Arabian Hotel Investment Conference’s (AHIC) has launched an initiative to celebrate the young, homegrown talent working within the region’s hospitality industry.


Created in collaboration with the AHIC Advisory Board and Partners, the first Arabian Young Leader Award is open to GCC Nationals aged 30 years and younger that have been working in the Middle East hospitality sector for at least two years.

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Nominations are now open, with the winning nominee set to receive a full three-day access pass to AHIC and enrollment onto the Executive Certificate programme provided by  The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management.

Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events and Founder of AHIC, said: “The Arabian Young Leader Award provides a great opportunity to nurture our future leaders and showcase young talent and ideas. The development of the next generation of hoteliers is critical to the future growth of the hospitality industry.”

The Arabian Young Leader Award has been launched following the success of the first Saudi Arabia Hotel Investment Conference (SHIC) Young Leader Award, which took place at the Saudi Hotel Investment Conference in January and was open to Saudi Nationals aged 30 years and younger.

Yasmin Al Sanea, human resources manager at the Intercontinental Al Jubail, won the SHIC Young Leader Award and was commended by the high profile judges for her exceptional achievements so early in her career.

Speaking about the launch of the initiative, Dr. Scott Richardson, executive dean of the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, said: “The importance of attracting and nurturing young talent in one of the region’s most dynamic sectors cannot be underestimated.

“For young people to be successful within the industry, it’s not just about knowledge, but the ability to lead, innovate and share their passion for hospitality,” he added.

Nominations for the Arabian Young Leader Award are now open and and will close on March 18. The winner will be announced at a special ceremony during the 15th edition of AHIC, which takes place on 9-11 April at the AHIC Village in Ras Al Khaimah.