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HMH CEO LAURENT A. VOIVENEL CHAIRS 2ND ANNUAL RESORT DEVELOPMENT & HOSPITALITY CONFERENCE

8 Feb 2015

The 2nd Annual Resort Development & Hospitality Conference, organized by Marcus Evans Event, began today in Dubai with an opening speech by Laurent A. Voivenel, CEO of HMH - Hospitality Management Holdings. The two day conference is being attended by the MENA region's most influential hotel operators, developers and real estate leaders. As chairperson of the conference Laurent presided over the various sessions as well as participated in a panel discussion on 'Enhancing the Owner-Operator Relationship in Building an Empire of Hospitality Properties'.

Addressing the delegates, Laurent highlighted the significance of the MENA region for the hospitality and tourism industry.He said, "There is no question, it is one of the fastest growing tourism and hotel markets in the world.According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the Middle East was visited by 52 million international visitors in 2013. Travel is forecast to grow strongly over the next 10 years and the region will see robust demand for accommodation.The six key cities in the region - Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Muscat and Riyadh represent over 124,000 hotel rooms in development pipelinewithmost of this new supply only added in recent years. We all want to capitalize on the opportunity presented by Dubai Expo 2020 and Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 as the cities headat breakneck speed into the future.

"In Qatar 45000 new rooms are required to meet FIFA World Cup demand while in Dubai, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) estimates a need for 80,000 new rooms by 2020.Therefore, Multi-billion worth of projects are being rolled out to meet this demand and all this is reshaping the MENA hotel sector. Being in Dubai we are all living the excitement,the dream..."

However, Laurent cautioned, "With this massive opportunity are linked challenges too that we all need to overcome collectively as an industryif we are to deliver on our goals. There are many pressing questions on the table that demand careful and calculated response.Most importantly developers are facing the challenge of convincing investors about the viability and return on investments (ROI) on projects.Given the big potential for growth in the mid-market segment, budget hotels have emerged as the greatest business opportunity as there is considerable shortage of affordable accommodation and not enough supply".

Laurent stressed, "At HMH we are eager to penetrate this segment with ECOS Hotels that is a 'no frills' B & B brand tying together a unique economical and ecological concept. It is a smart choice for investors offering strong investment opportunity because of lower construction and operating costs and quick and high return on investment.For those of you who do not know, HMH is a pioneer in alcohol-free segment being the first hotel chain in the Middle East to have launched the concept in 2003. This places us in a very unique position as over the years we have gathered an amazing experience both in terms of operations and market intelligence in the dry as well as mid-market segment".

Laurent added, "It is no secret the global economic landscape is changing quickly. New breed of customers, increasing competition and technology are some of the factors transforming the conventional hotel business model. And hotels need to adapt to these changes to remain successful.

One of our greatest strengths at HMH is the adoption and integration of latest technology into every aspect of our business from management to operation. We have invested heavily into technology that places us at par with top international brands and enables us to optimize our performance to deliver superior results".

About HMH

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 fabulous 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 https://www.hmhhotelgroup.com

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