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World Travel Awards kicks off at ATM

More than a thousand of the Middle East’s greatest travel companies are set to battle it out for a prize at the World Travel Awards (WTA) next month.

With industry stars in town for the Arabian Travel Market, WTA will host its gala event on May 3rd – offering operators a chance to scoop the world’s most coveted accolade.

Taking place at The Address Dubai Marina – the latest addition to The Address Hotels + Resort’s portfolio in Dubai – the awards - described as the ‘Oscars’ of tourism - are designed to drive up standards of excellence and innovation in all sectors.

Marc Dardenne, chief executive officer of Emaar Hospitality Group and Emaar Hotels & Resorts said: “The World Travel Awards is an international benchmark for excellence in the travel and hospitality sector, and it is our honour to host this Middle East event at The Address Dubai Marina.

“Apart from the waterfront location, one of the defining features of the hotel is its rich conference and meeting facilities.

“We are confident the modern facilities and impeccable service at the hotel will make the World Travel Awards a memorable event for the travel sector,” he added.

Opened in October 2009, The Address Dubai Marina overlooks the world’s largest man-made Marina and has a prime location in one of Dubai’s most popular lifestyle districts.

World Travel Awards founder and president, Graham Cooke, outlined why it was particularly appropriate the prestigious event should take place at The Address Dubai Marina.

“Because of its impressive range of state of the art conference facilities, this hotel is already carving a reputation for major events such as this,” he explained.

“The Address Dubai Marina is one of the most impressive meetings venues in the region, setting the bar higher than ever before. We are bringing the 2010 World Travel Awards to the hotel because quite simply, it showcases the very best the region has to offer.”

“Much has been said and written about the region in the past year and, like virtually every other area of the world, the global economic downturn has presented many challenges.

“But what commentators had not reckoned on was the extraordinary determination, skill and powerful marketability of the Middle East as an outstanding tourist destination.

“I m delighted that this resulted in a positive end to 2009 with encouraging developments continuing to buck the trend in 2010.”

Cooke added that the Middle East, as it has consistently shown in the past few years, is raising standards for others to follow.

“The Middle East has demonstrated to the rest of the world how to provide stunning infrastructure, impeccable service and immense creativity to attract consumers. The eyes of the global industry are watching with interest to see who will be the winners.” 

World Travel Awards

A total of 114 categories are on offer and nominated companies are now campaigning to attract votes from agents and other industry professionals.

In addition to overall Middle East awards, there are awards for Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE, Yemen, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Fujairah, Ra al-Khaimah and Sharjah.

A full list of WTA Middle East nominees can be found here, while voters can head over to the website to cast their ballot.