The scope of the region’s industry-leading airline and hotel operators
reflected in largest awards ceremony in 12-year history
May 4th 2015
New and established operators were honoured in the Business Traveller Middle East Awards 2015 ceremony at the Conrad Dubai ballroom yesterday evening.
More than 350 executives from across the travel industry attended the awards, which were voted by readers, and this year was the largest in 12 years with two new categories. Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, the well-known British design consultant and TV personality, was the special guest of the evening, and was joined by British HM Consul General in Dubai H.E. Edward Hobart and many other VIP attendees.
The ‘Gulf three’ airlines once again grabbed the limelight in the airline awards with Emirates winning four categories (Airline with the Best Cabin Staff; Airline with the Best Economy Class; Airline with the Best First Class and Best Airline Worldwide).
Etihad won two awards, Airline with Best Frequent Flyer Programme and Best Airport Lounge in the Middle East – new this year – for its Diamond First Class facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport, while Qatar Airways won the prestigious Airline with the Best Business Class in recognition of the premium seats and service on board its growing fleet.
Low-cost-come-premium airline flydubai won Best Regional Airline Serving the Middle East, after it launched 23 new routes in 2014, while Air Arabia excelled 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 the other new category this year, Best Private Jet Terminal in the Middle East – reflecting the growth in premium executive travel – although it was ‘business as usual’ with Best Airport in the World as Singapore Changi Airport retained its premier position. Hertz won Best Car Rental Company in the Middle East.
In the hotel categories, InterContinental Hotels Group repeated its success of last year, walking away with six accolades. Property wins comprised InterContinental Hotel Phoenicia Beirut, InterContinental Regency Bahrain, InterContinental Riyadh and InterContinental Jeddah, while Holiday Inn won Best Budget Hotel Brand and IHG picked up Best Hotel Brand Worldwide.
Jumeirah Etihad Towers collected two prestigious awards, Best Business Hotel in the Middle East and Best Business Hotel in Abu Dhabi, and the luxury operator also collected Best Hotel Brand in the Middle East.
Sofitel Dubai Downtown won Best New Business Hotel and 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, and The Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah and Hilton Kuwait winning the Sharjah/Northern Emirates and Kuwait categories respectively.
Four Seasons Amman won the Amman category and Rotana Rewards was voted Best Loyalty Programme in the Middle East.