driven by growth in tourist arrivals, had another remarkable year in 2007 with the first half alone reporting 97% occupancy in five-star hotels and guest room nights rising by more that 6% over 2006," observed Marc Dardenne, CEO, Emaar Hospitality.

"This trend will be sustained in the coming years as the Dubai Strategy Plan still sees tourism as one of the major growth sectors and an on-going contributor to the emirate's GDP."

Tom Rowntree, Vice President, Commercial, Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG), Middle East & Africa, added, "The projects earmarked for Dubai's tourism and hospitality pipeline stretch to 2020. By 2010 alone, an additional 80,000 hotel rooms will be available, requiring an additional 100,000 employees."

Recent reports suggested more than $3.63 trillion is being invested in hotels, leisure projects, aviation developments, cruise lines, tourism promotion and supporting infrastructure across the Middle East.

AHIC 2008 will review this funnel against the demand generators, among other hot issues, including a day one summit session with the spotlight on India.

The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference will run from May 3-5, 2008 at Dubai's Madinat Jumeirah Convention Centre and is jointly organised by The Bench and MEED.

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