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  •   World
    UAE dominates majority of World Travel Awards

    Local entities rake in 59 awards at ‘Oscars of the travel industry’

    The UAE again ranked top amongst Middle Eastern countries by winning a majority of “The Oscars of the Travel Industry” in Dubai late on Sunday.

    Celebrating its 21st anniversary in 2014, World Travel Awards, or WTA, has grown into the most prestigious travel industry awards programme in the world. The industry’s elite — including CEOs of leading travel companies and tourist board chiefs — attended the gala event.

    “Dubai represents the first stage of our annual grand tour, which will see the World Travel Awards team visit destinations on every continent in search of the very best of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry,” founder and president Graham E. Cooke said.

    The WTA continues to build its reputation as the “Oscars of the travel industry” by seeking out and rewarding those organisations that have made the greatest contribution to the global travel and tourism industry. The number of qualified votes for the WTA 2014 global programme is expected to be a significant increase on last year’s tally, which was over 530,000, with 25 per cent of this total originating from industry professionals and 75 per cent from travel consumers.

    Launched in 1993, the awards programme features the winners from six regional ceremonies progressing to the grand final at the end of the year. “The World Travel Awards is a unique benchmark for industry quality and business excellence in every region and sector,” Cooke said. The UAE won 59 out of a total 103 recognitions at the 21st WTA, competed by top hotels and travel-related companies in the Middle East.

    Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Burj Al Arab and Qatar were among the names to emerge victorious at World Travel Awards 2013 Middle East Ceremony. Etihad Airways was one of the shining stars, walking off with an impressive list of awards, including Middle East’s Leading Airline, Middle East’s Leading Airline First Class, and Middle East’s Leading Cabin Crew.

    “These awards are testament to our customer-centric approach, with guests placed at the heart of everything we did last year. Our service enhancements in 2013, from the launch of our Flying Nanny service to the continued rollout of Wi-Fi Internet and live television across our fleet, highlight a commitment to delivering best-in-class products and services,” James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and CEO, said in a statement on Monday.

    Other top UAE winners include dnata, Armani Hotel, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, Burj Al Arab, JW Marriott Marquis, Emirates Palace, Rotana Hotels, Royal Jet, Dubai International Airport, Mina Rashid, Madinah Jumeirah, Meydan, Emirates Holidays, and TDIC, among many others.

    Ali Al Hammadi, deputy managing director at the TDIC, said: “We are pleased that a range of our developments have won these prestigious awards, which not only reflect their popularity but also reaffirm the TDIC’s commitment to provide high-quality products across the emirate.”

    (Khaleej Times)

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