The Business Traveller Middle East Awards 2016 saw a range of new winners honoured during a gala awards ceremony attended by more than 350 leading travel industry executives in the Palazzo Versace Dubai ballroom last night.
A new category, Best Travel App, was won by Uber and Turkish Airlines won Best Regional Airline serving the Middle East for the first time.
Guest of Honour Marco Pierre White, the three-times Michelin-star chef, presented the awards and a video was shown illustrating the major changes in the airline and hotel sectors over the last year.
In the airline categories, Emirates won the coveted Best Airline Worldwide along with Airline with the Best Cabin Crew and Airline with the Best Economy Class.
Qatar Airways collected Airline with the Best Business Class while Etihad Airways walked away with Airline with the Best First Class and Airline with the Best Frequent Flyer Programme.
There were other wins for Singapore Airlines (Best Asian Airline serving the Middle East), Qantas (Airline with the Best Premium Economy Class), Lufthansa (Best European Airline serving the Middle East) and Air Arabia (Best Low-Cost Airline serving the Middle East).
There were no surprises in the airport categories as Singapore Changi, Dubai International and Dubai Duty Free once again won Best Airport in the World, Best Airport in the Middle East, Best Airport for Duty Free Shopping in the Middle East.
Hertz picked up Best Car Rental Company in the Middle East for the second successive year.
The fiercely contested hotel awards saw InterContinental Hotels Group win Beirut, Cairo and Jeddah categories and Marriott International collect the prestigious Best Hotel Brand Worldwide award.
There was a one-two-three for Jumeirah, with Jumeirah at Etihad Towers winning Overall Best Business Hotel in the Middle East and Best Business Hotel in Abu Dhabi and the operator winning Best Hotel Brand in the Middle East.
The striking Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay was awarded Best New Business Hotel and The Oberoi, Dubai voted Best Business Hotel in Dubai. There were other wins for Al Faisaliah Hotel, Riyadh; Hilton Doha; Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah; Radisson Blu Kuwait; Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel; Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa; Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel; Holiday Inn; Rotana Rewards and The Ascott Limited.
Ian Fairservice, Managing Partner and Group Editor of Motivate, said: “It’s been another hugely successful year for the travel and hospitality industries with Middle East operators once again setting global standards.”
The record number of sponsors for this year’s awards included Masar Printing and Publishing (headline); Chrysler (official car); VoucherSkout, Samsonite, Travelport, Restonic, Coda and Bliss (category); and Jacobsons was the official vote-processing partner.
The awards were hosted by Motivate and Panacea Publishing, publishers of Business Traveller magazine in the region. For the full list of winners, log on to www.btme.ae