Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) was named the big winner at Business Traveller Middle East (BTME) Awards 2015 as the hotelier walked away with six accolades, replicating the success of the previous year.
The hotelier was named the Best Hotel Brand Worldwide with its properties InterContinental Hotel Phoenicia Beirut, InterContinental Regency Bahrain, InterContinental Riyadh and InterContinental Jeddah winning in various categories.
Holiday Inn, IHG’s budget brand, bagged the Best Budget Hotel Brand at BTME Awards 2015.
The other top winner in the hotels category was Jumeirah Etihad Towers, which won the Best Business Hotel in the Middle East and Best Business Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The luxury operator also collected Best Hotel Brand in the Middle East.
Sofitel Dubai Downtown won Best New Business Hotel while both Marriott and Hilton had two successes each – with JW Marriott Marquis Dubai winning Best Business Hotel in Dubai and Cairo Marriott winning the Cairo category.
Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah and Hilton Kuwait won in the Sharjah/Northern Emirates and Kuwait categories respectively.
Four Seasons Amman won in the Amman category and Rotana Rewards was voted Best Loyalty Programme in the Middle East.
In the aviation category, Emirates emerged the big winner with four awards to its credit. The Dubai carrier won the Airline with the Best Cabin Staff, Airline with the Best Economy Class, Airline with the Best First Class and Best Airline Worldwide.
Abu Dhabi’s Etihad won two awards this year- Airline with Best Frequent Flyer Programme and Best Airport Lounge in the Middle East for its Diamond First Class facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Meanwhile Qatar Airways won the Airline with the Best Business Class in recognition of its premium seats.
Low-cost-cum-premium airline flydubai won Best Regional Airline Serving the Middle East, after it launched 23 new routes in 2014 while Air Arabia won in the dedicated low-cost category.
Other airline winners included Qantas, a first time winner at this year’s awards, (Airline with the Best Premium Economy Class); Singapore Airlines (Best Asian Airline Serving the Middle East); and British Airways (Best European Airline Serving the Middle East).
Dubai International Airport, now the world’s leading airport for international passengers, won Best Airport in the Middle East and Dubai Duty Free once again received the Best Airport for Duty Free Shopping In The Middle East award.
Al Bateen Executive Airport won in the new category Best Private Jet Terminal in the Middle East, reflecting the growth in premium executive travel.
Singapore Changi Airport retained its top position as it was named the Best Airport in the World.
Hertz won Best Car Rental Company in the Middle East.
More than 350 executives from across the travel industry attended the awards, chosen through a voting process open to its readers. Held in Conrad Dubai, the ceremony was the largest in last 12 years with two new categories added.
The event was jointly hosted by Motivate and the Business Traveller Middle East’s joint venture partner, UK-based Panacea Publishing.