HOTELIER'S 10TH ANNIVERSARY: A decade in motion

Louise Oakley looks back on 10 years of Hotelier Middle East magazine

Louise Oakley
Louise Oakley

In 2003, Hotelier Middle East launched to inform, educate and champion a niche but burgeoning hospitality industry. Ten years on and the growth has been phenomenal.

Hotels in the region are respected on the world tourism stage for setting best practice standards in product, service and innovation. Development is filtering out from Dubai, with markets such as Ras Al Khaimah, Saudi Arabia and Qatar showing huge potential for success.

Visitor numbers to the region grow a staggering amount year-on-year and contrary to the fears expressed now and again, demand continues to outstrip supply, with a wealth of new infrastructure — from airports to attractions — in the planning to support the sector further still.

Hotelier Middle East has been here to track the changes and challenges over the years, from the global recession to the Arab Spring, charting the industry’s recovery even in the most unlikely of circumstances. And as the hotel industry developed and the hotelier community grew, so too did Hotelier, which is now read by more than 30,000 senior professionals across the Middle East.

In 2005, the Hotelier Middle East Awards launched and in the same year Caterer Middle East grew from a supplement of Hotelier into a standalone title — testament to the demands of the region’s dynamic F&B sector.

Three years later, was launched as the world moved online, social media pages followed, but still, the print magazine was sought after month-on-month, requested by CEOs, general managers and executive committee members alike.

Its popularity can in part be attributed to the people-focused nature of the magazine and interaction with the afore-mentioned community, hence the success in 2008 of the first General Manager’s Survey, followed in 2009 by the first Salary Survey, the multitude of monthly roundtables and the prestigious Power 50.

Then, in 2010, we held the first Hotelier Middle East conference, The Great GM Debate, which was soon rolled out to Qatar and Saudi Arabia and is expected to be followed in 2013 with new forums for other senior managers in different hotel professions.

As we move forward into Hotelier’s second decade, this emphasis on people and talent, sharing and learning will become even more important.

In our 2013 forecast on pages 42-45, we reveal the opportunities that abound. But we also asked our experts about the difficulties they expect to face and without exception, finding future talent was one of them.

Understanding generation Y, marketing to different nationalities, recruiting online and looking to entrepreneurs outside of the industry will all have a role to play in overcoming this challenge.

Fortunately, the region is home to many inspirational and loyal leaders, most of whom have graced Hotelier’s pages over the decade. In the years to come, we’re excited to meet the bright, young, up-and-coming hoteliers that will follow in their footsteps.

Louise Oakley, group editor

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