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Abu Dhabi breaks new records at World Travel Awards

The stars of Middle East travel and tourism turned out in force for the industry’s highest accolade - the World Travel Awards, held at The Monarch, Dubai.

Abu Dhabi was star of the show, picking a record-breaking ten awards, including Etihad winning “Middle East’s Leading Airline” and Abu Dhabi Tourism Association voted “Middle East’s Leading Destination Marketing Campaign”.Etihad also won the inaugural World Travel Awards Prix d’Or - attendees at the gala ceremony voted live on the night for the brand that they thought had contributed most to the Middle East’s travel industry over the past 12 months.

(Above: the Etihad team picked up top honours, including the inaugural Prix d’Or)

Over 500 travel and tourism brands from across the region were nominated for the awards, which is hailed as the “Oscars of the Travel Industry” by the Wall Street Journal.


The event was graced by a number of senior professionals from the travel, tourism and hospitality trade at a ceremony packed with award winners, nominees and press.

(Above: host for the evening, BBC World News presenter Nima Abu-Wardeh)

Dubai remained the Middle East’s favourite destination by winning the highly contested ‘Middle East’s Leading Destination’ and ‘Middle East’s Leading MICE destination’ award.

Emaar’s The Address hotel was voted “Middle East’s Leading New Hotel”. Another unanimous vote was for “Middle East’s Leading Tourist Attraction”, which is Petra in Jordan.

(Above: Boney M provided the perfect soundtrack to an evening of celebration)

Commenting on the award winners, Graham Cooke, Founder of the World Travel Awards said: “I am excited to see that the Middle East’s tourism offering is quickly diversifying and new players are taking great interest in being destinations, airlines or hotels of choice. It is particularly impressive to note that some of the award winners tonight are very new companies that have quickly set themselves to be leading players in the travel, tourism and hospitality business - not only in the Middle East but worldwide.”

The awards are determined by a polling process that invites votes from over 170,000 travel, tourism and hospitality professionals around the world. This year around 42,000 voters participated in selecting winners for the Middle East’s best airlines, hotels, destinations and other tourist attractions.

For a full list of winners visit