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Host of Qatari winners honoured by World Travel Awards at Middle East showcase
Qatar Airways led winners at the World Travel Awards in the Middle East

Host of Qatari winners honoured by World Travel Awards at Middle East showcase

World Travel Awards’ Grand Tour 2024 has begun in style, with Middle East and Indian Ocean winners unveiled during Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.

In celebration of the event, Breaking Travel News will be taking a closer look at some of the destinations that are leading the way in global tourism – starting with Qatar.

Find out more below as we explore some of the leading lights from Qatari tourism, as recognised by the voters at World Travel Awards.

Phil Dickenson of Qatar Tourism talks to Breaking Travel News about the prestigious titles

Qatar Tourism led the winners, scooping prizes for Middle East’s Leading City Destination, Middle East’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination and Middle East’s Leading Sports Tourism Destination.

The titles come at an exciting time for the destination.

Saad bin Ali Al Kharji, chairman of Visit Qatar, recently emphasised the pivotal role of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in supporting tourism industry growth.

He noted that the tournament contributed significantly to portraying Arabian culture and Gulf heritage to the world, thereby attracting visitors and stimulating interest in the Gulf.

This resulted in notable growth in tourism investments, visitor numbers and the development of new tourist destinations.

Saad bin Ali Al Kharji, chairman of Visit Qatar, centre left, has spoken of his optimism for the tourism sector in Qatar and the wider region

Furthermore, Al Kharji highlighted that Qatar attracted over four million visitors in 2023, marking a 58 per cent growth compared to 2022.

By the first four months of 2024, visitor numbers exceeded two million.

He underscored the role of tourism in job creation and emphasized the need for continuous infrastructure development to support the rapid growth of sectors such as transportation, agriculture, and construction, which contribute to creating both direct and indirect job opportunities.

Addressing the resilience of the tourism sector, Al Kharji pointed out its ability to adapt to economic and geopolitical conditions and recover rapidly from crises.

Despite challenges, global tourism has rebounded significantly from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with travel levels surpassing 88 per cent of pre-pandemic levels worldwide and exceeding pre-pandemic levels in the Middle East.

Abdulaziz Ali Al-Mawlawi will take over as chief executive of Visit Qatar

Elsewhere, Qatar Tourism announced the appointment of Abdulaziz Ali Al-Mawlawi as chief executive of Visit Qatar as part of the establishment of the entity, which is considered the marketing and promotional arm of the tourism sector in Qatar.

Abdulaziz Ali Al-Mawlawi was the chief of marketing and promotion officer at Qatar Tourism, where he supervised the launch of several successful promotional campaigns during his tenure.

Marwan Koleilat, senior vice president, Eastern Region, Qatar Airways, second left, celebrates at the World Travel Awards with founder Graham Cooke, centre

Qatar Airways was honoured with three awards, walking away with trophies for Middle East’s Leading Airline, Middle East’s Leading Airline Business Class and Middle East’s Leading Airline Lounge - Business Class.

Looking ahead, the flag-carrier recently unveiled a stunning holographic display of Sama, a second-generation AI-powered digital human cabin crew.

This innovative display, along with a cutting-edge stand featuring multi-sensory-rich experiences showcased technological prowess.

Powered by advanced conversational AI, the digital human cabin crew, designed to enable personalised travel experiences, will continue to evolve over time to improve responses through passenger interactions in the immersive platform, QVerse.

Qatar Airways has recently unveiled plans to enhance its premium offering - with more information expected soon

Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, said: “As a multiple award-winning airline, this technology aligns perfectly with our commitment to exceeding expectations, offering both experts and travellers unparalleled, innovative interactions that resonate with them.”

Earlier this year, the national carrier of Qatar announced several route launches and resumptions, as well as a significant increase in flight frequencies to meet the growing travel demand and enhance the airline’s global network comprising of more than 170 destinations.

Qatar Airways will start operating flights and resume services to the Democratic Republic of Congo on June 1, with the inaugural flight to Kinshasa.

Tashkent in Uzbekistan will follow on June 2, Lisbon, capital of Portugal on June 6, tourism hotspot Venice on June 12 and Hamburg on July 1.

In terms of accommodation, Waldorf Astoria Doha West Bay, which took the trophies for Middle East’s Leading New Hotel and Qatar’s Leading Luxury Hotel, was the big winner.

Offering guests a chance to discover effortless luxury and elegant service in the diplomatic area of Doha, the impressive 44-story tower offers a refined haven for sophisticated journeys in 283 Art-Deco-inspired rooms and suites, as well as 50 apartments.

Visitors can savour inspiring dining experiences at the restaurants and bars, or take a chance to rejuvenate your senses at the Waldorf Astoria Spa & Fitness, a four-floor sanctuary that elevates your wellness.

Andreas Jersabeck, general manager of Waldorf Astoria Doha West Bay, speaks to Breaking Travel News as the property is honoured by World Travel Awards

On the entertainment side, Qetaifan Island North was presented with a trophy for Middle East’s Leading Tourism Development Project.

Located off Lusail City, the project spans approximately 1.3 million square meters, with more than one hundred thousand square meters of water park alone.

The island also features exciting entertainment attractions that the whole family can enjoy, in addition to diversified waterfronts, distinct neighbourhoods, luxurious hotels, pedestrian friendly streets, living gardens and world class facilities that make it a modern, globally competitive community with a unique design that is inspired by the rich culture and nature of the region.

The main artery of the island, linking all zones together is the Linear Park, an artificial Salt Lake linked to the sea, allowing visitors to enjoy fishing, boating and plenty of other family-friendly fun activities.

Elsewhere, the title of Qatar’s Leading Tourist Attraction went to the National Museum of Qatar, which was also honoured earlier in the year as the World’s Best MICE Event Venue.

Qetaifan Island North will be a luxury new destination for Qatar

There were a host of glamorous winners elsewhere.

Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som walked away with the trophy for Middle East’s Leading Retreat 2024, while Regency Travel & Tours took the title of Middle East’s Leading Travel Agency.

The Ritz-Carlton, Doha, was presented with a trio of prestigious awards - Middle East’s Leading Hotel Services Award, Qatar’s Leading Hotel Suite and Qatar’s Leading Business Hotel - while Qatar Executive took Middle East’s Leading Private Jet Charter 2024.

The Ritz-Carlton, Doha was a triple winner at the World Travel Awards

The trophy for Middle East’s Leading Luxury Hotel Villa was presented to Katara Hills Doha, LXR Hotels & Resorts for the Royal Three Bedroom Villa, while Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha won Middle East’s Leading Beach Hotel and Qatar’s Leading Beach Hotel.

Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha is the first luxury beach resort in Qatar to pioneer the all-inclusive lifestyle concept.

Guests will revel in panoramic views of the azure waters of the Arabian sea and the iconic shimmering skyline of Doha.

Finally, Rixos Premium Qetaifan Island North took prizes for Middle East’s Leading Entertainment Resort and Qatar’s Leading Entertainment Resort, while Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara walked away with Middle East’s Leading Themed Resort.

Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha is an all-inclusive standard bearer in the region

Complete Qatar country winners:

  • Qatar’s Leading Airline GSA - Space Travel
  • Qatar’s Leading Airport Hotel - Hyatt Regency Oryx Doha
  • Qatar’s Leading Beach Hotel - Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha
  • Qatar’s Leading Beach Resort - Hilton Salwa Beach Resort & Villas
  • Qatar’s Leading Boutique Hotel - Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels by Tivoli
  • Qatar’s Leading Business Hotel - The Ritz-Carlton, Doha
  • Qatar’s Leading Car Rental Company - Regency Fleets
  • Qatar’s Leading Chauffeur Company - Prestige Cars
  • Qatar’s Leading City Hotel - Alwadi Hotel Doha - MGallery
  • Qatar’s Leading Conference Hotel - Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel
  • Qatar’s Leading Corporate Travel Company - BCD Travel Qatar
  • Qatar’s Leading Destination Management Company - Mannai Travel
  • Qatar’s Leading Entertainment Resort - Rixos Premium Qetaifan Island North
  • Qatar’s Leading Hospitality Company - Katara Hospitality
  • Qatar’s Leading Hotel - La Cigale Hotel
  • Qatar’s Leading Hotel Residences - W Doha
  • Qatar’s Leading Hotel Suite - Grand Amiri Suite @ The Ritz-Carlton, Doha
  • Qatar’s Leading Lifestyle Hotel - W Doha
  • Qatar’s Leading Luxury Hotel - Waldorf Astoria Doha West Bay
  • Qatar’s Leading Luxury Hotel Villa - Royal Villa @ Hilton Salwa Beach Resort & Villas
  • Qatar’s Leading Luxury Resort - The Chedi Katara Hotel & Resort
  • Qatar’s Leading Resort - InterContinental Doha Beach & Spa
  • Qatar’s Leading Serviced Apartments - Wyndham Grand Doha West Bay Beach
  • Qatar’s Leading Shopping Mall Hotel - AlRayyan Hotel Doha, Curio Collection by Hilton
  • Qatar’s Leading Tour Operator - Regency Holidays
  • Qatar’s Leading Tourist Attraction - National Museum of Qatar
  • Qatar’s Leading Travel Agency - Regency Travel & Tours
  • Qatar’s Leading Travel Management Company - Tawfeeq Travel
  • Qatar’s Leading Villa Resort - Katara Hills Doha, LXR Hotels & Resorts

More Information

World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence.

Each year World Travel Awards covers the globe with its Grand Tour – a series of regional gala ceremonies to recognise excellence within each continent, culminating with the winners going head-to-head in a Grand Final at the end of the year.

Find out more on the official website.