ITIC Investment Summit


Theme: The Middle East as a major financial hub for global tourism investments

The Middle East has become a reference financial hub for tourism investments due to its comprehensive financial services with innovative and cost-effective FinTech as well as venture capital environments. This ecosystem is supported by a diverse pool of talents and a strong regulatory framework, building a high level of trust.

The region facilitates access to finance on favourable terms. In addition, it offers appropriate financial instruments to raise capital for tourism projects and agile financing modalities through investment loans or shared ownership.

9 May 2022


Venue: ATM Global Stage

13:15 – 14:15 What is driving investments in Travel and Tourism sector?

Tourism destinations in the Middle East are widening their appeal, extending their offerings from luxury hotels to the mid-market segment and as these countries aim at increasing tourist arrivals, a package of incentives has been elaborated to attract FDI.

Moderator:  Sameer Hashmi, Middle East Business Correspondent, BBC News


  • HE Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs & Chairman of Emirates Tourism Council, UAE
  • H.E Nayef Al Fayez, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan
  • Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica
  • Hon. Philda Nani Kereng, Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Botswana 

Ministers of Tourism will gather on Monday 9th May 2022 at Dubai World Trade Centre ATM Global Stage to discuss on ‘What is driving investments in the Travel and Tourism sector’ during the ITIC-ATM Ministerial Roundtable.

The Ministerial Roundtable will not only shed light on the investment opportunities in that part of the world but also unveil the new flexible modes of financing as well as the latest models of funding of tourism projects in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreover, the Middle East is increasingly being used by investors and financiers from all over the world to raise or channel capital in order to support project developers in the hospitality industry, contributing to turn their ideas into reality, bring the final touch or recapitalise their undertakings.

It will also be held at a critical moment when several Middle East countries such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are diversifying their oil-dominated economies through tourism as a sustainable future engine of growth. 

10 May 2022 – Tourism Investment Summit

Master of Ceremony: Amjaad Al Salmi, Founder and CEO, Amjaad Public Relations

Venue: ATM Global Stage

14:00-14:10 Welcome Notes

  • Dr. Taleb Rifai, Chairman ITIC and Former Secretary General UNWTO
  • Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director – Middle East, RX

14:10 -14:30 Global Economic Outlook 2022

  • Scott Livermore, Chief Economist, Oxford Economics

14:30 -14:45 Reenergizing air connectivity to support tourism growth in the Middle East

A conversation with Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO flydubai and Sameer Hashmi, Middle East Business Correspondent, BBC News

14:45-15:30 Panel Discussion

How the Middle East is reinventing the financing of future tourism projects?

The Middle East facilitates access to finance on favourable terms. In addition, the region offers appropriate financial instruments to raise capital for tourism projects and agile financing modalities through investment loans or shared ownership. 

Moderator: Gerald Lawless, Director ITIC and Ambassador WTTC


  • Sandeep Walia, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East, Marriott International
  • Badr Alherbish, Executive Director of Strategy Tourism Development Fund, Saudi Arabia
  • Laurent A. Voivenel, Senior Vice President, Operations & Development, Middle East, Africa & India, Swiss-Belhotel International
  • Dinky Puri, Founding Partner, Eaglewing Group

15:30-16:00 Panel Discussion

The economic integration of women through the tourism industry

Tourism can contribute in a decisive manner to achieving gender equality and empower women for their economic and inclusive development. What effective strategies and interventions can be rolled out to further engage women in the tourism’s labour force and go beyond traditional sociocultural barriers?

Moderator: Elizabeth Maclean, Co-Managing Director, Herdwick Communications


  • Khadija Mohammad Turki, Acting Director General, Ajman Tourism Development Department
  • Marloes Knippenberg, CEO, Kerten Hospitality
  • Aradhana Khowala, CEO Aptamind Partners
  • Maryam Toorani, Director of Marketing & Promotion, Bahrain Tourism & Exhibitions Authority

16:00-16:30 Destination Focus – Investment Opportunities

  • Win Wynn in Ras Al Khaimah
  • Alison Grinnell, CEO, RAK Hospitality Holding LLC
  • Abdulla AL Abdouli, Chief Executive Officer, Marjan

16:30-16:45 Presentations of Tourism Projects Financing

  • 16:30-16:35 - John Sage, Founder & CEO of Accessible Travel Solutions (Virtual)
  • 16:35-16:40 - Guillaume Pellerin, CEO Wild World (virtual)
  • 16:40-16:45 - Mark Abraham, Founder & CEO, Shackle

16:45 -17:15 Conversation

Unlocking new modes of bookings and payments in the travel and tourism industry

The conversation will discuss the changing behaviour and decision-making process of international travellers, their new modes of purchasing travel and tourism products and services arising from the blockchain revolution, pervasive digital banking, Fintech and the growing usage of NFT and cryptocurrencies whilst keeping the global network trusted, protected and secured.                      

  • A conversation between Dirk Van Loggerenberg, CEO of Dale Capital Group,
  • Dr Kamlen Pillay, CEO UWell and Yariv Fisher, Chairman of Flyeast GRP

17:15 -17:55 Panel Discussion

Enhancing tourism resilience to mitigate the impact of future crises and improved financing through better preparedness

Destinations must have high levels of preparedness to reduce the impact of future catastrophes and enable effective operational responses through awareness, education and warning systems especially as areas are increasingly prone to calamities due to climate change. The overall paradigm shift will ultimately lead to better financing possibilities for the tourism industry

Moderator: Sameer Hashmi, Middle East Business Correspondent, BBC News


  • H.E Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica and Co-chair GTRCMC
  • Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports
  • Haitham Mattar, Managing Director, India, Middle East & Africa, IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Taleb Rifai, Chairman ITIC and Former Secretary-General, UNWTO

17:55-18:00 Closing Dr. Taleb Rifai, Gerald Lawless & Ibrahim Ayoub

11 May 2022


On 11 May, project tourism owners and developers will be able to showcase their tourism projects to investors and members of the ITIC team in private deal rooms. The ITIC team invites tourism projects owners or developers who are looking for investment to submit their projects so that ITIC can screen them in the Deal Room to be set up at ATM. Project Developers in quest of investment can fill in the form by clicking this link.

The ITIC team will provide actionable advice to Project Developers, striking mutually beneficial agreements and channelling investments into their projects. ITIC will also to ensure that your project integrates the best environmental, social and good governance practices. We will then actively interface with investors and fund managers to turn your tourism project into reality. 

Register now

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