THE seventh annual Middle East & North Africa (Mena) Travel Awards gala ceremony took place once again on May 2, 2012 at the Al Meyden Hotel in Dubai, UAE.
The awards, which were formed to annually celebrate the skills, creativity, ingenuity and triumph of the Middle East and North Africa’s growing travel industry, hosted by CHA (Consultants of Hospitality Administrators) under the coordination of president Dr. Sam Saker, looks at honouring the successful entrants in each of the industry categories; and those who are considered to be the best in their specific sector.
Since 2003, the Mena Travel Award has evolved into a prestigious and quality event during which all segments of the travel industry serving the Mena Region are voted for and recognised by the end user. This year, 450 participants from over 12 countries registered their brand under 16 categories. The categories that help distinguish key players from each segment of the travel industry, including the number of ties. There were 53 winners in the specifically devised awards system, which was given the ties of Platinum, Gold, and Silver awards for each of the 16 selected industry categories.
This year’s gala event held at Al Meydan Hotel, Dubai was attended by over 800 top professionals. Their attendance was highly appreciated for the success of this important mission and for the triumph of such unique tourism Quality contest of our great region.
“It is very important to recognise real talent and superior service in our industry to stimulate even higher standards and to applaud the effort made by so many,” said Dr Saker. “That is why we have very carefully designed the Mena Travel Awards to follow very specific procedures to ensure they are first class and have real merit.”
The Mena Travel awards maintain high levels of integrity in their voting system together with PriceWaterhouse Coopers. Entrants also have the right to inspect, at any time, the final results of selected finalists and award winners.
“What makes these awards so important is that they cover all key travel and hospitality industry sectors” explained Dr Saker. “This also acknowledges the tremendous breadth the whole industry offers today and its continued aims for excellence.”
This year’s list of winners includes:
Best Golf Club: JW Marriott Cairo – Cairo (Platinum);
Best Spa: Angsana Spa Sheraton Bangalore At Brigade Gateway, Bangalore (Silver), Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah – Cairo and W Doha Hotel And Residences – Doha (Gold) and Banyan Tree Spa Al Wadi - Ras Al Khaimah (Platinum);
Best Car Rental- Local Brand: Al Muftah Rent a Car – Doha (Silver), Diamond Lease Car Rental – Dubai (Gold), Fast Rent A Car – UAE (Platinum);
Best Car Rental- International Brand: Budget Saudi – Jeddah (Gold), Europcar – Dubai (Platinum);
Best Conference / Convention Centre: Sharm El Sheikh International Congress Centre – Sharm El Sheikh (Silver), Le Meridien Amman – Amman (Gold), Hilton Abu Dhabi – Abu Dhabi (Platinum);
Best Tourism Project: Gpic Club – Manama (Platinum);
Best Price Value Hotel: Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport Hotel – Dubai and Holiday Inn Express Dubai Internet City Hotel – Dubai (Silver), Mena Grand Khalidiah Hotel and Marina Byblos Hotel – Dubai (Gold), Radisson Blu Hotel, Cairo Heliopolis – Cairo (Platinum);
Best Fine Dining Restaurant: Riyadh Marriott Hotel – Riyadh (Silver), Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah - Cairo (Gold), JW Marriott Cairo – Cairo (Platinum);
Best Environmental Hotel: Tamani Hotel Marina (Silver), Sofitel So Mauritius – Bel Ombre (Gold), Mövenpick Resort El Quseir - Red Sea Egypt (Platinum);
Best four-star New Hotel for 2011: Holiday Inn Al Khobar Corniche – Al Khobar and Marina Byblos Hotel – Dubai (Silver), Pullman Mall Of The Emirates Dubai – Dubai (Gold), Ramada Jumeirah Hotel – Dubai (Platinum);
Best five-star New Hotel for 2011: Mena Grand Khalidiah Hotel, Saudi Arabia (Silver), Shaza Al Madina Hotel – Al Madina Al Mounawarah, Saudi Arabia and The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh - Saudi Arabia (Gold), The Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre – Dubai (Platinum);
Best Conference / Convention Hotel: The Meydan Hotel – Dubai (Silver), The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh (Gold), Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers – Cairo (Platinum);
Best four-star Leisure Hotel: Golden Tulip Khasab Resort, Oman (Silver), Holiday Inn Resort Half Moon Bay - Al Khobar (Gold), Bin Majid Beach Hotel - Ras Al Khaimah, UAE (Platinum);
Best five-star Leisure Hotel: Banyan Tree Al Wadi - Ras Al Khaimah (Silver), Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa – Dubai (Gold), Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort – Fujairah (Platinum);
Best four-star Business / Corporate Hotel: Holiday Inn Dubai - Al Barsha - Dubai (Silver), Arjaan By Rotana Dubai – Dubai (Gold), Holiday Inn Riyadh Al Qasr – Riyadh (Platinum);
Best 5-Star Business / Corporate Hotel: Millennium Hotel Doha – Qatar, Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach – Dubai and The Meydan Hotel – Dubai (Silver), Park Hyatt Jeddah – Marina, Club And Spa – Jeddah, Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach – Dubai and Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers – Cairo (Gold), W Doha Hotel And Residences – Doha and Le Meridien Dubai – Dubai (Platinum).