Hospitality summit will be sixth organised by The Bench for the Saudi market
The largest Future Hospitality Summit to date is set to bring together government leaders, hotel investors, owners, developers and operators at the Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh from 7-9 May.
Launched in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s G20 Secretariat in 2020, FHS Saudi Arabia is a hospitality investment conference targeted at industry leaders and senior decision-makers in the hospitality industry of Saudi Arabia and beyond.
This year’s conference theme, ‘Invest in Change’, aims to highlight “the importance of the positive change that can be brought forward through the investment in time, intellect and expertise in the hospitality industry to keep up with changing times and trends to better shape the future of the industry”.
Jonathan Worsley, chairman of event organiser The Bench, said: “We are thrilled to be back in Riyadh in May following the overwhelming success of our sold-out 2022 edition, and we’re delighted to be in a new and larger venue this year thanks to our host sponsors Al Khozama Investment Company and Al Faisaliah Hotel.
“The demand for our hospitality events in Saudi Arabia continues to grow and with the Kingdom named as the fastest expanding tourism industry within the G20 countries in the UNWTO Tourism Barometer, there will be so much to share about tourism and hospitality investment and development at FHS Saudi Arabia this year.”
The three-day conference agenda will include tracks from the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) and will have a strong focus on sustainability, innovation, start-ups and human capital development.
The official opening of the 2023 edition of FHS Saudi Arabia will take place on Monday 8 May 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.
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 programme will kick off with the opening reception hosted by Al Khozama on Sunday evening.
Sessions at the event will cover a variety of topics including 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 and a panel on the use of immersive technologies such as AI and the metaverse, as well as 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 insight on how they are investing in change.
There will also be several on-stage interviews including a conversation between Glenn Mandziuk, CEO of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, and CNN’s senior reporter for Business Arabic, Widad Taleb, about the hospitality industry’s response to climate change, and a CEO Discussion on Real Estate Development and Hospitality Masterplans with Chris Lund, executive director, head of Hospitality & Tourism MENA region at Colliers.
A Hard Talk session on the return of Chinese outbound travellers and their influence on the future of tourism will feature Winnie Chiu JP, president and executive director, Dorsett Hospitality International, executive director of the Far East Consortium and chairman of Agora Hospitality Group, and Oliver Bonke, CEO & chairman of the board of management of Deutsche Hospitality.
The final day of FHS Saudi Arabia will focus on the future of hotel investment and development. Topics will include attracting investment in the hospitality industry to accelerate growth and fuel a sustainable future; destination and hotel development in Saudi Arabia; the evolution of investing in holistic hospitality and activating innovation; acceleration and investment and urbanisation, and the development of new cities.
In addition, there will be a panel discussion with industry leaders, including Aseel Bondagjy, hotel talent development lead at NEOM, and Mae Al Mozaini, founder & CEO of The Arab Institute for Women’s Empowerment-Nusf, on how to motivate the next generation of employees, where to educate them, and the sources of talent acquisition, as well as two on stage case studies that will cover lifestyle funds in the kingdom and how the public and private sector are working together to enable Vision 2030 in Saudi Arabia.
FHS Saudi Arabia will conclude with a visit to Diriyah Gate, a seven sq km mixed-use historic, culture and lifestyle destination, which is slated to become the Kingdom’s historic and cultural heart.
New to this year’s programme will be Battle of the Brands, an opportunity for hotel operators and entrepreneurs to present their new brands to the Saudi market, and the Start Up Den where entrepreneurs pitch their business model to a senior panel of judges and investors.
For more information, visit www.futurehospitalitysummit.com
To register for FHS Saudi Arabia, visit www.fhs.marcomevent.net
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