Organized by Danube Hospitality Solutions, the Hospitality Summit 2021, a star-studded event which also coincided with the launch of Master Catalogue, successfully concluded on June 1st, brought together thought-leaders, subject matter experts, entrepreneurs, investors, government representatives, and who’s who of the Hospitality Industry to discuss the post-pandemic future, share critical insights, exchange knowledge of the ways to navigate the challenges of the future, and to send a positive message to the international community that the UAE is a safe country and the most preferred tourist destination for international travellers. The dignitaries and panellists termed the Summit 2021 a resounding success and a confidence booster because it successfully drew in the most important people of the hospitality industry at an unprecedented time.
The Hospitality Summit 2021 featured a panel discussion on effectively tackling the challenges of our time and decoding the road ahead for the hospitality sector in this region and the world. During the panel discussions, Mr. Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai Investment Development Agency described the government’s business friendly policies acting as a major catalyst in causing an uptick in new business sign ups in these critical times. He opined that the government’s aggressive vaccination campaign, golden visa policy, 100% business ownership rules, and unrelenting focus on strict adherence to health & safety protocols played a significant role in winning the trust of local businesses and international investors. He further added that the UAE citizenship by investment announced in 2021 “is a big change. It is signalling to international investors and people who live here that this change is part of facilitating the talents, businessmen, families, and everyone else. We are perhaps one of the few places in the world that remained open and acted responsibly on the healthcare front and ran effective vaccination campaigns. We are the most ready country and destination to absorb the next change after COVID.” He shared an interesting anecdote of a Brazilian investor who called his wife and children after moving to Dubai last year and urged them to move to Dubai because he is not coming back.
While answering a question about a recent spike in demand for villas and town houses, Mr. Rizwan Sajan, the charismatic chairman of Danube Group, commended the adroit handling of the COVID crisis by the UAE government which played a vital role in attracting foreign investors to swoop in on the lucrative property market and scoop up properties when the prices are still low. He collectively termed a slew of government policies introduced in the recent times as confidence building measures that won the day for the country. “This,” Mr. Rizwan chimed in, “is only the tip of the ice-burg; I am anticipating a huge boom in the coming years. The real estate prices are going to go up again.” He reasoned that the mortgage rate and the housing prices are at their lowest. This is the right time to invest in buying your own property.
Andy Cuthbert – General Manager-Jumeirah Creekside Hotel & C&I and Jumeirah Hospitality Madinat Jumeirah and Chairman of the Emirates Culinary Guild – threw his weight behind the ability to adapt to the changing times to be the most transformative factor in determining the future survival. Those who are able to adapt quicker are the ones who are going to continue to do better in the future. He added, “you cannot sit and wait. If you will sit and wait for things to get better, you will lose the boat.” He cheerfully sounded a note of positivity when he said, “who would have thought sitting here 12 months on from the start of the pandemic that we would still be sitting in the pandemic, but we are also seeing the change; look at tonight, we have an event, we have a launch, we have a vibrancy amongst the crowd that we wouldn’t have expected 3 or 6 months ago.”
“The more events we do, the more confidence we can build with the consumers plus the international partners we normally work with. That will bring in more people and build up confidence in the lead up to the EXPO. We are in summer. We are looking forward to the EXPO. The government has a vision and private enterprises are following that vision,” Andy Cuthbert.
Sunjeh Raja, Founder, Director and CEO, International Center for Culinary Arts (ICCA Dubai), while with his co-panellists, was quoted as saying that “Dubai is the safest destination in the world because it has inoculated a significant portion of its population.” He expressed his faith in the resilience of the hospitality to bounce back as soon as the international travel picks up some momentum. He said that it is just a matter of time that hospitality will quickly adapt and turn the tide in its favour by doing things differently than it did.
From aspirational concepts to immaculate products, the Danube Group has built a legacy around delivering the exceptional and outstanding. Our experience of 25 years has centered on an unwavering emphasis on earning the trust of our customers – by consistent commitment to enhancing the quality of their lives. The journey began with Danube Building Materials FZCO, now the region’s premier building materials supplier and a partner of choice in the prestigious Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa, Grand Hyatt, Shangri La Hotel and Dubai International Airport projects, among others. Since its origins in 1993, the Danube Group has diversified into several exciting avenues, to indulge our passion for excellence.
The Danube Group’s foray into addressing the needs of hospitality businesses was conceived as a response to the industry’s search for a comprehensive and consistently excellent product range, from a single dependable source, this was when Danube Hospitality was conceived.