The UAE has scooped over 50 awards at this year’s World Travel Awards, retaining its position as the top travel destination in the Middle East.
The winners were announced at a virtual ceremony on 27th November 2020, in Moscow where Russian actors Ingeborga Dapkunaite and Yuri Kolokolnikov.
Established in 1993, the World Travel Awards acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Today, it's a brand that is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence.
Among the global accolades, Dubai was named World’s Leading Business Travel Destination and Dubai International Airport was crowned World Leading Airport.
UAE entities also won in the categories of World's Leading Airline Rewards Programme 2020 – Emirates Airline; World’s Leading Hotel 2020 – Armani Hotel Dubai; World’s Leading Cruise Port - Mina Rashid; World’s Leading Shopping Mall – Dubai Mall.
DP World, UAE Region’s key development Mina Rashid has retained this coveted title for 13 successive years, since 2008, said its top official.
Over the years, owing to extensive development and significant upgrades, the port has become a preferred destination for cruise lines around the world.
Mina Rashid’s proximity to Dubai International Airport and the heart of the city make it an ideal choice as passengers can get easy access to key locales in the city.
The port boasts a quay wall of 2.3km and can simultaneously handle seven mega-cruise vessels or 25,000 passengers in a single day.
On the big win, Mohammed Al Mannaei, CEO, P&O Marinas and Executive Director, Mina Rashid, said: "It is an honour to receive this award, year after year. 2020 was a challenging year, despite this it is heart-warming to see that Mina Rashid is still the top choice."
"This proves that we are moving in the right direction in terms of promoting Dubai as a popular destination for international cruise tourists. As the Middle East’s premier destination for cruise operators, Mina Rashid offers a value proposition to global luxury cruise liners. Each year, we have seen a steady increase in tourist traffic," he added.
The debut virtual World Travel Awards ceremony was streamed from the flagship tourist information centre in Zaryadye Park and the hall of the Central Business Space.
Voting for the nominations took place from September 28 to October 25 via the World Travel Award’s official website. Both tourism industry specialists and members of the public could take part, however, one vote from a travel industry specialist was equivalent to two votes from a member of the public.
This year, more than 270 nominations were put forward across categories including best hotels, airlines, tour operators, cities, resorts and attractions.
Winners include Maldives, which cemented its reputation as the definitive secluded sanctuary to win ‘World’s Leading Destination’ for the first time.
Portugal also performed strongly, with Madeira voted ‘World’s Leading Island Destination’, Lisbon named ‘World’s Leading City Break Destination’ and The Algarve picking up ‘World’s Leading Beach Destination’. Greek Ministry of Tourism/GNTO was voted ‘World’s Leading Tourist Board’.
Russia’s imperial splendour was recognised with the award for ‘World’s Leading Cultural Destination’, and its cities emerging with top honours: Moscow was voted ‘World’s Leading City Destination’ ahead of New York, Paris and London, while Saint Petersburg collected ‘World’s Leading Cultural City Destination’ award.
The Russian capital is recognised as one of the most interesting and technologically advanced cities in the world, with its own character, rich history, and unique opportunities for work and recreation.
Moscow’s ambitions to boost inbound tourism is well underway, with the recent introduction of e-visas now available for citizens of 52 countries.
From January 1, 2021 foreigners can enter via 29 specially equipped checkpoints throughout the country, including three of Moscow’s international airports (Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo) and stay for 16 days whether for tourism, business, humanitarian activities or private reasons. Russia already has a pre-exiting visa-free travel agreement for citizens of the UAE.
For those wanting to explore what the world’s best tourist destination has to offer, a new digital service Russpass makes it easy to plan a trip to Russia, and Moscow in particular.
The service offers an option to create a personalised route through selected locations or choose a ready-made route along with hotel bookings, plane or train tickets, excursions, museums or theaters. A large number of useful services are all put together on one portal.-TradeArabia News Service