Saudi’s Future Hospitality Summit reveals new format and key themes

Saudi’s Future Hospitality Summit reveals new format and key themes

This year’s FHS will bring hospitality, restaurant and aviation stakeholders together under one roof

The Future Hospitality Summit (FHS) will return to Saudi Arabia in a new format from 24 to 25 May 2022 at the Riyadh Airport Marriott Hotel.

Under the theme Reimagined Horizons, co-organisers The Bench and MEED, along with Saudi-based organiser SEMARK, have designed the programme around the key themes of the future of hotel development, destination impact, aviation, sustainability, restaurant investment and human capital.

The Bench chairman Jonathan Worsley said: “We’re thrilled to bring three investment communities under one roof at FHS Saudi Arabia this year; Saudi Hospitality Investment Conference (SHIC), Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) and AVIADEV (Aviation Development Hub) which are all represented in our action-packed programme in Riyadh later this month.

“Our focus will be on the future of our industry and delegates will have over 40 opportunities to deliberate, learn and network over two exciting days. With a range of different formats from main stage presentations, workshops and panel discussions to interviews, break-out sessions and networking opportunities, we look forward to facilitating ground-breaking conversations on what’s next for the hospitality industry.” 

Several of the FHS dialogues will focus on the economic outlook, destination development pipeline and the investment climate, including presentations from Pat Thaker at The Economist Intelligence Unit and Robin Rossmann from STR.

In addition, HVS President Middle East, Africa and South Asia Hala Matar Choufany will be leading the conversation on the future of hospitality investment in Saudi Arabia with Muhammed Al Amir, CEO from AIMS Hospitality; Saleh Bin Habdan Alhabdan, CEO of Taiba Investments Company; Guy Hutchinson, President & CEO of Rotana Hotel Management Corporation and Dr. Adel Ezzat, CEO of Elaf Hotels.

Choufany said: “Travel and hotel demand will continue to grow as new destinations emerge and unique schemes are developed. It is clear from the robust planning and Vision 2030 that KSA will emerge as a key player in the regional leisure segment, in addition to capitalising on growing domestic demand and established religious travel. Success will largely depend on maintaining a healthy supply and demand equilibrium, a sustainable execution strategy, and as importantly, the equilibrium and partnership between the private and public sector.”

The programme will also include a broader panel on the future of hospitality in a dynamic market, moderated by Nick van Marken, managing director at van Marken Limited with contributions from some of the leading hotel groups operating in the Kingdom including CEOs from Dur Hospitality, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Hilton and Accor.


Radisson Hotel Group chief executive Federico J González will have a main stage conversation on the topic of staffing shortages, the challenge of innovation and human capital with Connecting Travel editorial director Sarah Hedley Hymers. 

González said: “I am very much looking forward to my discussion with Sarah at the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh. We believe in the strong recovery and growth of our industry and our company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and in the world. The future of hospitality is an ongoing journey that needs to be relevant to our owners, guests, shareholders and employees.  In our ever-changing world, we are continuing to find ways to adapt, change, and bring forth innovation and sustainability in everything we do, as we establish ourselves as the company of choice for our partners, guests, and team members alike.”

FHS will also feature a series of breakouts covering a range of topics, including the future of hotel asset management, the future of loyalty schemes, transparency and brand loyalty and why sustainability is key for the future of the hospitality industry.

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