Arabian Hotel Investment Conference

April 2020 | United Arab Emirates

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Winners of the AHIC 2019 Creating Impact Awards announced

Posted on April 03, 2019


The Outstanding Leadership Award was presented to His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah


Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi, President – Millennium Hotels & Resorts, Middle East & Africa, recognised for Outstanding Contribution to the Industry


Sharihan Al Mashary, General Manager of Manzil Downtown, named Arabian Young Leader of the Year 2019

Dubai, UAE. 10 April, 2019. Earlier today at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2019 (AHIC), currently underway at the AHIC Village at the Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Centre in Ras Al Khaimah, winners of the prestigious annual AHIC Creating Impact Awards were celebrated.

Hosted by Amine Moukarzel President, MENA Region – Louvre Hotels Group, the Outstanding Leadership Award was presented to His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, in recognition of his formidable achievements in leading the emirate to unprecedented levels of success, particularly with regard to Ras Al Khaimah’s burgeoning tourism and hospitality industry.

The Outstanding Contribution to the Industry Award 2019 was presented to Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi, Founder and President of Millennium Hotels & Resorts in the Middle East and Africa. Having launched the brand with a single property in Abu Dhabi 16 years ago, Alzaabi has spearheaded major growth for the company. Millennium Hotels & Resorts MEA now comprises 40 hotels in operation totalling 12,619 keys in the region. Under Alzaabi’s leadership, the hotel company has its eyes set on a massive expansion plan with more than 35 hotels in the pipeline.

On collecting his award at AHIC 2019, Alzaabi said: “I have envisioned a great potential in the hospitality industry that inspired me to introduce an array of distinct brands to the region, serving different market segments over the last 20 years and I am proud that the Millennium brand has firmly established itself as one of the fastest growing hotel management companies in the Middle East region”.

Alzaabi added: “Our commitment as a brand is not only to our employees, owners and customers but also to causes and organisations that make a difference in the lives of others and hence we have launched programmes like ‘Taddamon’, a CSR initiative in collaboration with Al Jalila Foundation, and ‘TooMooH’ a concerted, consistent programme to accelerate nationalisation by integrating Nationals in the private sector and offer increased opportunities in the hospitality industry, thus allowing us to truly create an impact within the hospitality sector”.

AHIC also revealed the winner of the first Arabian Young Leader Award, open to GCC Nationals aged 30 years and younger that have been working in the Middle East hospitality sector for at least two years.

Sharihan Al Mashary, General Manager of Manzil Downtown in Dubai, was named the winner in recognition of her dedication to the industry and her colleagues, as well as her commitment to supporting other young people in the UAE to develop their hospitality careers.

Al Mashary said: “Twelve years ago if I had not chosen to serve with courage and commitment my country and my nation in the hospitality industry, I would’ve been a Brigadier today. Being recognised as a leader in the hospitality industry for my work, my contribution to education, youth vocational training and to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for the UAE is an honour I wear as a rank on my shoulder. Thank you! Service to country and field comes in all forms when one leads selflessly with courage, commitment and curiosity”.

Al Mashary received a full three-day access pass to AHIC and enrollment onto the Executive Certificate programme provided by The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management as part of her prize.

Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events and Founder of AHIC, said: “AHIC has long-championed the human factor in the hospitality industry and encouraged the next generation of hoteliers to develop careers in the Middle East’s dynamic hotel sector. We are thrilled to celebrate the achievements of Sharihan Al Mashary, our first Arabian Young Leader Award winner, at this year’s forum.”

For more information about AHIC 2019, visit:

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

Note to Editors

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 in 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, Amaala, 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), Millennium Hotels and Resorts, and Taiba Holding as Emerald Sponsors; and Alkamal International, Archipelago International, Barcelo hotel Group, Colliers International, Drees & Sommer, GlobalData, HVS, Knight Frank, Louvre Hotels Group, Marriott International, Melia Hotels International, PwC, Roya, SSH, STR, IHCL (The Indian Hotels Company Limited) and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts as Gold Sponsors. Citymax Hotels, Kerten Hospitality, Al Tamimi and Company, and Time Hotels are the Silver Sponsors. Edel & Stark is the Supercar Rental & Tours Partner while The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, Hotelivate and Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) are Supporting Partners.

Ras Al Khaimah

One of the world’s fastest growing tourism destinations, Ras Al Khaimah boasts a rich culture and long-standing history dating back 7,000 years. The Emirate boasts an array of archaeological sites and breath-taking natural vistas, from golden sand beaches, awe-inspiring terracotta dunes and a green belt of date palms to Jebel Jais, the highest mountain in the UAE.

To learn more about Ras Al Khaimah, visit us at:


Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (TDA)

The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (TDA) was established in May 2011 under the government of Ras Al Khaimah. In order to achieve target growth of one million visitors by the end of 2018, the authority aims to develop the Emirate’s tourism infrastructure and establish Ras Al Khaimah as a world-class destination for leisure and business travel, creating sustainable investment opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for its residents. In order to achieve its goals, the Ras Al Khaimah TDA has a government mandate to license, regulate and monitor the Emirate’s tourism and hospitality industry.