The region’s growing influence as a high-end tourist destination has been reaffirmed after the Middle East Hospitality Awards (MEHA) announced hotels from four different countries as their Luxury Hotel of the Year finalists for 2017.

Resorts in Oman, Kuwait, Morocco, and the UAE have been pitted against one another for the annual prize-giving’s most sought after title – the first time in the awards’ six-year history that all four finalists have come from different nations.

The five-star-rated properties identified as the Middle East’s most luxurious are Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara; Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa Kuwait; Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca; and Palazzo Versace Dubai (pictured in slideshow below).

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“We received hundreds of entries this year, covering more of a geographic reach than ever before,” commented Gary Williams, Event Director of The Hotel Show Dubai, organisers of the Middle East Hospitality Awards.

“Our finalists across all our award categories include hotels from Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Bahrain, and the UAE, with five-star hotels from four of those competing for one of our top prizes. The stellar line-up for Luxury Hotel of the Year confirms the Middle East’s growing position as one of the world’s most impressive destinations for luxury hospitality.”

Dubai has the most properties represented in the shortlist, with almost 50 different properties nominated across the awards’ 17 categories.

One of the city’s most iconic hotels, Atlantis The Palm Dubai, is up for the most awards this year with four shortlisted entries: Hospitality Leader of the Year (Serge Zaalof, Chief Operating Officer, Atlantis Resorts & Residences), Head Chef of the Year (Grégoire Berger, Ossiano), Most Impressive Hotel Feature (The Dale Chihuly Sculpture), Best Use of Technology (Wi-Q).

Picture 044Pictured: The Dale Chihuly Sculpture at Atlantis The Palm Dubai – shortlisted for Most Impressive Hotel Feature 2017

Meanwhile Dubai-based Rove Hotels (Most Impressive Hotel Feature; Hotel Launch of the Year; Mid-Market Hotel of the Year); Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa (Most Impressive Hotel Feature; Resort of the Year; Hospitality Leader of the Year); dusitD2 Kenz Hotel (Mid-Market Hotel of the Year; Best New Restaurant of the Year; Most Impressive Hotel Feature); and Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai (Best Spa / Wellness Centre; Hotel Launch of the Year; Boutique Hotel of the Year) are all shortlisted for three awards.

picture 3
Pictured: Rove Downtown – shortlisted for Mid-Market Hotel of the Year 2017

M48Pictured: Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa – shortlisted for Most Impressive Hotel Feature 2017; Resort of the Year 2017; Hospitality Leader of the Year 2017

8813_4_BHY_Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai_exterior viewPictured: Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai – shortlisted for Best Spa / Wellness Centre 2017; Hotel Launch of the Year 2017; Boutique Hotel of the Year 2017

Famed for its unique location on the edge of a cliff, Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort Oman has been shortlisted for two awards (Hotel Launch of the Year; Hospitality Leader of the Year) alongside Gates Hospitality, Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay, and The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, also with two nods each.

Anantara 2
Pictured: Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort Oman – shortlisted for Hotel Launch of the Year 2017; Hospitality Leader of the Year 2017

The 2017 awards received a record number of applications, with the most popular entered categories being: Luxury Hotel of the Year, Best Spa / Wellness Centre, Best Team of the Year, Hospitality Leader of the Year and Best New Restaurant of the Year.

A distinguished judging panel of ten industry experts – headed up by Michelin-starred Chef and Restaurateur Gary Rhodes OBE – will now be tasked with selecting the winning entries.

Rhodes said: “The Middle East Hospitality Awards are a great opportunity to show the international market that we’re knocking on its door.

“There are world-class hotels here. There are world-class restaurants here. There are great eateries of all kinds – so let’s show everybody what we are all about.”

Gary Rhodes OBE, Ambassador and Judge, MEHA 2017 at Dubai restaurant Rhodes W1 at Grosvenor House
Pictured: Michelin-starred Chef and Restaurateur Gary Rhodes OBE, MEHA 2017 Ambassador and Judge 

The Middle East Hospitality Awards 2017, sponsored by Restonic, Tagit RFID Solutions, Pastificio Di Martino, Zumtobel Group, Kimbo, and Pearl Tree, will take place on the first evening of The Hotel Show Dubai 2017 on 18th September, at the Palazzo Versace Dubai. More than 400 hoteliers from across the Middle East are expected to attend.

For more information on how to attend the awards or register for The Hotel Show Dubai 2017, please visit: www.thehotelshow.com

 

The full Middle East Hospitality Awards 2017 shortlist is as follows:

LUXURY HOTEL OF THE YEAR

Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca
Palazzo Versace Dubai
Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara
Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa

BOUTIQUE HOTEL OF THE YEAR

Melia Dubai
Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai
Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay
XVA Art Hotel

MID-MARKET HOTEL OF THE YEAR

dusitD2 Kenz Hotel, Dubai
Park Inn by Radisson Hotel Abu Dhabi Yas Island
Premier Inn Ibn Battuta
Rove Downtown

HOTEL LAUNCH OF THE YEAR

Address Boulevard
Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort
Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai
Rove City Centre

MOST IMPRESSIVE HOTEL FEATURE

Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve – Al Maha – A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa
The Dale Chihuly Sculpture – Atlantis, The Palm
Zeinab Al Hashemi artworks – dusitD2 Kenz Hotel
The Contemporary Cabinet of Curiosities – Rove Hotels

BEST HOTEL DEVELOPER

Dur Hospitality Company
Jannah Hotels & Resorts
Khamas Hospitality
Swiss International Hotels & Resorts

RESORT OF THE YEAR

Al Maha – A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa
Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort
Sofitel The Palm
Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah

RISING STAR AWARD

Cenk Unverdi – Rixos The Palm Dubai
Elham Bolooki – Jumeirah Group Dubai
Peter Adel – Fairmont Dubai
Yasmin Farahmandy – Gensler

BEST BAR / NIGHTLIFE VENUE

Iris Dubai – Addmind Group
Luna Sky Bar – Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Finance Centre
Hendricks Bar – Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach
The Backyard – Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay

BEST GYM / SPORTING FACILITY

Fitness First Oasis Centre
Haddins Fitness
Smart Fitness
Talise Fitness – Madinat Jumeirah

BEST SPA / WELLNESS CENTRE

Anantara Spa – Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort
Heart & Soul Spa and Wellness – Al Barari
Nikki Spa – Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai
Talise Spa – Madinat Jumeirah

BEST USE OF TECHNOLOGY

Atlantis, The Palm – Wi-Q
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi – RFID
Jannah Hotels & Resorts – Jannah Burj Al Sarab
Kenz Hotel Management LLC – HDI

BEST NEW RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR

Bazxar – Create Hospitality
folly by Nick & Scott – Gates Hospitality
Ramusake – DoubleTree by Hilton
Wise Kwai – dusitD2 Kenz Hotel

BEST EVENT VENUE

Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel Residence & Spa
Fairmont Ajman
Hilton Makkah Convention Hotel
Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre

BEST TEAM OF THE YEAR

Citymax Hotel Bur Dubai
Okku
The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management
MATTO

HEAD CHEF OF THE YEAR

Gregoire Berger – Ossiano
Maurizio Bosetti – Il Borro Tuscan Bistro
Himanshu Saini – Tresind
James Knight-Pacheco – Vida Downtown

HOSPITALITY LEADER OF THE YEAR

Arne Silvis, General Manager – Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai
Darren Darwin, General Manager – Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, Oman
David Allan, Cluster General Manager –  Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Waterfront
Naim Maadad, Chief Executive Officer – Gates Hospitality
Serge Zaalof, Chief Operating Officer – Atlantis Resorts & Residences
Stefan Tornau, Senior Director Hospitality Service – Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

 

Written by talkabouthospitalitycom

Senior PR Manager, dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa hospitality portfolio. Find out more about our core events: www.thehotelshow.com / www.theleisureshow.com

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