Billed as the Travel Oscars, the World Travel Awards' Middle East ceremony was held last week at the Armani Hotel Dubai. The awards are one of several regional ceremonies that will take place throughout the year in Antalya, Turkey; Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; Bangkok, Thailand; and Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The travel and tourism industry's elite attended Monday's ceremony which celebrates brands that are pushing the boundaries of industry excellence. Over 460 organizations across the Middle East entered the competition which spans 125 categories.
The United Arab Emirates led the winners at the 2011 ceremony. For the past eight years and counting, the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai was voted Middle East's Leading Hotel. Dubai itself was voted Middle East's Leading Destination as well as Middle East's Leading Meetings and Conference Destination.
Rising star Abu Dhabi also took home a host of top honors including Middle East's Leading Tourist Board and Middle East's Responsible Tourism Award, while UAE's National Airline, Etihad Airways, walked off with four awards including Leading Airline.
Below is a list of key winners at the May 2, 2011 awards:
World Travel Awards: Middle East
Leading Hotel - Burj Al Arab, Dubai
Leading Luxury Hotel - Raffles Makkah Palace, Saudi Arabia
Leading Leisure Hotel - Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, Dubai
Leading New Hotel - Makkah Clock Royal Tower - A Fairmont Hotel, Saudi Arabia
Leading Resort - Atlantis The Palm, Dubai
Leading Luxury Beach Resort - Al Qasr at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai
Leading Desert Resort - Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, Abu Dhabi
Leading Family Resort - Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, Abu Dhabi
Leading Golf Course - The Address Montgomerie Dubai