Top Middle East Resorts Win “Oscars of the Travel Industry”

The Middle East’s most successful travel brands were toasted at a glittering Gala Ceremony hosted by World Travel Awards at Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa on Monday April 30th.

The biggest names in the Middle East including brands like Jumeirah, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Armani Hotel Dubai, Qatar Airways, Emirates Palace and Rotana Hotels all gathered in Dubai for the top honours event.

Lebanese singing sensation Carole Samaha headlined with the critically-acclaimed comedian Wonho Chung while well known TV personality Ece Vahapoğlu of Al Jazeera Turkey hosted the evening.

The gala evening coincided with Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (April 28th-30th) and also the Arabian Travel Market (April 30 – May 3) and the event is one of the real highlights of the Middle East’s tourist industry calendar.More than 500 of the most important decision-makers in the region’s travel and tourism sector, plus international media representatives attended the most important night of the year for Arabian travel.

Among the highlights, Dubai was crowned the Middle East’s Leading Destination for the second year running and its “Atlantis The Palm” Hotel won “Middle East’s Leading Resort” while Dubai Airport was voted “Middle East’s Leading Airport”.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the magnificent Burj Al Arab hotel won Dubai’s Leading Hotel and Jumeirah at Etihad Towers took away the UAE Leading Hotel Award.

Popular Etihad Airways was voted the Middle East’s Leading Airline after another record-breaking year in which the UAE flag flyer saw profits rise. The annual WTA awards programme which is often called the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’ by the global media, highlights and rewards those travel brands that have made the greatest contribution to the industry over the past year.

Graham Cooke, president and founder, WTA, underlined the core strengths of the Middle East nominees prior to the special evening, saying, “Travel and tourism in the Middle East is rebounding strongly following the political and economic challenges of 2011.The winners at our ceremony will be those organisations that have made the greatest contribution to this recovery.

He added, “The Emirate is a hotbed of fresh ideas being put into practice, as exemplified by our host, Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa.”

Other regional heats in WTA’s Grand Tour 2012 will be taking place in the Algarve (Portugal), Nairobi (Kenya), Singapore and Turks & Caicos.

The winners of these regional heats will progress to the Grand Final, historically held just before Christmas, which will take place at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, New Delhi, India on December 12th 2012.

To see who won in various categories, visit the World Travel Awards official website at

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