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ME to see $3.63tr in investment

The Middle East will see $3.63tr in investment in travel and tourism by 2020, said Gerald Lawless, Executive Chairman of Jumeirah Group. Speaking to attendees at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference in Dubai, Lawless added that by the same year the region will also have built 850 new hotels, added 750,000 more rooms, and developed the capacity for an extra 320 million airline passengers. One of the biggest challenges of dealing with all that growth will be finding qualified staff, and the industry should seek to address this need by training locals in each country. Guests like to see local people working at hotels because it provides a more authentic feel, he said, but more needs to be done to educate and train the local workforce to give them the skills they need.