Dubai Delight

28th October 2008 - London

Excellence Rewarded at the World Travel Awards


Dubai keeps on booming and its continued development was underlined and celebrated at the World Travel Awards Middle East Ceremony this week (Tuesday 28 October).

Dubai was in winning form on an unforgettable night for travel and tourism.

Fittingly, it was against the backdrop of the newly-opened $1.5 billion Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai that the emirate emerged with plenty of awards to display in its trophy cabinets.

Dubai now goes forward with confidence to the finals of the World Travel Awards in Turks & Caicos on 12 December.

The awards are coveted worldwide and described by the Wall Street Journal as the 'Oscars' of the travel industry.

Among the guests was HE Sheikh Faisal K.S. Al Qassemi, chairman of the Al Qasimi Group.

Making some of the key presentations were Miss World, Zi Lin Zhang of China; triple Emmy Award winning actress, Jennifer Finnigan; and movie and television star, Maeve Quinlan.

Graham E. Cooke, founder and president of World Travel Awards, said: “Not only Dubai but the whole of the Middle East region is a constant signal to everyone in the industry of how bold vision and innovation, investment and positive responses can make a difference – despite global economic fears.

"The region is a supreme example of how to hold your nerve and act short term, when necessary, but always with longer-term benefits and a sound business strategy uppermost."

Dubai's triumphs ranged through airline to business, building and beach categories.

Etihad Airways walked off with the prized Middle East's Leading Airline; Middle East’s Leading First Class and also Middle East's Leading Airline Website.

Dubai International Airport took the title of Middle East's Leading Airport; the World Trade Centre was presented with the Leading Conference Centre; Dubai was named the Leading MICE Destination; The Monarch Dubai was the Leading New Hotel; Burj Al Arab, Leading Hotel; and Madinat Jumeirah was the region’s Leading Resort.

Dubai's Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa emerged first in two categories and the Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa will be particularly pleased with its Leading Green Hotel award as it approaches its tenth anniversary. The eyes of the world are on businesses that operate eco-friendly, conservation projects and the Al Maha resort idea was two years in its formation.

Dubai may have had a lion’s share of the awards but Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Sharjah, Saudi Arabia also took awards covering the whole of the Middle East.

Rotana Hotels, with 24 luxury properties across the region, was presented with the title of the Middle East's Leading Hotel Brand.

Emirates took the Middle East's Leading Economy Airline and In-flight Entertainment awards.

There were separate categories too for Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE, Yemen, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah and Sharjah.

"These are the only independent travel and tourism awards for the Middle East and it was wonderful to reward the best from exceptionally high-quality nominations," added Cooke.

Winners of all 85 categories for the Middle East and Middle East’s countries are listed here.

They were chosen by votes from executives working within travel and tourism throughout the world.

The evening was hosted by global television comedian Andrew Kennedy.

The event formed the last part of the 2008 World Travel Awards Grand Tour of regional awards.

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Notes to Editors

About World Travel Awards

The World Travel Awards was launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognise excellence in the world's travel and tourism industry.

Now celebrating its 15th Anniversary, the awards is regarded as the very highest achievement that a travel product could ever hope to receive.

Attended by senior executives from major travel companies, operators and destinations, WTA events are universally respected as providing established, top-level networking opportunities, regionally and globally.

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For further press information please contact Jane Larcombe at:

T: +44 (0)1892 785071
E: [email protected]


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