Emirates was the standout winner in the airline category at this year’s Business Traveller Middle East Awards even as IHG came through fierce competition in the hotels category.
Business Traveller Middle East’s premium-travelling readers voted overwhelmingly for Emirates in the airline category, as the carrier won Airline with the Best Cabin Staff, Airline with the Best First Class, Airline with the Best Business Class, and the highly coveted Best Airline Worldwide.
But fellow Gulf carriers Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways received awards too in recognition of their growing networks, products and services. Etihad Airways won Airline with the Best Economy Class and Eithad Guest picked up Airline with the Best Frequent Flyer Programme for the second successive year, while Qatar Airways won Best Regional Airline serving the Middle East. Flydubai once again received Best Low-Cost Airline Serving the Middle East.
Other airlines that collected the distinctive diamond trophies included Lufthansa (Best European Airline Serving the Middle East), Virgin Atlantic (Airline with the Best Premium Economy Class), United Airlines (Best North American Airline Serving the Middle East) and Singapore Airlines (Best Asian Airline Serving the Middle East).
DXB best in the Middle East, SIN best in the world
In airports, Dubai International winning Best Airport in the Middle East and Best Airport for Duty Free Shopping in the Middle East, while Singapore Changi collected Best Airport in the World. Avis was voted Best Car Rental Company in the Middle East.
In the hotel categories, the world’s tallest hotel, The JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, stood above its competitors by winning Best Business Hotel in Dubai and Overall Best Business Hotel in the Middle East. The Oberoi Dubai and The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, were also honoured in the Best New Business Hotel and Best Business Hotel in Abu Dhabi categories, respectively.
InterContinental Hotels and Resorts continued last year’s successes by picking up a quartet of awards – Best Business Hotel in Jeddah (InterContinental Jeddah), Best Business Hotel in Beirut (InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut), Best Business Hotel in Cairo (InterContinental Citystars Cairo) and the prestigious Best Hotel Brand Worldwide.
Other winners included The Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, which won Best Hotel in Sharjah and the Northern Emirates (a new category in 2014); and Kempinski Amman, which won the Amman category for the first time. The recently renovated Radisson Blu Kuwait shone in the Kuwait category; there were twin successes for Ritz-Carlton in the Muscat (Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton hotel) and Riyadh categories; Hilton Doha collected Best Business Hotel in the Qatari capital; and the Sheraton Bahrain was voted Best Business Hotel in Manama.
Centro Hotels by Rotana won Best Budget Hotel Brand and Rotana Rewards received Best Hotel Loyalty Programme in the Middle East, while Best Serviced Apartments Company in the Middle East went to Frasers Hospitality.
A pleasant mix of winners
Heinz Beck, the award-winning Michelin-starred chef, who recently launched Social by Heinz Beck at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, presented the awards at the new, luxurious five-star resort.
The awards, which had more than 300 travel industry managers in attendance, was hosted by Motivate and Panacea Publishing and was sponsored by Masar, Nikon, Samsonite, American Express Middle East, JEEP, Go Cash, UAE Exchange and Jacobsons Direct Marketing Services
Ian Fairservice, managing partner and Group Editor-in-Chief of Motivate said this year’s winners were a pleasant mix of established and new operators. “Our readers have sided with many of the well–known operators, which once again have delivered consistently high service levels amid increasing competition, while warming to the new properties that are embracing innovative and contemporary concepts,” he said.
Full coverage of this year’s awards will appear in the May/June issue of Business Traveller Middle East.