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Image: Promobot will open HITEC Dubai 2018 this week (photo: Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals)

Intelligent humanoid robot to open event

A hospitality tech event in Dubai is deploying a robot to launch proceedings, in what could be a first for the meetings industry.

An event for hoteliers taking place in Dubai this week has come up with an exciting way to initiate the event, by deploying an intelligent humanoid robot.

The Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference, or HITEC, is described as the world’s largest hospitality technology exhibition and conference brand.

HITEC Dubai 2018 takes place on December 5 and 6 and is co-produced by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals and “deal facilitators” Naseba.

The organisers say it will give Middle East buyers, currently worth over $75 billion, access to global tech solution providers in the hospitality market.

This year’s edition of HITEC Dubai is kicking off with Promobot taking to the stage, something Frank Wolfe, CEO of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals, is looking forward to.

“Hospitality robots are clearly at a tipping point,” he says. “They’re now cost-effective to build, are attaining cultural acceptance and use sophisticated technology to safely live and work among us. We are delighted to have a robot leading the conference at HITEC Dubai.”

Drastic changes
According to a report released by McKinsey & Company, by 2030 around 800 million workers around the world could be replaced by robots. Even if automation adoption is slower than anticipated, as many as 400 million people could still be affected.

However, the World Economic Forum thinks that robots in the workplace could create double the jobs they destroy, making 133 million new jobs over the next decade due to rapid technological advances in the workplace, compared to the 75 million that could be displaced.

“Over the last decade technology has led to drastic transformation in the hospitality sector globally, as well as regionally, which has boosted competitiveness and efficiency in our industry while creating new opportunities,” said Laurent A Voivenel, advisory council chairperson for HITEC Dubai and Swiss-Belhotel International’s senior vice president for operations and development in the Middle East, Africa and India.

“There’s no denying that robots are becoming common helpers in hospitality, showing up in hotels and restaurants around the world – from Japan’s all-robot hotel to other parts of the globe. It’s a growing trend and extremely useful in certain areas, and we are excited to see the new developments in the field at HITEC.”

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