Laurent A. Voivenel, CEO of HMH – Hospitality Management Holdings, was among the key speakers yesterday at Hospitality Expansion Middle East Summit. Addressing the delegates, he spoke on the significance of 2020 for the hospitality industry in the UAE and beyond.
Highlighting the need for more mid-market hotels, Laurent stated, “If Dubai is to draw 20 million visitors annually by 2020 it will need to diversify its hospitality offering in order to widen its appeal to growing middle class worldwide. So there is an urgency to accelerate the development of mid-market hotels in order to reach the right mix of accommodation available in the market. Investors must broaden their horizon and consider budget hotels like ECOS Hotels as the hotel market gets stronger. It is fast growing and highly competitive segment that will reap rich dividends.”
Listing factors that could either accelerate or derail bringing properties to market, Laurent said, “Returns on investment in the current ‘landscape’ are under pressure due to high land prices and rising construction costs. Land in prime locations is very expensive. This could potentially slowdown the development of hotels”.
However, addressing concerns about over supply of rooms in the UAE, Laurent commented, “The market in absolute terms will continue to grow from both supply and demand perspective. If all rooms in planning were to reach completion, in the short term, supply growth is likely to outpace demand growth. However, in general terms we are bullish about the market as a whole and its prospects beyond 2020. Dubai needs to position itself as a quality value-for-money destination offering both the ultimate in luxury as well as budget hotels and Dubai Expo 2020 is the ideal platform to do so. It is a great opportunity to showcase to the entire world the very best of what the emirate has to offer in terms of hospitality, tourism attractions, infrastructure and technology, therefore, all of us in the industry must deliver on our promises.”
So what is it that industry and destination should be looking at to boost demand beyond 2020? Answering the question, Laurent stressed, “Dubai has developed very well over the last two decades and has multiple demand drivers that has positioned it as a leading leisure and business destination globally. Looking ahead it is only getting better with the city adding more new attractions such as branded theme parks and shopping malls, etc. Massive expansion of airlines including extraordinary growth of low cost carriers has opened new routes and markets thus bringing in more mid-market travellers. Therefore, Dubai will continue to hold strong beyond 2020.”
Founded in 2003 in Dubai, HMH – Hospitality Management Holdings is a fully-integrated hotel management company that prides itself on being the first hotel chain in the Middle East to offer alcohol-free safe environment. It provides hotel owners and developers a broad spectrum of comprehensive management solutions with five distinct, yet complementary, hotel brands catering to varied market segments from budget to luxury. These include The Ajman Palace Hotel, Coral Hotels & Resorts, Corp Hotels, EWA Hotel Apartments and ECOS Hotels. Through its dynamic operation and strategic expansion in the Middle East and North Africa, HMH has been successful in unlocking a world of opportunities while creating value for its stakeholders, associates, staff members and customers. Its existing portfolio features superb properties located in some of the most desirable destinations across the MENA region, as well as a healthy pipeline of hotels under development.
For more information about HMH please visit http://www.hmhhotelgroup.com