Breaking Travel News
World Travel Awards honours leading lights in Dubai tourism

World Travel Awards honours leading lights in Dubai tourism

As part of a special series of features exploring the best in Middle East tourism, Breaking Travel News is currently taking a closer look at the World Travel Awards winners from across the region.

Following deep dives on Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Dubai is next on the agenda.

The commercial capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has grown to become a world-beating destination in recent years, recognised as both the Middle East’s Leading Destination and Middle East’s Leading Tourist Board

Further illustrating its success, the emirate also surpassed pre-pandemic visitor levels in 2023, welcoming a record 8.55 million international overnight visitors in the first half of the year, compared to 8.36 million tourists in half one of 2019.

This represents the best ever half-year performance for the emirate.

The record reflects the successful and diverse city-wide drive to market the destination, with the unwavering support of stakeholders and partners.

It also reaffirms Dubai’s position as the fastest recovering destination globally, and far exceeds the projection made by the United Nations World Trade Organisation (UNWTO) that international tourist arrivals could reach between 80-95 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in 2023.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai and chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, said: “The remarkable surge in international visitors witnessed by Dubai in the first half of 2023 further demonstrates its emergence as one of the brightest spots not only in the worldwide tourism sector but also the broader global economic landscape.

“This accomplishment has been made possible by the foresight of Dubai’s leadership, whose vision and prudent polices fortified its resilience in the wake of global challenges and enabled it to rebound more swiftly than other markets.

“While the growth of international visitation reinforces Dubai’s rise as a major global tourism destination, it also signifies its status as a pivotal hub for trade, investment and enterprise.”

The Dubai Mall – recognised as the World’s Leading Shopping Mall is also creating headlines this month, with Emaar Properties confirming a monumental expansion.

The plans include 240 new luxury stores and food and beverage outlets, with the contractor already mobilising on-site.

Announcing the impressive enhancement, Emaar founder, Mohamed Alabbar, stated: “The new Dubai Mall expansion is a great addition to one of the most visited sites in the world.

“This expansion reflects Dubai’s ambitious vision to remain at the forefront of global innovation and culture, further solidifying our city’s position as a top global destination.”

In 2023, Dubai Mall became one of most visited places on Earth achieving a new attendance record with 105 million visitors, a 19 per cent increase from the previous year, coupled with exceptionally strong sales.

The momentum continues in 2024, as Dubai Mall remains a global retail and leisure icon, offering innovative experiences while maintaining high customer satisfaction ratings.

At the airport, Emirates is one of the most established names in global aviation.

The carrier took the titles of Middle East’s Leading Airline – First Class, Middle East’s Leading Airline Brand and Middle East’s Leading Airline Rewards Programme at the World Travel Awards this year.

This summer, the carrier is also doing its bit to support Dubai tourism, launching great offers for holidaymakers travelling to the destination.

With an Emirates return ticket, visitors to Dubai can enjoy complimentary access to some of the city’s top attractions, ensuring an exciting summer without breaking the bank.

Moreover, all Emirates passengers flying to, though, or back to Dubai can leverage their boarding pass to access exclusive discounts at a wide range of retail, leisure and dining establishments, as well as renowned attractions and luxury spas throughout Dubai and the UAE.

From thrilling adventures to irresistible shopping experiences, there’s something for every traveller to enjoy.

Travellers based outside of the UAE who are travelling to Dubai, can get access to The View at The Palm, AYA Universe, Dubai Parks & Resorts and Wild Wadi Waterpark.

This fantastic offer runs to 11 June 2024 and is valid for travel to 31 August 2024.

Passengers simply need to apply the code ‘EKDXB25’ when purchasing flights from or on the Emirates app to claim a one-time complementary entry code for each venue for all passengers in the booking.

Elsewhere at the airport, Dubai International Airport took the title of Middle East’s Leading Airport, Dubai Duty Free was honoured with Middle East’s Leading Airport Duty Free Operator and Plaza Premium Lounge won the trophy for Middle East’s Leading Airport Lounge.

In terms of accommodation, Dubai is home to a number of world-beating properties.

Perhaps most famous is Atlantis, the Palm, which took trophies for Middle East’s Leading Landmark Hotel and Middle East’s Leading Resort, while sister property Atlantis, the Royal walked away with Middle East’s Leading Executive Club Lounge and Middle East’s Leading Hotel Suite.

Further enhancing its attractiveness to guests, Atlantis Dubai recently confirmed it will join forces with acclaimed luxury hospitality brand Major Food Group, to bring the legendary restaurant Carbone to Atlantis, the Royal next year.

Described as ‘the most celebrity-studded restaurant on earth’ by Vanity Fair, the global phenomenon will introduce its world-class, New York-style Italian cuisine to the city of Dubai for the first time in its illustrious history.

When the original location of Carbone debuted just over a decade ago in downtown Manhattan, it was hailed as an instant classic that brought a much-needed jolt of energy and soul to the highest echelons of dining.

In short order, the brand would expand around the world along a meteoric rise which has cemented its reputation as one of the most influential contemporary restaurants in the entire globe.

Also recognised by voters were Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, which took Middle East’s Leading Luxury Resort and Armani Hotel Dubai, honoured with Middle East’s Leading Luxury Landmark Hotel.

Home grown favourite Jumeirah also had plenty to celebrate at the World Travel Awards this year, honoured with the title of Middle East’s Leading Luxury Hotel Brand.

Individual properties also received recognition, with Burj Al Arab Jumeirah taking Middle East’s Leading All-Suite Hotel, Jumeirah Living Marina Gate honoured with Middle East’s Leading Hotel Apartments and Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf receiving the prize for Middle East’s Leading Villa Resort.

Elsewhere, Madinat Jumeirah Resort took Middle East’s Leading Wedding Resort and Jumeirah Al Qasr Middle East’s Leading Wedding Hotel.

Jumeirah Al Naseem took the titles of Middle East’s Leading Hotel and Dubai’s Leading Luxury Resort.

The hotel is now an icon of Middle East tourism, with lush gardens cascading towards the ocean, offering secluded spaces and moments of peace.

Take in shimmering views of the Arabian Gulf, the landscaped grounds, and the iconic silhouette of Jumeirah Burj Al Arab from a private balcony or expansive terrace.

Jumeirah Al Naseem took the title of Middle East’s Leading Hotel at the World Travel Awards

Other accommodation winners included JA The Resort (Middle East’s Leading Family Resort), Sofitel Dubai the Palm (Middle East’s Leading Green Hotel), Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates Dubai (Middle East’s Leading Leisure Hotel), The St. Regis Downtown Dubai (Middle East’s Leading Luxury City Hotel), Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa (Middle East’s Leading Beach Resort), One&Only The Palm, Dubai (Middle East’s Leading Boutique Resort) and InterContinental Dubai - Festival City (Middle East’s Leading City Hotel).

Finally, Nirvana Travel & Tours took Middle East’s Leading Destination Management Company, Orient Travel received Middle East’s Leading Corporate Travel Company and Mina Rashid tool Middle East’s Leading Cruise Port.

Complete Dubai winners

  • Dubai’s Leading Beach Club - Nikki Beach Dubai
  • Dubai’s Leading Beach Destination - Kite Beach Dubai
  • Dubai’s Leading Beach Hotel - W Dubai - The Palm
  • Dubai’s Leading Beach Resort - Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai
  • Dubai’s Leading Budget Hotel - Holiday Inn Express Dubai - Safa Park
  • Dubai’s Leading Business Hotel - Conrad Dubai
  • Dubai’s Leading Chauffeur Company - Blacklane
  • Dubai’s Leading City Business Hotel - InterContinental Dubai - Festival City
  • Dubai’s Leading City Hotel - Address Grand Creek Harbour
  • Dubai’s Leading Conference Hotel - Grand Hyatt Dubai
  • Dubai’s Leading Corporate Travel Company - Orient Travel
  • Dubai’s Leading Destination Management Company - Arabian Adventures
  • Dubai’s Leading Family Resort - Centara Mirage Beach Resort Dubai
  • Dubai’s Leading Holiday Villa Rental Company - Maison Privee
  • Dubai’s Leading Hotel - Conrad Dubai
  • Dubai’s Leading Hotel Apartments - Staybridge Suites Dubai al-Maktoum Airport, an IHG Hotel
  • Dubai’s Leading Hotel in Service Excellence - The St. Regis Dubai, The Palm
  • Dubai’s Leading Hotel Penthouse - Villa One @ One&Only One Za’abeel
  • Dubai’s Leading Hotel Residences - Millennium Place Barsha Heights Apartments
  • Dubai’s Leading Hotel Suite - The Royal Mansion @ Atlantis the Royal
  • Dubai’s Leading Hotel Villas - The Biltmore Hotel Villas Dubai
  • Dubai’s Leading Lifestyle Hotel - NH Collection Dubai the Palm
  • Dubai’s Leading Luxury City Hotel - Anantara Downtown Dubai Hotel
  • Dubai’s Leading Luxury Hotel - Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai
  • Dubai’s Leading Luxury Hotel Villa - The Bulgari Villa @ Bulgari Resort Dubai
  • Dubai’s Leading Luxury Resort - Jumeirah Al Naseem
  • Dubai’s Leading Resort - Atlantis, The Palm
  • Dubai’s Leading Serviced Apartments - Citadines Culture Village Dubai
  • Dubai’s Leading Shopping Mall Hotel - Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates Dubai
  • Dubai’s Leading Tour Operator - Big Bus Tours
  • Dubai’s Leading Travel Agency - dnata Travel
  • Dubai’s Leading Travel Management Company - Satguru Travel Dubai
  • Dubai’s Leading Villa Resort - One&Only the Palm, Dubai

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.