Etihad Airways, Jumeirah, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Raffles and Royal Caribbean were among the names to emerge victorious at World Travel Awards 2011 Middle East Ceremony, held at the Armani Hotel Dubai on May 2nd 2011.
The industry’s elite – including chief executives of leading travel companies, government ministers and tourist board chiefs – were in attendance at the glittering gala event, which was headlined by Lebanese pop sensation, Elissa.
The Armani Hotel Dubai offered guests the opportunity to sample the ultimate in hospitality lifestyle, amid the magnificent setting of Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world.
Hailed as the Oscars of the travel industry, World Travel Awards is acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade, and celebrates those brands that are pushing the boundaries of industry excellence.
(Lebanese pop sensation, Elissa, headlined the gala ceremony)
More than 462 organisations across the Middle East, spanning more than 125 categories, entered the competition.
Etihad Airways was one of the big stars on the night, walking off with an impressive four awards, including the blue riband category of “Middle East’s Leading Airline”, as well as “Middle East’s Leading Airline First Class”, “Middle East’s Leading Airline In-flight Entertainment” and “Middle East’s Leading Cabin Staff”.
Meanwhile, Dubai’s miraculous rebound coupled with its insatiable eye for invention led to the emirate being voted “Middle East’s Leading Destination” as well as “Middle East’s Leading Meetings and Conference Destination”.
(It was a top night for the Rotana team)
Abu Dhabi’s continuing rise to tourism stardom was rewarded too as it took home a host of top honours, including “Middle East’s Leading Tourist Board” and “Middle East’s Responsible Tourism Award”.
On an individual level, HRH Prince Al Waleed bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud was honoured as “Travel Personality of the Year” for the Middle East for his contribution to the global hospitality sector, which includes backing what is set to become the tallest building in the world, the mile-high Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia.
(Travel leaders celebrated in style at the Armani Hotel Dubai)
Graham Cooke, president and founder, World Travel Awards said: “The Middle East was the perfect region to mark the start of the World Travel Awards 2011 Grand Tour, setting the bar for the rest of the world to raise the standards of excellence in travel and tourism.”
Voting is still underway for Europe, Africa and Indian Ocean, Asia and Australasia and The Americas.
Regional events will take place later this year in Antalya, Turkey; Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; Bangkok, Thailand and Montego Bay, Jamaica. The Grand Final will follow at the end of the year.