The Middle East’s finest travel brands have been unveiled at a star-studded gala ceremony in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The elite of the travel industry gathered for the World Travel Awards (WTA) Middle East Gala Ceremony 2019 at the new Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi to find out who amongst them had been crowned the finest in the region.
Winners at the red carpet reception included Oman Air, which celebrated a double victory by collecting both ‘Middle East’s Leading Airline – Business Class’ and ‘Middle East’s Leading Airline – Economy Class’, whilst Muscat International Airport, Oman fended off stiff competition to emerge as ‘Middle East’s Leading Airport’.
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The strength of Abu Dhabi’s tourism economy was reflected in a range of victories. The emirate was voted ‘Middle East’s Leading Business Travel Destination’, and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority named ‘Middle East’s Leading Tourist Board’. Emirates Palace was voted ‘Middle East’s Leading Luxury Hotel’ and ‘Middle East’s Leading MICE Hotel’. Meanwhile Etihad Airways picked up ‘Middle East’s Leading Airline – First Class’ and ‘Middle East’s Leading Cabin Crew’.
Graham Cooke, Founder, WTA, said: “What an incredible evening it has been here in the magnificent emirate of Abu Dhabi. We have had the privilege of recognising the Middle East’s leading hotels, destinations, airlines and travel providers and my congratulations to each of them.”
The red-carpet evening formed the second leg of the WTA Grand Tour 2019 – a global search for the finest travel and tourism brands in the world.
Following its opening last summer, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi earned the title of the ‘Middle East’s Leading Tourist Attraction’ racking up more votes than its fellow nominees, while fan-favorite Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi was recognized as the ‘Middle East’s Leading Water Park. Home to the world’s fastest rollercoaster, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi was named the ‘Middle East’s Leading Theme Park’ for the third year running.
Mark Gsellman, Vice President of Theme Parks, Farah Experiences, said: “It’s a real honor to have not one, not two, but all three of our Yas Island theme parks recognized by what is undoubtedly the travel industry’s most prestigious awards body. At our parks, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, we aim to deliver nothing less than a world-class guest experience for our visitors who hail from across the globe. Determined by members of the public, the results of this year’s World Travel Awards are proof that our efforts have not been in vain, and only further fuels our drive to continue bringing our guests some of the region’s most immersive, thrilling and unique entertainment attractions.”
Hospitality winners included Armani Hotel Dubai (‘Middle East’s Leading Lifestyle Hotel’); Atlantis the Palm, Dubai (‘Middle East’s Leading Resort’); Millennium Hotels & Resorts (‘Middle East’s Leading Business Hotel Brand’). New arrival on the Arabian luxury hospitality scene, Emerald Palace Kempinski Hotel, Palm Jumeirah – Dubai, picked up ‘Middle East’s Leading New Hotel’. Rixos Saadiyat Island was named ‘Middle East’s Leading New Resort’.
As part of the Grand Tour 2019, WTA is also hosting ceremonies in Montego Bay (Jamaica), Mauritius, Madeira, La Paz (Bolivia) and Phu Quoc (Vietnam), with the winners progressing to the Grand Final in Muscat (Oman).