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Tue 28 Sep 2010 04:00 AM

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Hotelier gets out and about

Ramadan is almost over for another year, as are the annual excuses for a lack of meetings, lower occupancy and the tendency to postpone much-needed training, investments and innovations until after Eid.

Hotelier gets out and about

Ramadan is almost over for another year, as are the annual excuses for a lack of meetings, lower occupancy and the tendency to postpone much-needed training, investments and innovations until after Eid. Business is about to pick up again and to help you capitalise on it in a big way, Hotelier Middle East will be holding its first ever conference this month.

The Hotelier Middle East Great GM Debate is an industry first and support for it has been overwhelming, reflecting what a proactive group of hoteliers are heading up the sector in the Middle East. The aim is to educate and inform via a series of workshops that will enable 200 general managers and country managers to debate the issues that matter most to them.

It is also a much-needed opportunity to bring people together to celebrate the roles you perform and the destinations you represent. Three years ago, there were fewer secrets and more networking. The pressures and strains of the job - revealed for all to see in the annual Hotelier Middle East GM Survey - have left less time for casual catch ups, and as we enter the final third of the year, it is time once again to join forces and help promote the hotel business and Middle Eastern destinations, from Dubai to Doha and Bahrain to Beirut.

At the end of last month, a group of eight directors of sales and marketing in Dubai, representing brands such as The Address and Hyatt, met at Kempinski Mall of the Emirates to do just this. Spearheaded by Kempinski's DOSM Nasser Fawzi, it was a first-time event, but hopefully the start of a new trend. It's the best way to keep abreast of great partners, new openings and client demands.

It's not just those at the top of the tree that need to network, however. Over the next couple of months, ITP Business is holding two major events for hoteliers at all levels. First up is the Caterer Middle East Awards on September 27 at Park Hyatt Dubai, the first live event to recognise the top chefs, waiters and kitchen staff in the region's fabulous F&B industry. More than 350 nominations were received.

Then next month, it is the hotly-anticipated Hotelier Middle East Awards, held at Madinat Jumeriah  on October 14 and expected to attract around 600 hoteliers.

As Hotelier was going to press, the nominations deadline was just days away, but already, we have received more than 1000 entrants. Keep your eyes on HotelierMiddleEast.com for the shortlist, and don't hesitate to get in touch to book your ticket.

Louise Oakley is the Group Editor of Hospitality.