The sparkling city of Dubai, known for its amazing architectural and engineering wonders and numerous Guinness records, added another award in its collection. Only a few days after Dubai won the bid to hosting the World Expo 2020, it was also chosen “The World’s Leading Travel Destination” at the 20th edition of the prestigious World Travel Awards.
The La Cigale hotel in Doha, Qatar hosted the glittering ceremony of the 2013 World Travel Awards Grand Final on November 30 where the elite of the industry gathered to celebrate and acknowledge the best travel and tourism brands. It was attended by government officials, CEOs of leading travel companies and tourism board chiefs, as well as by the guests of honour HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad al-Thani, chairperson of Qatar Museums Authority and Sheikh Jassim bin Abdulaziz al-Thani. Host of the ceremony was the Turkish broadcaster Ece Vahapoglu and the elite audience was entertained by live performances from Lebanese artist Maya Diab, dance troupe Enana and the electric violinist Micah. UAE’s most popular emirate, Dubai was named “World Leading Destination”, but it was only a fraction of what the city achieved during the 2013 World Travel Awards.
Dubai now also boasts the “World’s Leading Hotel” – Burj Al Arab that was chosen the “World’s Leading All Suite Hotel” too, “World’s Leading New Hotel” – JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, and “World’s Leading Spa Resort” – Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa was named “World’s Leading New Resort”, Dubai World Trade Centre took the crown for “World’s Leading Meeting & Conference Centre”, Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel was chosen “World’s Leading Lifestyle Resort”, and Atlantis, The Palm became “World’s Leading Landmark Resort”. For the “World’s Landmark Hotel” was chosen Armani Hotel Dubai, and surprisingly, Dubai is now home of the “World’s Leading Beach Resort” – Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa.
The national carrier of the UAE, based in Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways took home the title “World’s Leading Airline” for the fifth year in a row. Its First Class and cabin crew were also awarded. At the same time Dubai-based Emirates Airlines was chosen top first class airline lounge and its Skywards rewarding system was named top airline rewards programme.
Interestingly, Asia and the Middle East did really well on this year’s World Travel Awards, while the U.S. managed to win only a few categories like the top themed resort – Universal Orlando Resort, Florida, and top casino resort – MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas.