Abu Dhabi’s iconic Emirates Palace is preparing to host the world’s biggest sporting stars this week when it holds the 2010 Laureus World Sports Awards.
Hollywood legend, Kevin Spacey, will anchor the annual awards ceremony, with guests that include Franz Beckenbauer, Jenson Button, Fabio Capello, Boris Becker, Tony Hawk and Brian Lara.
The event will be broadcast from the landmark hotel to a worldwide TV audience in 180 countries.
Celebrating sporting achievements from 2009, the awards offer stars of the sporting world a chance come together to salute the finest sportsmen and sportswomen of the year. It also provides Emirates Palace will another opportunity to forge its reputation as a world-class international sporting venue.
Among those nominated for awards are Jamaica’s “golden son”, sprinter Usain Bolt for his brilliant achievements at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin last summer, when he broke both 100m and 200m world records.
World number one tennis player Roger Federer is also a hot favourite, and has won on four previous occasions (2005-2008). Barcelona striker Lionel Messi is also a front runner.
The winners are chosen by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time
Emirates Palace general manager Hans Olbertz said: “The hotel’s sponsorship of award-giving ceremony of the 2010 Laureus World Sports Awards demonstrates its commitment to advancing and supporting sports and cultural events as part of its efforts to promote Abu Dhabi as a world destination for major sports championships,”
“It’s a great honour to us in the Emirates Palace to support such a prominent international sporting event which lines up an elite role call of legends, stars and celebrities of sports competing for the prestigious title of one of the world’s top events in the international sports calendar,” he added.
The event comes in the same week as Emirates Palace plays host to another world-class sporting event, the start of the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon (ADIT). The inaugural $250,000 race will attract 1,000 triathletes, including the world’s top 40 professionals, who will tackle the gruelling 223kms ‘pure power’ course.
Usain Bolt scoops last year’s Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award
Emirates Palace is currently riding the crest of a wave. In November it was voted “World’s Leading Conference Hotel” at the World Travel Awards Grand Final in London. This victory followed the hotel picked up five prestigious awards at the World Travel Awards Middle East Ceremony, including “Middle East Leading Conference Resort”, “Abu Dhabi Leading Conference Hotel”, “Abu Dhabi Leading Hotel and Abu Dhabi Leading Resort”.
Hailed as “the Oscars of the Travel Industry”, The World Travel Awards is the most prestigious and comprehensive awards programme for the travel industry.
On collecting the awards, Hans Olbertz said: “We are extremely delighted to have been honoured and recognised among the best of best leaders of the world travel, tourism and hospitality industry by such reputed organisations and publications”.
Hans Olbertz, General Manager, and Mr. Salem Al Muhairi celebrate the Emirates Palace victory with Miss World at last year’s World Travel Awards
“These prestigious honours will, no doubt, further entrench our high profile stature in the industry ....they serve as a vote of confidence on our top world class services and products and a testimony of how our brand has positioned itself among the world’s best and powerful trademarks.
“We will remain committed to the highest benchmarks we have set for ourselves. These successes will definitely further improve our international profile and help us reach out to new customers. Increasingly, customers will be making the right choices and feel total peace of mind when booking at a hotel which has won WTA laurels.”
Abu Dhabi is also developing a reputation as a leading International sporting venue, with the Laureus World Sports Awards just the latest high profile sports event to be staged in the emirate.
Last year FIFA chose Abu Dhabi to stage football’s FIFA Club World Cup UAE Championship 2009/2010. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and Abu Dhabi International Triathlon are also just a few of the many highlights of the international sporting calendar in the city.