Ritz-Carlton takes top honours at hotel Oscars
Seventeen leading hotels in the Middle East were honoured at this year's Depa Middle East Hotel Awards in Cairo last month.The awards, sponsored by international hotel interior contractors Depa Hotel Interiors, were presented in 16 categories, with the accolade of Outstanding Hotel of the Year going to the Ritz-Carlton Dubai. The hotel also won awards in the best leisure hotel and best standard hotel room categories. Other major awards went to Le Royal Meridien Bahrain (best design project), Emirates Towers Hotel Dubai (best business hotel and best executive floor), Ritz-Carlton Doha (best new hotel and best hotel employer), JW Marriott Dubai (best conference hotel), Le Meridien Dubai (best environmentally-friendly hotel and best PR campaign) and the Hotel Inter-Continental Al Ain (best restaurant innovation). Regional winners meanwhile included Six Continents Hotels for best advertising campaign and Ritz-Carlton for best group hotel employer, whilst Ricco De Blank, general manager of the Ritz-Carlton Sharm El Sheikh, was named Hotelier of the Year. The award for best floating hotel went to the Nile cruiser M/S Grand Princess. The awards were presented at an "Oscars" style gala ceremony at the Semiramis Inter-Continental Hotel, attended by over 250 senior hotel industry professionals. They attracted over 110 individual entries from 40 luxury hotels across the Middle East, and were judged by an international panel of hoteliers, designers and consultants. The Depa Middle East Hotel Awards were launched in 2001 in Dubai, and are now recognised as one of the leading events in the international hotel industry calendar. The full list of winners in the Depa Middle East Hotel Awards 2002 awards is: Outstanding Hotel of the Year: Ritz-Carlton Dubai; highly commended - Emirates Towers Dubai; New Hotel: Ritz-Carlton Doha; high commended - Holiday Inn Bur Dubai; Hotel Design: Le Royal Meridien Bahrain; highly commended - Movenpick Resort Cairo Pyramids; Leisure Hotel: Ritz-Carlton Dubai; highly commended - Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa Dubai; Business Hotel: Emirates Towers Dubai; highly commended - Hotel Inter-Continental Doha and Hilton Dubai Creek; Environmentally-friendly Hotel: Le Meridien Dubai; highly commended - Conrad Cairo; Standard Hotel Room: Ritz-Carlton Dubai; highly commended - Al Faisaliah Riyadh; Executive Floor: Emirates Towers Dubai; highly commended - Ritz-Carlton Dubai; Hotel Advertising Campaign: Six Continents Hotels; highly commended - JW Marriott Dubai; Hotel PR Campaign: Le Meridien Dubai; highly commended - Ritz-Carlton Dubai; Group Hotel Employer: Ritz Carlton Hotel Company; Hotel Employer: Ritz-Carlton Doha; highly commended - Emirates Towers Dubai and Ritz-Carlton Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; Conference Hotel: JW Marriott Dubai; highly commended - Phoenicia Inter-Continental Beirut and Le Royal Meridien Bahrain. Hotel Restaurant Innovation: Luce - Inter-Continental Al Ain; highly commended - Verre - Hilton Dubai Creek. Hotelier: Ricco De Blank, Ritz-Carlton Sharm El Sheikh; highly commended - Johnny Fattaleh, Inter-Continental Doha; Floating Hotel: M/S Grand Princess; highly commended - M/S Miss Egypt.