Judges for the ME Hotel Awards said that the significant rise in the number of entries in 2016 can be attributed to increasing interest from hotels and suppliers based in the GCC and Levant regions. The 19 independent industry judges assessed each entrant based on research conducted by “mystery shoppers” over a six-month period.
More than 400 hoteliers from throughout the Middle East attended the awards ceremony (24th May 2016) at the Palazzo Versace Dubai, which took away the award for Best New Hotel 2016. The Middle East Hotel Awards were established in 2010 to highlight and reward excellence across the vibrant hotel industry in the region.
Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, which unveiled its $100 million (AED 368 million) refurbishment in 2015, won across two categories: Best Hotel Suite and Best Hotel Renovation/Refurbishment. The hotel boasts unique ‘Aspen Chalets’ with rustic interiors, ‘crackling fireplaces’ and views of the Ski Dubai indoor ski slope, for an exclusive ‘winter wonderland’ in the desert.
Level 43 Sky Lounge, Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road won the Best Middle East Hotel Bar award for the 2ndyear running. A pool bar by day and lounge bar by night, judges commented that the spectacular, 360 degree views of Dubai’s skyline and personalised service could not be paralleled.
Dubai winners in new award categories introduced for 2016 included: Atlantis the Palm, Dubai (Best Family-Friendly Hotel); Huddle Sports Bar & Grill, Citymax, Al Barsha (Best Sports Bar); and Asado at The Palace Downtown (Best Al Fresco Dining Experience).
Other, coveted new award categories for 2016 were won by hotels in Ras Al Khaimah (Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah -Best Luxury Hotel) and Bahrain (CUT by Wolfgang Puck at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay – Best Fine Dining Restaurant).
The remaining Dubai winners for 2016 included: Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa (Best Outdoor Area); InterContinental Hotel Dubai Festival City (Best Conference & Banquet Facilities); Citymax Al Barsha (Best Budget Hotel); XVA Art Hotel, Dubai (Best Boutique Hotel); Millennium Plaza Hotel Dubai (Best Business Hotel 4*); Sofitel The Palm Dubai (Best Hotel 5*); and Savoy Suites Hotel Apartments Dubai (Best Eco Initiative).
Other 2016 winners from hotels outside Dubai included: Premier Inn Abu Dhabi International Airport (Best Airport Hotel); Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay (Best Lobby/Lounge); InterContinental Al Khobar Hotel, Saudi Arabia (Best Community Engagement); Shangri-la, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi (Best Hotel Apartment); Al Faisaliah Hotel (Best Business Hotel 5*); Banyan Tree Al Wadi (Best Resort Hotel); Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi (Best Hotel 4*); and the Best Hotel Partner award for 2016 went to Kazareen Textile Company.