Arabian Hotel Investment Conference

April 2020 | United Arab Emirates


Day 1 Day 2 Day 3

Day One - Tuesday 9th April 2019

At-a-glance →

08:00 - 13:00

The Roya Tennis Cup

Hosted by Roya, 16 players (8 doubles teams) will battle it out in The Roya Tennis Cup for a chance to win extraordinary prizes, including weekend stays at luxury resorts. Click here to find out more.

The Teams:

Marc Dardenne+ Stephen Cheesebrough(Team D)
Jonathan Worsley + Oliver Worsley (Team C)
Jay Rosen + Rabih Feghali (Team W)
Devret Pattani+ Murat Varol(Team A)
Noelle Homsy + Siegfried Nierhaus(Team Y)
John Flood + Shady Hassan (Team X)
John Williams + Omar Eltahry (Team B)
Jaidev Menezes + Benjamin Parkins (Team Z)

10:00 - 13:00

Premium & VIP Delegates - Workshop: GRIF x AHIC – A Focus on Hotel F&B

10:00 – 10:20

Key Findings on the Food for Thought State of UAE Hospitality Report 

Vikrant Rohatgi Deal Advisory, Global Strategy Group – KPMG

10:20 – 10:40

The State of the Market - Exclusive research report for GRIF x AHIC; Hotel F&B in the Middle East is probably facing greater competition than ever. What is the owners’ perspective on how operators are tackling this? Do operators feel they are getting the support from owners they need to maximise F&B income and improve the guest experience? To what extent are operators and owners adopting other formats including leasing, franchises, JV’s etc?

Stefan Breg Group Strategy Director – KEANE

Helen Elmettouri Regional Director – KEANE

10:40 – 11:30 

The State of the Market - How are owners & Operators working together.

What are operators and owners doing to secure better returns from F&B in this competitive environment? What different types of approach are being adopted across the region?

Stefan Breg Group Strategy Director – KEANE

In conversation with:

Christian Abell Vice President Food & Beverage MEA – Marriott International

Anil Bhardwaj Director – A.A. Al Moosa Enterprises LLC

Naim Maadad Chief Executive – Gates Hospitality

Amit Nayak,CHA Vice President and Executive Board Member – HAMA

Russell Scott Vice President Food & Beverage, Luxury Brands – Accor

11:30 – 11:50

The Kitchen of the Future: Uncovering the results from a yearlong project with Emaar using pioneering technology that has the potential to have a revolutionary impact on both a business’ bottom line and the global war against food waste.

Tatiana Labaki E25 Partner – Emaar

Ignacio Ramirez Managing Director MENA – Winnow Solutions

11:50 – 12:20

Future of F&B business models in hotels: JV, Revenue share, MA, LA, Franchise, Lease, Manchise?  How do you know which is for you and when do they work well

Helen Elmettouri Regional Director – KEANE

In conversation with:r

Ramzy Abdul-Majeed Founder – Whissle

Michael Ellis Chief Culinary Officer – Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts

Christian Gradnitzer Senior Director of F&B Operations EMEA – Hilton

Nabil Souhail Vice President Business Development & Operations MEA & Asia – Buddha-Bar International

12:20 – 12:50

How to design and invest in the new “All Day Dining” models that moves away from leaving the operator with a dead space after breakfast.  In an increasing tough operating environment ensuring all your space is working for you throughout the day.

Duncan Fraser-Smith Vice President Food & Beverage – The First Group

Joey Ghazal Founder and Managing Partner – The Maine and BARBARY

Marloes Knippenberg Chief Executive Officer – Kerten Hospitality

12:50 – 13:10

Jonathan Worsley, Chairman, Bench Events in conversation with Nirmal Sethia, the founder of Newby Teas on the power of tea culture and why it is an important part of the world of hotels. 

Nirmal Sethia Founder – Newby Teas

Jonathan Worsley Chairman and Founder – Bench Events



Dr Martin Berlin Partner & Global Deals Real Estate Leader – PwC

14:00 - 14:20

Innovating for tomorrow, identifying the truly white space

It is all very well to understand what the consumer wants today and perhaps in the next 12 months but how do you anticipate their desires well into the future?  Dr Khosro Ezaz-Nikpay is the founder of the World's first vegan and lowest calorie ice cream and invention of first Halal alcohol-free wine substitute.  

Dr Khosro Ezaz-Nikpay Director – Zendegii

14:20 - 14:40

How is the Coca-Cola Company innovating, disrupting and playing the long-game?

Julie Hamilton Senior Vice President, Chief Customer and Commercial Leadership Officer – The Coca- Cola Company

14:40 - 15:00

Hospitality going digital

Chinmay Shukla Senior Manager – PwC

15:00 - 15:20

Looking at How a Smarter Adoption of Technology can Future Proof the Hospitality Business?

Maria de la Fuente Corrales Travel Industry Analyst – Google

15:20 - 15:40

Could blockchain revolutionise the hospitality industry?

What applications are working and will blockchain provide transparency, trust, accountability and credibility?

Jess Houlgrave Founder & Trustee – Foundation for Art and Blockchain

Menelaos Petrovas Director, Digital Marketing – Airport Hotel Basel AG

15:40 - 16:00

Designing the future hotel – Every hotel can and should be a design hotel

Thinking out of the box in terms of design and development.

David Daniels Director of Architecture – SSH

16:00 - 16:20

How to be at the leading edge of technology adoption

What will owners likely see in the next 3-5 years and how can you differentiate your brand with technology?

David Sjolander Chief Operating Officer – HTNG

Ted Horner Information Technology & Services Consultant and Owner – E Horner & Associates

16:20 - 16:40

AHIC Leadership Talk - What is your compass in times of disruption, innovation and global turmoil?

Nick van Marken Managing Director – van Marken Limited

In conversation with

Sébastien Bazin Chairman & Chief Executive Officer – Accor

16:40 - 17:00

Disrupting traditional all-inclusive – Changing the business model

Nick van Marken in conversation with Fettah Tamince, Founder and Chairman of Rixos and Gaurav Bhushan, Global Chief Development Officer of Accor on why they have done a joint venture and how they are disrupting the all-inclusive business model and how they intend to grow the brand and develop the experience side of the business.

Nick van Marken Managing Director – van Marken Limited

In conversation with

Gaurav Bhushan Global Chief Development Officer – Accor

Fettah Tamince Founder and Chairman – Rixos Hotels

17:00 - 18:15

The Five Minute Pitch – Innovation

Your chance to pitch your innovation to our audience of investors and industry leaders.  Will your product be a game changer for the hotel industry?

Pitch Coaches - David Sjolander & Ted Horner 

The recruitment platform for Generation Z
Dirk Haro
Chief Executive Officer, Hocaboo

Over 30% of rooms are never sold - How do you create value from unused capacity
Preben Vestdam
Founder & CEO, HotelSwaps

Using your data to boost direct bookings
Charlie Osmond
Chief Tease, Triptease

New revenue from unsold rooms
Fergus Paton
Head of EMEA, HotelFlex

The decentralised hotel exchange and borderless hotel currency
Rana Mukherji
Founder and CEO, Hotelier Coin

Personal skin care for the spa industry
Oliver Worsley Ph.D
CEO and Co-Founder, Sequential

The worlds best family club  
Martin Quinn
Non-Executive Chairman, Purple Dragon

Digital art procurement for luxury hospitality 
Tamsin Nugent
Founder, Red T Group

18:15 - 19:15

Speed networking in the Discussion room

Speed Networking is a great way to break the ice and ensure you go into AHIC already knowing your fellow attendees.

19:00 - 21:00

AHIC Opening reception at the Siddharta lounge by Buddha Bar, Waldorf Astoria

Join us at this iconic restaurant, lounge, and bar at Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah which boasts a fresh urban ambience with breathtaking 360-degree views of The Arabian Gulf.

We will be showcasing the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The neon lit venue will feature a wide selection of live stations offering everything from fresh oysters to sushi and grilled meat, the dessert station will feature Siddharta lounges signature churros. The cocktails and mocktails specially created by Mattias Giroud the Buddha bar Executive worldwide bar Chef are prepared with fresh and natural ingredients making it a truly one of a kind experience. Dj Mario from Buddha-Bar Dubai will take you on a journey with her mix of soulful relaxing music and high energy beats.