An open letter to the AHIC community
Posted on September 20, 2017
AHIC 2018 is just seven months away and already, we have made significant improvements to ensure that it is our best event yet. I’m delighted to share these with you.
First, I would like to thank you for your support and commitment over the past two decades. My journey with many of you started back in 1997 when I co-founded IHIF in Berlin. With others, it began in 2004, when we first established AHIC here in the Middle East.
During this time, the region’s tourism industry has grown to an estimated $US227 billion in value and I’m extremely proud of the role the AHIC community has played in this. Our efforts have highlighted the Middle East as an attractive destination for business and leisure, as well as a resilient market with real returns for investors. Together, we have enabled prosperity.
Our goal for AHIC has remained the same - to establish and grow relationships amongst dealmakers and senior leadership teams driving the hospitality industry forward. The networking, collaboration and meaningful knowledge shared have led our growing community to keep AHIC as a fixed part of their annual business calendar.
This desire to gather and cultivate real relationships remains more important than ever, despite smartphone connectivity, a wealth of online data and non-stop networking on social media. While technology and innovation play a key role in all of our lives, you have told us that the large gathering of brilliant people, quality face time and level of content at AHIC, brings you a unique opportunity to do business that can only take place in such a highly tailored environment.
Our year round feedback gathering has highlighted one major theme – how you spend your time at AHIC matters. The best way to summarise our attendees’ goals for AHIC’s future comes down to one word, focus.
Focus on opportunities
Focus on relationships
Focus on knowledge
This is an opportunity for us to make even better use of your time and we are committed to enriching the experiences that AHIC offers our business community.
I took this promise to our founding patron, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, whose continued support of our industry and AHIC has been critical to the region’s tourism growth.
Under his generous counsel, we are proud to announce a major enhancement for AHIC 2018. The event will take place in a custom-built AHIC Village, complete with staging, networking areas, work-spaces, new private meeting options as well as access to exclusive relationship building activities.
This custom-made complex will be built on the shoreline of The Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah. I have had the honor of meeting His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, who I would like to thank for his patronage of AHIC 2018 and for hosting us in the beautiful Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.
It will be here, away from the day to day routines of our offices, that we will be able to focus on the topics and relationships that move our industry forward for the next chapter in our collective destiny - which has remained positive in the face of challenges past and present.
In the three days you spend with us, you will experience an enhanced AHIC like never before. We are focused on making the conference truly memorable and delivering a professional leap forward for your business goals.
In closing, after more than 20 years of facilitating opportunities for the hospitality, investment and tourism sector, I have found that innovation in the event world only occurs when we challenge ourselves on behalf of the communities we represent. As such, I would like to thank you in advance for your support and look forward to welcoming you to the AHIC Village from 17-19 April 2018, as we enter a new and exciting era that will attract even more investors and opportunities to the region.
Chairman, Bench Events