Laurent A. Voivenel, CEO of HMH – Hospitality Management Holdings has been featured in the The Business Year: Sharjah 2015. The prestigious annual publication, brought out in partnership with the Government of Sharjah, was launched today by His Excellency Sultan Abdullah bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman of the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD).
Laurent A. Voivenel-CEO HMH
Commenting on growing demand for hotel rooms in Sharjah, Laurent said, “Having been an early entrant in the hospitality sector in Sharjah with the city’s most successful hotel Coral Beach Resort Shajah as well as having begun our company operations at this flagship property in Sharjah, we at HMH have a very strong commitment to the destination. We are, therefore, very eager to expand our footprint in Sharjah and take advantage of the upcoming opportunities.
Speaking on medium to long-term outlook for the hospitality sector of Sharjah in particular, and the UAE in general, Laurent stated, “I see a great future for Sharjah. Medium to long-term outlook for the hospitality sector of Sharjah in particular, and the UAE in general, is quite promising. According to industry sources, Sharjah is building on its own cultural foundation to present a series of unique individual products that, together with Dubai and Abu Dhabi, will position the country as a cohesive hospitality hub, with varied appeal”.
Laurent added, “Demand for hotel rooms in Sharjah is expected to grow at a rate of 6.2% between now and 2016. Despite new project announcements, demand is expected to outpace supply in the short to medium term. However, like the rest of the region, there is a lack of budget hotels in Shajah. Also, specifically, there is a tremendous opportunity to customise hospitality offerings to meet the needs of the large number of GCC families and visitors. Already the second-largest demographic of tourists to Sharjah, this important segment is underserved”.
Looking longer term at the UAE, a recent Dubai Chamber study, supported by statistics published by Business Monitor International, puts UAE tourism sector growth at 6.7% per annum between 2011-2021, with visitors from the Middle East, Europe and Asia Pacific the key source markets. Tourist arrivals in the UAE are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 5.3% between 2012 and 2022.
Laurent A. Voivenel took over as the CEO of HMH in 2013 and holds 30 years of outstanding hotel management experience with some of the world’s leading and most prestigious international hospitality brands. He has been associated with hotel chains such as Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Hilton Hotels and Resorts that took him to some of the most fascinating and challenging destinations across Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. During the course of his postings, he demonstrated superb management and leadership skills in varied senior positions overseeing strategic planning, business development, operations, financial and analytical processes, owner relations, brand conversion, and communication.