Investing in change with FHS Saudi Arabia

Investing in change with FHS Saudi Arabia

Bringing together government leaders, hotel investors, owners, developers, and operators at what is set to be the biggest Future Hospitality Summit (FHS) to date, FHS Saudi Arabia will take place from May 7-9 at the Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh. Launched in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s G20 Secretariat in 2020, this edition marks the sixth edition of FHS Saudi Arabia.

This year’s conference theme, “Invest in Change,” highlights the importance of the positive change that can be brought forward through investment in time, intellect, and expertise in the hospitality industry to shape the future of the industry for the better. The three-day conference agenda will include tracks from the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) and will have a strong focus on sustainability, innovation, startups, and human capital development. “Delegates will have over 50 opportunities to network, learn, and discuss, with sessions that range in format from main stage presentations, ‘hard talk’ interviews, and panel discussions to case studies, culinary tours, and dedicated networking time,” added Worsley.

The first day is dedicated to the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) focused on F&B investment and development in the Kingdom and beyond. This will include GRIF’s signature Culinary Tours featuring LPM, The Brasserie, Mamo Michelangelo, Meraki and Yauatcha in Riyadh. The main FHS program will kick off with the opening reception hosted by Al Khozama in the evening of Sunday. The official opening of the 2023 edition of FHS Saudi Arabia will take place on Monday, May 8, with welcome remarks by His Highness Prince Bandar bin Saud bin Khalid Al Saud, Secretary General of the King Faisal Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al Khozama.

Plenary sessions on May 8 will cover various topics, such as the evolution of the Saudi hospitality sector with a market snapshot in the FHS Intelligence Den, a panel discussion on the reinvention of hospitality space, a panel on the use of immersive technologies such as AI and the metaverse, the business of luxury and wellness in a changing world and a panel discussion on the main theme of the conference where industry leaders will share their insights on how they are investing in change. Ian Wilson, regional director of Hospitality for THE LINE, NEOM, will be participating in the panel on the reinvention of commercial spaces and how the hotel, retail and F&B sectors are merging to provide more value to customers.

Furthermore, there will be on-stage interviews, including one between Glenn Mandziuk, CEO of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance. Moreover, industry leaders, such as Aseel Bondagjy, hotel talent development lead at NEOM, and Mae Al Mozaini, founder and CEO of The Arab Institute for Women’s Empowerment-Nusf, will participate in a panel discussion on motivating the next generation of employees, education, talent acquisition sources, and two case studies covering lifestyle funds in the kingdom and public-private sector collaboration for enabling Vision 2030 in Saudi Arabia.

FHS Saudi Arabia will end with a visit to Diriyah Gate. “Battle of the Brands,” a new addition to FHS Saudi Arabia, will be judged by a panel of judges and a unique opportunity for hotel operators and entrepreneurs to present their new brands to the Saudi market.

This year, start-ups will have a chance to pitch their business to industry delegates in Saudi Arabia, following the success of the Start-Up Den at FHS in Dubai last September. Prizes include incubation through STA providing workplaces within the Saudi hospitality industry.


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Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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