From hundreds of entries, judges noted particular increases in entrants from hotels in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and Jordan.
70 hotels and hotel suppliers have now been shortlisted across 24 award categories. The most popular being the six new categories added for 2016: Best Luxury Hotel (5* ++), Best Fine Dining Experience, Best Al Fresco Dining Experience, Best Family-Friendly Hotel, Best Sports Bar, and Best Airport Hotel.
“This reflects the current growth and diversification of the hotel market in the Middle East,” said Gary Williams, Event Director of the dmg events hospitality portfolio. “With 524 hotel projects currently in planning, development or under construction across the region, and a range of new hotel brands and hotel concepts entering the Middle East market – this trend looks set to continue.”
Now in its 6th year, the prestigious awards seek to identify, highlight and reward excellence across the vibrant hotel industry in the Middle East.
19 official judges, all independent industry experts, were set the task of a rigorous 6 month judging process including various ‘mystery shopper’ visits.
Other categories to be awarded this year include: Best Lobby/Lounge, Best Outdoor Area, Best Hotel Bar, Best Conference & Banquet Facilities, Best Community Engagement, Best Eco Initiative, Best Hotel Apartment, Best Hotel Suite, Best Hotel Renovation/Refurbishment, Best Hotel Partner, Best Budget Hotel, Best Boutique Hotel, Best Business Hotel 4*, Best Business Hotel 5*, Best Resort Hotel, Best New Hotel, Best Hotel 4*, and Best Hotel 5*.
Past winners include: Burj al Arab (Best Middle East Hotel 2014); Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa (Best Middle East Hotel 2015); Gordon Ramsay at The St. Regis Doha (Best Middle East Hotel Restaurant 2015); and Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach (Best New Middle East Hotel 2015).
More than 400 hoteliers are expected to attend the invitation-only event at the new Palazzo Versace Dubai on Tuesday 24th May 2016.
It is sponsored by: Khaled Ahmad Foudeh (KAF); Modul University Dubai; Fiore Rosso; Mai Dubai; Giffard; Desert Stallion by CWS; Patchi; and Tonino Lamborghini.