First Serviced Apartment Summit MEA a resounding success

George Sell By George Sell
28 October 2015 | Updated 29 October 2015

UAE: More than 150 international delegates attended the first Serviced Apartment Summit MEA in Dubai this week.

Held at the Fairmont The Palm, the event attracted delegates from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman, Kenya, Nigeria, Thailand, France, Ireland, the UK, and Montenegro.

The first day of the Summit included tours of branded residences on Dubai's Palm, including properties at Anantara and Fairmont The Palm. The latter was then the venue for a drinks reception and speed business card swap.

Day two kicked off with a welcome from host Piers Brown and Joe Sita, CEO of sponsor IFA HI. Fillipo Sona of Colliers gave a serviced apartment "masterclass", outlining the variations of the product available in the MEA region, the local market variations and how they are performing. STR Global's Philip Wooller then added more detail to the performance figures and examined the region's pipeline.

A full day's agenda followed with panel sessions including many of the region's industry leaders, and covering topics such as investment, operations, branding, legal issues, and local and international demand.

One of the highlights of the event was the announcement by Nabil Nazer, CIO of Al Sulaiman Group, that it has signed a management and franchise agreement with Aparthotels Adagio for a property in Jeddah.

The event had a palpable buzz, with networking sessions all very busy and many delegates commenting that the conference was a much needed addition to the MEA hospitality and real estate scene. The consensus among speakers and delegates alike was that serviced apartments have a bright future in the region, and that the already significant development pipeline is likley to grow considerably over the next five years.

Speaker presentations from the conference can be downloaded here.

Delegate feedback

An excellent Summit with valuable insights and great networking opportunities."
Nabil Nazer, CIO, Al Sulaiman Group

"Very interactive."
Mayuri Ghagada, senior sales executive, Assa Abloy Hospitality

"A great first event of its kind in the Middle East. Excellent content and overall quality of speakers."
Anthony Liddiard, group director of projects, JA Hotels & Resorts

"Some of the biggest names in the industry, sharing invaluable knowledge at a stunning venue."
David Thompson, editor, Hotelier Express

"The organisation was great. Speakers were experienced and informative. It's a great opportunity to be part of the Summit, and we will be part of it in the coming years."
George Rahal, business development manager, Wyndham/RCI

"A must attend conference."
Raphael Mwito, business development manager, Britam Properties

"An excellent meeting and wonderful knowledge exchange."
Robert Kioko, director, Unlimited Direction Kenya

"You have arrived in the Middle East! Great content and extremely well attended." Shafi Syed, VP Hotel development and acquisitions, Trump Hotels

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