The Middle Eastern hospitality giant was crowned during a glittering event at The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi in the Maldives in front of an audience of over 250 hospitality leaders from around the world.
Also recognised was Abu Dhabi flag-carrier Etihad Airways, taking the title of World’s Leading Airline for the eighth time in succession.
Saint Petersburg, itself preparing to host the World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony 2017, was also honoured, taking the title of World’s Leading Cultural City Destination.
World Travel Awards President Graham Cooke said: “It has been a real honour to return here to the Maldives, and in particular to bring the Grand Final to Sun Siyam Iru Fushi for the first time. We have seen the best of international tourism recognised here at the resort tonight.
“More than 1.1 million votes were cast during our Grand Tour 2016, both from members of the public and from within the hospitality industry, and these voices have been heard.
“My congratulations to all of our winners this evening and I look forward to greeting many of you next year as we begin our search anew.”
From North America, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority took the title of World's Leading Meetings & Conference Destination, while Miami Beach Visitor & Convention Authority walked away with the World's Leading City Tourist Board title. Host Maldives was recognised by voters from around the globe as the World's Leading Beach Destination.
HNA Tourism Group shone the spotlight on the rapid development of Chinese hospitality, taking the title of World's Leading Integrated Tourism Group.
In South America, Ecuador was awarded the trophy for World's Leading Green Destination.
Frasers Hospitality was honoured with the title of World's Leading Serviced Apartment Brand, while Europcar took the title World's Leading Green Transport Solution Company.
Partners for the Grand Final 2016 included Sun Siyam Group, Trans Maldivian Airways, SriLankan Airlines, Ooredoo, and St. Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development.
TV5 Monde acted as the World Travel Awards’ Intentional Broadcast Partner. World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.
Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.
Each year World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective successes within each key geographical region.