CAR­LOS KHNEISSER VP OF DE­VEL­OP­MENT FOR HIL­TON IN MENA & TUR­KEY GIVES HIS THOUGHTS ON WHY AHIC IS AN EVENT NOT TO BE MISSED

HotelNews Middle East - - Ahic Preview -

This year AHIC is be­ing hosted for the very first time in Ras al Khaimah. This is a des­ti­na­tion Hil­ton has pi­o­neered and we’re proud to be wel­com­ing guests to our mag­nif­i­cent Wal­dorf As­to­ria Ras al Khaimah for the event. Hav­ing the event in Ras al Khaimah is a re­minder of the im­por­tance of a for­ward look­ing mind­set when it comes to ho­tel de­vel­op­ment. Of­ten when we think about in­no­va­tion what comes to mind is tech­nol­ogy but as de­vel­op­ers and in­vestors it is im­por­tant we keep an open, in­no­va­tive ap­proach to the in­dus­try and strive to iden­tify new lo­ca­tions that have op­por­tu­ni­ties for growth. That is some­thing we have done suc­cess­fully in Ras al Khaimah and that we’re now look­ing to ex­tend by bring­ing a mid-mar­ket propo­si­tion to the Emi­rate with our newly opened Hil­ton Gar­den Inn and soon to open Hamp­ton by Hil­ton.

These brands are still where we see the great­est op­por­tu­nity for the re­gion and in par­tic­u­lar mar­kets such as Dubai, Jed­dah and Makkah where up­scale and lux­ury is firmly es­tab­lished.

This is some­thing that, as our mid­mar­ket ho­tels open and be­gin to drive mar­ket pre­mi­ums, own­ers are re­al­is­ing as well and com­ing to us ask­ing for more. Aside from look­ing for op­er­a­tors who will max­imise re­turns, own­ers are in­creas­ingly want­ing to be­come in­volved in their in­vest­ments and this means they value brands that can of­fer flex­i­bil­ity.

Brands like Dou­bletree by Hil­ton and our Cu­rio Col­lec­tion are less bound by brand stan­dards and guide­lines, mean­ing that an owner can de­velop a ho­tel with us that still avails of our com­mer­cial plat­forms (and 70m+ Hil­ton Hon­ors guests) but is still able to re­tain its own unique iden­tity and brand­ing.

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