Arabian Hospitality
Investment Conference

Part of FHS

25-27 September | Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island

Press release

AHIC Hotel Investment Forecast reveals US $27bn worth of hotel investments in the GCC pipeline

Dubai, UAE. 12 July, 2021. The Arabian & African Hospitality Investment Conference (AHIC) has released the fourth annual AHIC Hotel Investment Forecast ahead of the 17th edition of the event, which returns to Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai live and in person from September 20-22, 2021.

According to research into the GCC hotels projects market conducted by MEED Projects, a division of MEED, co-organiser of AHIC alongside Bench, there are US $27bn worth of hotel investments in the pipeline.

More than US $3.5bn worth of new hotel projects in the GCC have been awarded since the start of 2020 alone.

These new investments are mainly located in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, including phases five and six at Jabal Omar, Makkah; the Jewel of the Creek development in Dubai; and Qetaifan Island North in Qatar.

Ed James, director of content and analysis at MEED Projects, said: “Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the hotel industry is still optimistic about its medium-term outlook.

“Some US $3.5bn worth of hotel construction contracts have been awarded across the GCC over the past 18 months during the height of the pandemic, indicating that investors expect the market to return to normality in the next two to three years when the new projects are due to open.”

James continued: “Longer-term, the industry is even more bullish, with US $27bn worth of hotel investments in the pipeline.

“The majority of these are comprised of the ‘gigaproject’ tourism investments in Saudi Arabia led by the Red Sea Project, NEOM, Amaala, Diriyah Gate and Al-Ula, to name but a few,” he added.

“All told, these will add more than 40,000 rooms to the Kingdom’s emerging hospitality sector, as it seeks to diversify its economy to become a leading global player in the luxury and high-end tourism market,” said James.

The figures also include a mega-project planned for Oman, the Yenkit Hills development, which will feature two five-star hotels and other tourism and residential units.

Based on the current pipeline of hotel and serviced apartment project completions in the GCC, an estimated 75,900 rooms are forecast to be added across the region in the period 2021-24.

The future outlook for hotel investment in the Middle East and Africa will be discussed in depth at the 17th edition of AHIC, with analysts from research companies including STR, HotStats, HVS, and JLL set to add more insight on the region’s recovery, performance and pipeline.

Jonathan Worsley, chairman of Bench and founder of AHIC, said: “The AHIC Hotel Investment Forecast is a valuable piece of research from our partners at MEED, which sets a hugely positive tone for the conversations at AHIC 2021. The industry is already well on the road to recovery and we are looking forward to providing a much-needed platform for investors and operators to meet and do business”.

“We have long championed Saudi Arabia’s diverse and inspiring tourism landscape through the Saudi Arabia Hospitality Investment Conference (SHIC), which will be part of this year’s new-look AHIC, so we are incredibly excited to see the market come to the forefront as the industry recovers from the impact of COVID-19.”

Reimagined for 2021, the Arabian & African Hospitality Investment Conference (AHIC) will bring together the four close-knit investment communities of the Arabian Hospitality Investment Conference (AHIC), Saudi Arabia Hospitality Investment Conference (SHIC), Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) and the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF).

Under the theme Rise Together, hotel and restaurant owners, developers, investors and operators will debate and discuss issues impacting the ‘Great Reset’, as the industry seeks to emerge from the pandemic, stronger and more resilient than ever.

More than 50 world-class speakers are already confirmed, including Sébastien Bazin, CEO and chairman, Accor; Federico J. González, Global CEO, Radisson Hotel Group; John Pagano, CEO, The Red Sea Development Company and Amala; Samih Sawiris, chairman, Orascom Hotel and Development; Jerry Inzerillo, CEO, Diriyah Gate Development Authority; and Jose Silva, chief executive officer, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, host sponsor of AHIC.


Note to Editors:

About AHIC 2021

AHIC, now in its 17th year, is the annual gathering for the Middle East’s hospitality investment community organised by global hotel investment event organiser Bench in partnership with Middle East business intelligence brand, MEED. AHIC creates a knowledge and networking platform for global and regional investors of all backgrounds, offering essential insights to investing in hotels, showcasing regional and international hospitality investment opportunities and facilitating direct connections with hospitality industry stakeholders. AHIC 2021 will be held at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai from 20 to 22 September under the patronage of 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 the industry and AHIC has been critical to the region’s tourism growth.

AHIC 2021 Sponsors

Sponsors include: Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts as Host Sponsor; Accor, Dur Hospitality, Hilton and SMIT Morocco as Platinum Sponsors; Emaar Hospitality Group, IHG, Marriott International, Millennium Hotels and Resorts, NEOM, Radisson Hotel Group, Rotana and Taiba Investments as Emerald Sponsors;

Aleph Hospitality, Colliers International, Compass Project Consulting, HVS, The Indian Hotels Company, Insignia, IT Hospitality Group, Katch, Louvre Hotels Group, OBMI Architecture, SSH, STR, Toggle Hospitality and The London Project as Gold Sponsors;

Al Tamimi and Company, Deutsche Hospitality, Hotstats, JLL, Opeco, CHIC-NAIA, PWC, Ròya, Shangri-La Group, The Red Sea Development Company, TIME Hotels and Voltere by Egis as Silver sponsors;

The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, Hospitality Asset Managers Association, Sustainability Hospitality Alliance and WiH Global as Supporters; and JA Resorts and Hotels as Golf Supporter.

For more information about AHIC 2021, please visit:

Press Contact: Anne Bleeker, Managing Director, In2 Consulting; Office: +971 4 455 8499; Mobile: +971 566030886

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