Dubai: 63% increase in entries for Middle East Hotel Awards 2016

Ahead of the Middle East Hotel Awards (MEHA) 2016 this week (24th May 2016), judges have revealed a 63% meha_logoincrease in entries.

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. (Winners in Article Two below.)

“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*.

The new Palazzo Versace Dubai - venue for the Middle East Hotel Awards 2016
Palazzo Versace Dubai

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.

The Middle East Hotel Awards 2016 is part of the dmg events hospitality portfolio also including The Hotel Show Dubai – now entering its 17th year. More information can be found at:



PRESS RELEASE Dubai, 25th May 2016: Twelve Dubai hotels won across 24 award categories to dominate the Middle East Hotel Awards 2016 this week.

A total of 70 hotels and hotel suppliers from across the region were shortlisted. Other winners came from Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain.

More than 400 hoteliers from throughout the Middle East attended the awards ceremony (24th May 2016) at the Palazzo Versace Dubai, which took away the award for Best New Hotel 2016.

Speaking at the venue, Sandra Tikal, General Manager of the Palazzo Versace Dubai described the award-winning new hotel as an “urban resort” as well as a “true European palace with an Arabic edge”.

Christopher Hewett, Best New Hotel judge for 2016 commented: “There were high expectations for Palazzo Versace Dubai and it didn’t disappoint. The high quality and attention to detail is synonymous with the Versace brand and this hotel is not different. Although the hotel is of the highest quality in terms of design and finishing, what stands about with this property is the exceptional level of service. The team members throughout the hotel really went above and beyond with warm and engaging service which solidified their position as the best new hotel in the Middle East.”

Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, which unveiled its US $100 million (AED368m) refurbishment in 2015, won across two categories: Best Hotel Suite and Best Hotel Renovation/Refurbishment. The hotel boasts unique ‘Aspen Chalets’ with rustic interiors, ‘crackling fireplaces’ and views of the Ski Dubai indoor ski slope, for an exclusive ‘winter wonderland’ in the desert.

Level 43 Sky Lounge, Four Points by Sheraton Sheikh Zayed Road won the Best Middle East Hotel Bar award for the 2nd year running. A pool bar by day and lounge bar by night, judges commented that the spectacular, 360 degree views of Dubai’s skyline and personalised service could not be paralleled.

Dubai winners in new award categories introduced for 2016 included: Atlantis the Palm, Dubai (Best Family-Friendly Hotel); Huddle Sports Bar & Grill, Citymax, Al Barsha (Best Sports Bar); and Asado at The Palace Downtown (Best Al Fresco Dining Experience).

Other, coveted new award categories for 2016 were won by hotels in Ras Al Khaimah (Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah – Best Luxury Hotel) and Bahrain (CUT by Wolfgang Puck at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay – Best Fine Dining Restaurant).

The remaining Dubai winners for 2016 included: Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa (Best Outdoor Area); InterContinental Hotel Dubai Festival City (Best Conference & Banquet Facilities); Citymax Al Barsha (Best Budget Hotel); XVA Art Hotel, Dubai (Best Boutique Hotel); Millennium Plaza Hotel Dubai (Best Business Hotel 4*); Sofitel The Palm Dubai (Best Hotel 5*); and Savoy Suites Hotel Apartments Dubai (Best Eco Initiative).

Other 2016 winners from hotels outside Dubai included: Premier Inn Abu Dhabi International Airport (Best Airport Hotel); Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay (Best Lobby/Lounge); InterContinental Al Khobar Hotel, Saudi Arabia (Best Community Engagement); Shangri-la, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi (Best Hotel Apartment); Al Faisaliah Hotel (Best Business Hotel 5*); Banyan Tree Al Wadi (Best Resort Hotel); Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi (Best Hotel 4*); and the Best Hotel Partner award for 2016 went to Kazareen Textile Company.

After the presentation of the ‘Best Eco Initiative’ award, its category sponsor MODUL University Dubai made an announcement launching the Middle East Sustainable Tourism Education and Research Center (MESTER). The first Center of its kind to be established in the Middle East, MESTER “supports the region’s efforts in driving sustainable tourism through investment in education scholarships, research grants and entrepreneurship support”.
Other sponsors for 2016 event included: Khaled Ahmad Foudeh (KAF); Fiore Rosso; Mai Dubai; Giffard; Desert Stallion by CWS; Patchi; and Tonino Lamborghini.

More information on The Middle East Hotel Awards and 17th annual The Hotel Show Dubai (17-19th September 2016; Dubai World Trade Centre), can be found at <> .