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Middle East’s leading brands compete in Dubai for ultimate travel accolade

Middle East’s leading brands compete in Dubai for ultimate travel accolade ( DUBAI - The Middle East’s most successful travel brands are set to be acknowledged at a glittering gala ceremony hosted by World Travel Awards (WTA) at Jebel Ali Golf Resort&Spa on Monday, April 31, 2012.

The likes of Jumeirah, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Armani Hotel Dubai, Qatar Airways, Emirates Palace, and Rotana Hotels are among those in the running for top honors.

Lebanese singing sensation, Carole Samaha, will headline the show, with the critically-acclaimed comedian, Wonho Chung, also set to perform. Ece Vahapoğlu of Al Jazeera Turkey will anchor proceedings.

More than 500 of the most important decision-makers in the region’s travel and tourism sector, as well as a host of international media, are set to attend what will be the most important night of the year for Arabian travel.

The WTA awards program, hailed as the “Oscars of the travel industry” by the global media, highlights and rewards those travel brands that have made the greatest contribution to the industry over the past year.

After a fierce round of voting featuring more than 2,000 organizations, the nominees have been whittled down to the elite few.

Categories to watch include “Middle East’s Leading Destination” with Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia in contention. Competition for “Middle East’s Leading Hotel” is expected to be fierce, with Emirates Palace (Abu Dhabi), Burj Al Arab (Dubai), Six Senses Zighy Bay (Oman), and the Ritz-Carlton Doha (Qatar) among those going head-to-head.

Graham E. Cooke, President adn Founder, WTA, underlined the core strengths of the Middle East nominees.

He said: “Travel and tourism in the Middle East is rebounding strongly following the political and economic challenges of 2011. The winners at our ceremony will be those organizations that have made the greatest contribution to this recovery.

“I am delighted that we will be returning to Dubai for what promises to be the most exciting and competitive Middle East Ceremony yet. The emirate is a hotbed of fresh ideas being put into practice, as exemplified by our host, Jebel Ali Golf Resort&Spa.”

Jebel Ali Golf Resort&Spa is the flagship resort of Jebel Ali International Hotels, and consists of two five-star properties, Palm Tree Court&Spa, which has recently undergone a full refurbishment, and Jebel Ali Hotel, which offers views over the Arabian Gulf and a championship-standard, nine-hole golf course.

David Thomson, Regional General Manager of Jebel Ali International Hotels, expressed his pleasure at hosting the event, saying: “We are delighted that the leaders of the Middle East travel industry will celebrate their achievements at Jebel Ali Golf Resort&Spa this Monday. The awards are an accurate representation of excellence and it is a true honor to be nominated alongside other leading hotel groups.”

The evening coincides with Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (April 28-30) and Arabian Travel Market (April 30-May 3), which are both taking place in Dubai.

Other regional heats in WTA’s Grand Tour 2012 will be taking place in the Algarve (Portugal), Nairobi (Kenya), Singapore, and Turks&Caicos. The winners of these regional heats will progress to the Grand Final, which will take place at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, New Delhi, India, on December 12, 2012.

MEDIA CONTACT: Anton Santos, T: +44 (0)20 7925 0000, E: , W:

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