2018 World Travel Awards Middle Easts gala ceremony was held on 19th April at Ras al Khaimah. The carpet ceremony attended by more than 500 industry leading figures and professionals from across the Middle East marked the start of the WTA Grand Tour 2018.
WTA was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.Today, the WTA brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.
Each year, WTA covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective success within each key geographical region.WTA gala ceremonies are widely regarded as the best networking opportunities in the travel industry, attended by government and industry leaders, luminaries and international print and broadcast media.
The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert, was among the big winners this year, taking the title of Middle East's Leading Luxury Desert Resort. Voters also honoured Ras al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which was recognised as the Middle Easts Leading Adventure Tourism Destination.
On a special night for the northern most emirate, the newly opened ToroVerde zipline was presented with the title of Middle East's Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction.
As World Travel Awards celebrates its silver jubilee, the organisation gave the prestigious title of Middle Easts Leading Travel Personality to Nasser Al Nowais, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Rotana Hotel Management Corporation.
The event took place at the Waldorf Astoria Ras al Khaimah, which was itself revealed as Ras Al Khaimahs Leading Resort.
"What an evening it has been here in Ras al Khaimah at the Waldorf Astoria.We have had the privilege to recognise many of the best hotels, airlines and hospitality providers from many destinations across the Middle East and my sincere congratulations to each of them."Said Graham Cooke, World Travel Awards President and Founder.
"Our winners this evening will now move forward to the Grand Final 2018, which is this year taking place in Lisbon, capital of Portugal, in December."
In the hospitality sector, The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah, took the title of Middle East's Leading Luxury Villa Resort.
In aviation, Oman Air was honoured with trophies for both Middle East's Leading Airline - Business Class: and Middle East's Leading Airline - Economy Class while Dubai-based Emirates took the title of Middle Easts Leading Airline.
United Arab Emirates flag-carrier Etihad Airways took the titles of Middle Easts Leading Airline Website and Middle Easts Leading Airline Rewards Programme for Etihad Guest.
As part of the Grand Tour 2018, WTA is also hosting ceremonies in Athens (Greece), Jamaica, Hong Kong, Guayaquil (Ecuador), Durban (South Africa), with the winners progressing to the Grand Final in Lisbon (Portugal). The Grand Final will take place Lisbon, Portugal, on December 1st.
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