DUBAI, UAE - More than 120 hospitality leaders and tourism experts will address the industry’s hottest topics at the much-anticipated Future Hospitality Summit (FHS), which debuts at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai by bringing together over 900 hospitality investment decision makers from 19 to 21 September.
Featuring a topflight line up of presentations and insight from government leaders, hotel investors, owners and developers, and industry experts, the FHS programme hones in on sustainability, technology, talent, investment, innovation, the continued post-pandemic recovery and more – all under the main event theme of Lead the Change. There’s also a Franchising Workshop, Startup Den, regional-specific sessions that bring Africa and Asia under the spotlight, and the finals of the 2022 Sustainability Hospitality Challenge, a global competition for students to turn their ideas for innovation and sustainability into a reality.
Hosted by Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts and co-organised by The Bench and MEED, FHS unites the investment communities of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC), Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) and African Hospitality Investment Forum (AHIF) under one roof for three days of debate, initiatives and exciting industry announcements to highlight – and celebrate – the key role of the region’s hospitality and tourism sectors.
“We are delighted to welcome the region’s most respected and experienced hospitality figureheads to the FHS programme, which has been carefully crafted to address key focus areas, challenges and trends for the hospitality industry. The investment communities of AHIC, GRIF and AHIF all feature in our action-packed agenda, bringing a wealth of knowledge, expertise and insight to this prestigious event,” said Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of The Bench.
“With a focus on embracing and leading change, FHS brings a wide and diverse range of opportunities for delegates to discuss, contribute and learn, with four incredible stages, eight networking events and an array of award presentations. We look forward to strong debate, breakthrough ideas and exciting news at the region’s flagship hospitality industry platform," he added.
The FHS agenda features more than 40 sessions in a range of formats, including main stage presentations, panel debates, interviews and breakout sessions. There also eight networking sessions, including the FHS opening reception, hosted by Jumeirah, where delegates will be taken on a curated food and beverage journey by the hospitality group’s award-winning chefs, showcasing the Arabian hospitality that Jumeirah is known for.
Day one of the conference (Monday, 19 September) is dedicated to the food and beverage investment scene, with leading members of the GRIF community debating everything from franchising to food delivery.
Speaking ahead of her main stage session addressing the key subject of Embracing Responsible Consumerism, Hilari Voorthuis, Food & Beverage Manager, India, Middle East, Africa & Turkey at Accor, said: “Sustainability is THE hot topic of today’s headlines, and so it should be! Let’s face it, it’s no longer a case of ‘I’m just one person, what difference will it make if I eat that steak?’. Responsible consumerism is a state of mind, and one that may need a bit more of a nudge in the right direction. So how do we influence guests towards more conscious choices? I look forward to opening this topic with the industry minds at FHS Dubai on 19 September. Join me and let’s lead the change”.
Tuesday and Wednesday are all about hotels, resorts and tourism, with 30 sessions addressing pressing industry topics including sustainability, innovation, investment trends, economic issues, procurement and staff recruitment and retention. Taking to the main stage for Mapping out the future of tourism are Issam AbdulRahim Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM) and José Silva, Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group Hotels & Resorts, and there will be a special discussion with industry CEOs, featuring Guy Hutchinson, President and CEO of Rotana; Chris Newman, Executive Director Hotel Development at Neom; Jochem-Jan Sleiffer, President Middle East, Africa & Turkey at Hilton; and Sandeep Walia, COO for Marriott International.
Eng. Abdulla Al Abdooli, CEO of Marjan, who will speak at a session entitled Integrated resorts and their impact on the economy, said: “With the opening of the Wynn RAK integrated resort, it is estimated that the total room nights of demand (RND) would double, positively contributing to the hospitality environment of Ras Al Khaimah. Wynn RAK will have a significant impact on strengthening tourism, creating jobs, and contributing long-term value to the economy. The Future Hospitality Summit provides a platform to share insights on the value that integrated resorts bring to economies by catalysing the tourism and hospitality sector.”
Several items on the FHS agenda cover green issues and sustainability, including sessions on sustainable design, the future of green infrastructure and accelerating sustainable development. Innovation, future technology and procurement also come into focus, with a special session from the Startup Den on the startups transforming the industry, as well as debates on innovations driving the cost challenges of responsible procurement; the challenges of supply chain management; and the future of education in the metaverse.
The continued post-pandemic recovery is also high on the agenda: don’t miss Robin Rossmann, Managing Director, STR’s insightful presentation discussing the worst of times, the best of times – and where to now on day two, which is followed by the session on global development leaders and their attitude to risk on the main stage by Agnès Roquefort, Global Chief Development Officer at Accor, and Elie Younes, Chief Development Officer of Radisson Hotel Group. Ahead of the session Elie Younes commented: “Adversity is the mother of innovation and risk is an integral part of any business. If well managed, it ultimately contributes to unlocking opportunities to its stakeholders.’’ Plus, hear all about the role of hospitality tech in driving operational efficiency post-recovery.
FHS will also acknowledge and celebrate the industry top players with the Lead the Change winner presentation and award ceremony, where the winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award and Young Leader Award will be revealed.