UAE wins big at the world travel ‘Oscars’

Dubai’s insatiable eye for invention led to the emirate being voted the region’s Leading Destination, Leading Meetings and Conference Destination as well as the Leading Cruise Port at the awards dubbed as the Oscars of the Travel Industry. (GETTY IMAGES)

Dubai and Abu Dhabi led the winners at last night’s World Travel Awards 2011 Middle East Ceremony held at the Armani Hotel Dubai.

Dubai’s insatiable eye for invention led to the emirate being voted the region’s Leading Destination, Leading Meetings and Conference Destination as well as the Leading Cruise Port at the awards dubbed as the Oscars of the Travel Industry. The emirate also bagged the Leading Airport award for Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport, which exclusively caters to all Emirates flights.

Abu Dhabi’s continuing rise to tourism stardom was rewarded, too, as it took home a host of top honors, including Middle East’s Leading Tourist Board and Middle East’s Responsible Tourism Award.

Emirates, Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and Jumeirah hotels were among the names to emerge victorious at World Travel Awards, acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade and celebrates those brands that are pushing the boundaries of industry excellence. 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 four awards, including the blue riband category Middle East’s Leading Airline, as well as Middle East’s Leading Airline First Class, Middle East’s Leading Airline Inflight Entertainment, and Middle East’s Leading Cabin Staff.

Emirates airline, on the other hand, too bagged four awards for being Middle East’s Leading Airline Economy Class while its Dubai lounge won the Middle East’s Leading Airline Lounge award, and its loyalty program Skywards bagged the Middle East’s Leading Airline Reward Program while its website won the Middle East’s Leading Airline Website award.

Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai, was the winner for the Middle East’s Leading Beach Resort while Dubai’s Emaar Properties won the award for being the Middle East’s Leading Tourism Property Development Company.

On an individual level, HRH Prince Al Waleed bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud was honored 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.

Graham E. 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.”


- Leading Airline: Etihad Airways

- Leading Airline Business Class: Qatar Airways

- Leading Airline Economy Class: Emirates

- Leading Airline First Class: Etihad Airways

- Leading Airline Inflight Entertainment: Etihad Airways

- Leading Airline Lounge: Dubai – Emirates

- Leading Airline Rewards Program: Emirates – Skywards

- Leading Airline Website: Emirates

- Leading Airport: Dubai International Airport, Terminal 3

- Leading Airport Hotel: Dubai International Hotel, Dubai

- Leading Beach Resort: Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai

- Leading Business Car Rental Company:  Avis

- Leading Business Destination: Qatar, Doha

- Leading Business Hotel: Grosvenor House Dubai Nominee Winner

- Leading Business Travel Agency: Omeir Travel Agency

- Leading Cabin Staff: Etihad Airways

- Leading Car Hire: Europcar

- Leading City Resort: The Palace – The Old Town

- Leading Corporate Resort: Beach Rotana Hotel & Towers, Abu Dhabi

- Leading Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

- Leading Cruise Port: Dubai, UAE

- Leading Desert Resort: Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, Abu Dhabi

- Leading Destination: Dubai

- Leading Destination Marketing Campaign: Abu Dhabi

- Leading Exhibition Centre: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre

- Leading Family Resort: Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, Abu Dhabi

- Leading Golf Course: The Address Montgomerie Dubai

- Leading Golf Resort: Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, Dubai

- Leading Hotel: Burj Al Arab, Dubai

- Leading Hotel Apartments: Oasis Beach Tower, Dubai

- Leading Hotel Brand: Rotana Hotels

- Leading International Marketing Campaign: Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority

- Leading Leisure Hotel: Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates Dubai

- Leading Low-Cost Airline: Air Arabia

- Leading Luxury Beach Resort: Al Qasr at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai

- Leading Luxury Hotel: Raffles Makkah Palace, Saudi Arabia

- Leading Luxury Hotel Apartments: Arjaan, Dubai Media City, Dubai

- Leading Luxury Resort: Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman

- Leading Marina: Dubai Marina

- Leading Meetings & Conference Centre: Dubai World Trade Centre

- Leading Meetings & Conference Destination: Dubai

- Leading Meetings & Conference Hotel: Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi

- Leading Meetings & Conference Resort: Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai

- Leading New Hotel: Makkah Clock Royal Tower – A Fairmont Hotel

- Leading Overseas Development Company: Kingdom Hotel Investments

- Leading Private Jet Charter: Royal Jet

- Leading Resort: Atlantis The Palm, Dubai

- Leading Spa Resort: Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai

- Leading Suite Award: Palace Suite, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi

- Leading Tour Operator: Emirates Holidays

- Leading Tourism Development Project: Yas Island - Aldar

- Leading Tourism Property Development Company: Emaar

- Leading Tourist Attraction: Aquaventure

-  Leading Tourist Board: Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority

- Leading Travel Agency: Regency Travel & Tours, Qatar

- Leading Travel Exhibition: Arabian Travel Market

- Leading Travel Management Company: Al Futtaim Travel, Dubai

- Leading Travel Technology Provider: ISO Travel Solutions

- Leading Villa Resort: Banyan Tree Al Wadi

- Responsible Tourism Award: Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority

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