AHIC 2018: Record attendance as event visits Ras al Khaimah for first time
The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2018 has welcomed a record number of registered delegates from the regional and global hospitality investment industry.
Now in its 14th year, the annual knowledge and networking platform for the global hospitality investment community, held in partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, was inaugurated by AHIC host and patron Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE supreme council member and ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.
“In a relatively short period of time, Ras Al Khaimah has changed dramatically, from a quiet, agricultural town, where a formal education was hard to come by, to a thriving city with a diverse economy and great educational institutions.
“Our Emirate, our people, our economy and our industries have been on quite an incredible journey,” said Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi.
In 2017, Ras Al Khaimah saw an average year-round occupancy of 74 per cent, an average length of stay of 3.4 days and total revenues showing double digit growth year on year, while visitor satisfaction is at an impressive 90 per cent.
Today at AHIC, RAKTDA announced its quarter one 2018 performance, which recorded the emirate’s highest ever hotel occupancy in a quarter at 79.4 per cent.
“These are all numbers I believe all point to an extremely bright future for the industry here in Ras Al Khaimah,” said Mattar.
In his opening keynote discussion with BBC HARDtalk presenter Stephen Sackur, Mohamed Alabbar, founder of Emaar Properties, discussed the future of hospitality, the region and the opportunities of tomorrow, before announcing the launch of the company’s first hotel and residences project in Ras Al Khaimah.
Located in the Views island of Al Marjan Island, a four-island mega-development, Address Al Marjan Island hotel and residences will be managed by Emaar Hospitality Group’s premium lifestyle brand, Address Hotels + Resorts.
The hotel will have 249 rooms, including suites, while Address Residences Al Marjan Island will comprise 234 high-end apartments.
As part of Views, the largest of the four islands that make up Al Marjan Island, residents will be in close proximity to the urban core of the master-planned community as well as the town centre.
With direct access to over 600 metres of beachfront, residents and guests will have uninterrupted views of the sea in addition to a range of lifestyle amenities.
Jonathan Worsley, chairman of Bench Events, said: “When we first started AHIC 14 years ago, we were the first event at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.
“Today, we are the first to hold a conference on the beach here in Ras al Khaimah and we have a record number of delegates this year, which just goes to show that the decision to bring AHIC to Ras Al Khaimah was the right one.”