The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2018 (AHIC) successfully kicked off at the purpose-built AHIC Village, located on Waldorf Astoria’s beach in Ras Al Khaimah.
The event’s official opening ceremony welcomed a record number of registered delegates from the regional and global hospitality investment industry.
Marking its 14th edition, AHIC – held in partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) – was inaugurated by AHIC Host and Patron, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, HH Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi.
“In a relatively short period of time, Ras Al Khaimah has changed dramatically, from a quiet, agricultural town, where a formal education was hard to come by, to a thriving city with a diverse economy and great educational institutions,” HH Al Qasimi declared in his opening speech. “Our emirate, our people, our economy and our industries have been on quite an incredible journey.”
HH Al Qasimi further stressed the importance and growth of the hospitality and tourism sector, as the destination aims to increase tourism GDP contribution to 10 per cent by 2025, with the sector already witnessing a growth rate of about 19 per cent year-on-year.
“We aim to have one million visitors by the end of this year in Ras Al Khaimah and we have a target of 2.9 million per year by 2025,” he concluded.
Chairman, Bench Events, and co-founder, AHIC, Jonathan Worsley stated: “When we first started AHIC 14 years ago, we were the first event at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. Today, we are the first to hold a conference on the beach here in Ras al Khaimah and we have a record number of delegates this year, which just goes to show that the decision to bring AHIC to Ras Al Khaimah was the right one.”
The theme of this year’s AHIC will be ‘Focus’, and will touch on the focus on business, families, connections, experiences and opportunities.