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Dubai scoops travel `oscars`

Emirates and British Airways shared the airline honours, Le Meridien scored a double hotels triumph, and Royal Caribbean cruised to a repeat success at the 2001…

Emirates and British Airways shared the airline honours, Le Meridien scored a double hotels triumph, and Royal Caribbean cruised to a repeat success at the 2001 Travel Intelligence Middle East Achieving Industry Excellence<.> Awards held tonight.

Launching a big week for the Middle East travel industry, the annual showpiece, sponsored by MasterCard International, brought together an impressive line-up of industry professionals and personalities for a spectacular gala evening at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, Dubai.

Staged on the eve of Arabian Travel Market, the event – co-sponsored by the British Tourist Authority and Aramex – also saw Emirates Holidays, BTI UAE, Avis, Holidays by DNATA, JW Marriott Dubai, Emirates Towers and Royal Mirage grabbing coveted regional travel trade Oscars, completing a great night for Dubai.

With a spotlights-and-red-carpet welcome for guests in tuxedos and ball gowns, and the hotel`s Rashidiya Ballroom creating a Hollywood-style scene, the buzz behind the celebrations reflected the buoyancy of the Middle East travel business, with tourism on an upwards spiral.

These are exciting times for the regional travel trade, and just as the evening highlighted how significant the awards have become, it also summed up the general atmosphere in the industry, said Kate Rouse, publisher of Travel Intelligence Middle East, the region`s leading travel publication and the organisers of the Awards.

Emirates captured three out of five airline Oscars`, for best short haul airline, best business class airline, and best economy class airline, while British Airways was honoured with awards for best long haul, and best first class carrier.

Le Meridien had double cause to celebrate, after being named best Middle East and best international hotel group. In the other hotel categories, the JW Marriott won the award for best conference facilities Middle East, the Royal Mirage Dubai collected the award for best resort hotel in the Middle East, and Emirates Towers was named best business hotel Middle East.

Celebrating its first success at the Awards, Avis was named best international car rental company, while Royal Caribbean Cruises was honoured for the second consecutive year as best international cruise line.

The other travel Oscars went to Emirates Holidays as best tour operator Middle East, Holidays by DNATA as best leisure travel agency Middle East, and BTI UAE, voted best business travel agency Middle East.

The Travel Intelligence Middle East Awards produced a huge response from the magazine`s readership, which is made up of corporate travel buyers, frequent travellers and travel trade professionals, and their votes were independently verified by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Broadcasting from the event, 104.8 Channel 4FM announced Australia as its listeners` favourite destination in a competition run on the station`s website.

Full list of 2001 Travel Intelligence Middle East Achieving Industry Excellence Awards:

Best Short Haul Airline: Emirates

Best Long Haul Airline: British Airways

Best First Class Airline: British Airways

Best Business Class Airline: Emirates

Best Economy Class Airline: Emirates

Best Hotel Group Middle East: Le Meridien

Best Business Hotel Middle East: Emirates Towers Dubai

Best Resort Hotel Middle East: Royal Mirage Dubai

Best International Hotel Group: Le Meridien

Best International Car Rental Company: Avis

Best International Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean Cruises

Best Conference Facilities Middle East: JW Marriott Dubai

Best Tour Operator Middle East: Emirates Holidays

Best Leisure Travel Agency Middle East: Holidays by DNATA

Best Business Travel Agency Middle East: BTI UAE

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.