AHIC 2021: Hilton grows Middle East pipeline as market recovers | News

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Hilton will be bringing a major presence to the Arabian & African Hospitality Investment Conference (AHIC) in Dubai this week off the back of a year that has seen it continue to expand its regional pipeline across Middle East and Africa (MEA).

Led by Carlos Khneisser, vice president, development, MEA, the pipeline for the company has grown to 146 hotels and over 35,000 rooms in the region.

The flagship Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand leads the way as the MEA largest pipeline brand by number of rooms according to latest STR data, with the midscale Hilton Garden Inn and upscale DoubleTree by Hilton also featuring in the top five positions.

With a focus on organic growth, pipeline numbers remain robust despite continuing to bring major projects through to opening.

Khneisser commented: “Looking at this year alone, we have several marquee properties that have already opened, including Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, Hilton Salwa Beach as well as LXR Mango House Seychelles.

“The outlook is even more positive in the medium term, and we are firmly on-track with our development plans across the region.

“In the next three to five years, Hilton will double its portfolio in the Middle East and Africa.”

Hilton’s latest new signing in MEA has been confirmed today as DoubleTree by Hilton Douala, which will become its second property in Cameroon.

The 141-guestroom hotel is expected to open in 2023 following a multimillion-dollar renovation of the Douala Rabingha Hotel – carried out in partnership with owners, Société Nouvelle des Cocotiers.

With hundreds of key industry figures gathering for AHIC, the week is set to provide ample opportunity for Hilton is set to offer the development team to speak with owners and investors from across the region to discuss new opportunities.

Key executives have confirmed participation in the three-day event with EMEA president, Simon Vincent, to conduct an on-stage discussion around the importance of culture and purpose to delivering great hospitality.

Speaking ahead of his AHIC session, Vincent added: “As our industry emerges from the greatest challenge we have ever faced and customer confidence continues to rise, we are now in a position where guests are returning to travel with expectations for memorable experiences delivered by passionate hospitality professionals.

“Ensuring that we work with our owners to meet these expectations and retain the best talent is vital as the industry continues its recovery.”