The 19th edition of the Hotel Show Dubai and the Leisure Show concluded on a positive note after welcoming over 30,200 visitors and hosting 750 exhibitors over three days at Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC). These editions of the Shows were co-located with INDEX and FIM.
Event director, Gary Williams said: “This has been an impressive year for the Show. Visitors have shared positive feedback about the lineup of exhibitors as well as the exciting live events that were on the agenda. Companies that exhibited this year indicated that the quality of networking and business conducted has been remarkable. The feedback about the Leadership Forum which featured global and local industry leaders has also been top class. Overall, the Show was a stellar platform for renewing old contacts, making new acquaintances, knowledge sharing, and a celebration of the industry’s leading properties, people and projects. I am excited about commencing work on the 20th edition of the Hotel Show which will take place in September 2019 as a core part of the ‘Middle East Design and Hospitality Week’ a collection of 7 co-located shows that will be spread across the whole of DWTC servicing the needs of the industry”.
According to data compiled by Ventures, the UAE’s hospitality market is expected to reach USD 7.6 billion by 2022. With this in sight, the rise of technology in the region’s hospitality sector was a key topic of discussion among experts who attended the show as well as speakers at the Middle East Hospitality Leadership Forum.
Olivier Harnish, CEO of Emaar Hospitality Group explained that technology helps in improving productivity, and offering a seamless experience to guests. He added: “I believe that hospitality is defined by humans. There will be niche products that are high on technology and low on human interaction, but this will not be the bulk of hospitality going forward. TripAdvisor, for example, is a great indicator of how relevant human interaction is in the industry. Two-thirds of the reviews mention a person, which shows that the key difference in the hotel experience is made by people”.
Commenting on equal opportunities for women in the region’s hospitality sector, Harnisch said: “That is certainly the way forward for the industry which is precisely why 50 percent of the Group’s dedicated Expo 2020 team is comprised of women.”
Nayla Chowdhury, GM of Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport, and the first female GM within Hilton Group in the region, concurred by saying: “I have been a hotelier for over 20 years and it is fully possible for women to progress in this industry. Women in this sector can have a family as well as a successful career as long as you figure out how to balance both. And trust me, most women are able to strike that balance”.
Speaking on regional and cultural relevance, she said: “When you are launching a brand here, look at ways to bring in something that will hint at the regional culture”.
Danish Design Guru, Johannes Thorpe insisted on ‘authenticity’ being key for the region’s hospitality design sector to mature during his session on Hospitality Design Trends at the Leadership Forum.Add to Favorites