Arabian Hotel Investment Conference

14-16 April 2020 | Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, U.A.E

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The Saudi Arabia Hotel Investment Conference returns with stellar line-up as hotel deals worth $3.9bn are set to be awarded by 2023

Posted on December 05, 2018

Dubai, UAE. 05 December, 2018. The second edition of the Saudi Arabia Hotel Investment Conference (SHIC) will feature keynote sessions from the Kingdom’s leading industry experts, headlined by His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, President, Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage, and including interviews with Eng. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Issa, Chairman of Dur Hospitality Company and Abdullah AlDawood, Group CEO of Altayyar Travel Group.

Organised by Saudi Event Management and Marketing (SEMARK), in partnership with Bench Events, MEED and DUR Hospitality, SHIC will be held at the Marriott Hotel, Riyadh from 22-23 January 2019, providing a forum for more than 300 hotel investors, owners, developers and operators to discuss the growth of the hospitality industry in the Kingdom.

Curated in response to demand for information on the multitude of investment opportunities arising in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, SHIC will feature keynote addresses, interviews, data presentations, panel debates, masterclasses and roundtable sessions designed to provide delegates with valuable insights into the evolving Saudi Hospitality market at a pivotal time.

His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, President, Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage, Patron of SHIC, will deliver his address on ‘Realising Travel & Tourism’s part of Vision 2030’, sharing insights into the government’s framework for supporting investment into the hospitality sector, as well as an update on plans for visas.

Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events and Co-Founder of SHIC, said: “We are delighted to once again have the support of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who will headline SHIC for the second year. The commitment to SHIC from the prominent speakers on our programme is testament to the wealth of opportunities in the Kingdom and commitment from government and industry alike to delivering on Vision 2030.”  

Market Outlook

According to data from SHIC’s partner, leading projects tracking service, MEED Projects, the outlook for hospitality investment in the Kingdom is strong, with $3.9bn worth of hotel deals set to be awarded over the next five years. Already, the Kingdom has seen new hotels worth in excess of $10bn built since 2012.

“The list and value of future hotel investments in the region is only going to get larger,” said Ed James, MEED Projects Director of Content & Analysis. “Saudi Arabia has made tourism a centerpiece of its 2030 Vision with the multi-billion-dollar Neom and Red Sea mega-developments. Ultimately, whether it is for business, pleasure or a combination of both, the MENA region is perfectly positioned to benefit from ever increasing tourism numbers and investment.” 

Data and analytics specialist STR forecasts that the room inventory in Saudi Arabia is set to almost double between now and 2024. There are 273 properties in the pipeline comprising 90,449 rooms. Currently, 403 existing hotels comprise 93,814 rooms.

Philip Wooller, Area Director, Middle East and Africa, who will be presenting at SHIC on ‘Trends and Pipeline - Threats and Opportunities in the Kingdom’, said: “The Saudi hotel industry has a pivotal role in achieving the Saudi Vision 2030 goals. We are already seeing development and construction accelerating across a number of hotel projects as steps are taken to attract more visitors to the Kingdom. The branded as well as independent hotel pipeline will certainly provide future visitors, as well as local residents of all demographics and budgets with diverse offerings and plenty more choice.”

One of the companies contributing to this growth is Dur Hospitality Company and at SHIC, the group’s Chairman, Eng. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Issa, will give a rare insight into his personal motivations and ambitions, as well as the company’s future plans and strategies.

Stellar Line-Up

Also at SHIC, Abdullah AlDawood, Group CEO of Altayyar Travel Group, the former VP of Investment Banking Services at Deutsche Bank, Middle East and North Africa, will be interviewed on the topic of ‘Transforming Industry - Adapting and Unlocking Value’.

Other new speakers at SHIC 2019 include Jay Rosen, Head of Investment & Finance at The Red Sea Development Company, who will review new areas in the Kingdom that are open to investment following Vision 2030, Mike Hernandez, Executive Director – Real Estate Development, Quiddiya Investment Company, who will discuss investment opportunities related to key demographics, and Ahmed Bin Madhi, Director of Asset Management, Rua Al Madinah Holding Company, who will share updates on developments in the Holy Cities.

Worsley commented: “The Madinah hotel market is going through a fundamental change due to the huge supply and new product offerings. The Rua Al Madinah Project will bring massive scale to this market and we will hear Ahmed Bin Madhi address the power of religious tourism as a driver for the hospitality industry and the economy”.

Young people and female entrepreneurs will also take centre-stage at SHIC, with the launch of the first SHIC Young Leaders Award, recognising the impact on the hospitality industry of a Saudi National aged under 30, and a panel session on Business Women in the Saudi Hospitality World.

In yet another new feature for SHIC 2019, 10 hotel operators will take part in an invitation-only ‘Three Minute Pitch to Owners’, presenting mid-market brands and new concepts such as Makarem Hotels, La Quinta, Radisson Red, Shaza Hotels, Campanile, Comfort, Hampton by Hilton and Rove Hotels to 100 investors.

Access to the Saudi Arabia Hotel Investment Conference is available in conjunction with the AHIC VIP Package which includes other high-end experiences and access to exclusive content at AHIC 2019. 

To register your interest for this high-level invitation-only event, please visit

Contact: Lisa Flanagan, Senior Communications Consultant, In2 Consulting; Office: +971 4 455 8499; Mobile: +971 52 689 5509


Notes to Editors


About SHIC 2019

SHIC is a two-day knowledge and networking event for hotel investment industry leaders and influential figures from government, technology, construction and design to discuss and share hospitality investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia. Organised by Saudi Event Management and Marketing (SEMARK), and co-organised by the team behind AHIC, SHIC’s mission is to connect hotel investors owners, developers and operators to help further the growth of the hospitality industry in the Kingdom. The second annual edition of SHIC will be hosted by strategic partner DUR Hospitality on 22-23 January 2019 at the Marriott Convention Center at the Marriott Hotel, Riyadh.


About AHIC 2019

AHIC, now in its 15th year, is the annual gathering for the Middle East’s hospitality investment community organised by global hotel investment event organiser Bench Events 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 2019 will be held in a purpose-built AHIC Village on the beach adjacent to the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, from 9 April to 11 April 2019 in partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA). Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, AHIC 2019 will be co-hosted by its 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 the industry and AHIC has been critical to the region’s tourism growth.

AHIC 2019 Sponsors

AHIC 2019 is hosted by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority. Sponsors include: Accor Hotels, Al Hokair Group, Al Marjan Island, Choice Hotels, Hilton, Radisson Hotel Group and The Red Sea Development Company as Platinum Sponsors; Emaar Hospitality Group, Dur Hospitality, (IHG) InterContinental Hotels Group, IWG (Insignia Worldwide Group) and Taiba Holding as Emerald Sponsors; and Alkamal International, Colliers International, Drees & Sommer, GlobalData, Knight Frank, Louvre Hotels Group, Marriott International, Melia Hotels International, PwC, SSH, STR, IHCL (The Indian Hotels Company Limited) and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts as Gold Sponsors. Edel & Stark is the Supercar Rental & Tours Partner while The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management and Hotelivate are Supporting Partners.

About Bench Events Bench Events ( has an established record of delivering high-level networking and thought leadership conferences for hospitality investment and aviation in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. ‘Creating an impact’ is the core focus of Bench Events, as the company enables growth by facilitating deal opportunities.


About MEED

MEED is a remarkable senior management media brand, that encompasses subscription to the MEED Business Review publication and website,, as well as organising the MEED Quality Awards for Projects, AHIC and Innovation Live! MEED also works with clients on bespoke content, events, broadcast and digital offerings.  MEED also has two high-value content businesses, MEED Projects and MEED Insight. MEED Projects is the Middle East's premium project tracking database and MEED Insight offers tailored research and in-depth analysis. Established in 1957, MEED, has been integral to delivering business information and news, intelligence and analysis on the Middle East economies and activities ever since.


About Dur Hospitality

Dur Hospitality is a publicly listed Saudi hospitality company established in 1976, that owns, develops, and manages a broad range of hospitality and residential properties across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Its 2.37 billion Riyals diversified portfolio encompasses more than 20 properties, in addition to 21 projects under development. In 1983, Dur hospitality launched its first Saudi Hotel brand, “Makarem Hotels”, the award winning local brand specialized in delivering Saudi authentic hospitality services as per international standards, in the Holy cities of Makkah and Madina. Additionally, Dur operates hotels across Saudi Arabia through its franchise agreements with IHG and Marriott International. In the real estate sector, Dur designs, develops and manages residential communities, employing its extended background in hospitality to offer integrated facility management services under its own Brand “Dur Communities”.