At a glance n ITB 2005 Highlights
Emirates exhibit bags top award
Emirates beat off stiff competition from the travel industry to win the ‘Best Exhibitor Award for the Middle East’ section of the ITB Travel Fair.
Chosen for its design as well as the service and activities on the stand, the Emirates exhibit was shaped like an Airbus A380 super jumbo. The Emirates. stand took 20 men 10 days to erect. It was constructed from steel and weigh some 30 tonnes, was fully air-conditioned and had two floors including a majlis (meeting area) for VIP visitors.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Emirates Group, who headed the delegation of senior Emirates staff to Berlin, had this to say of the award: “We are very proud to have won the award for ‘Best Exhibitor for the Middle East’ section. We like to make an impact at these shows and we feel that the effort we put into our stand reflects the high quality of effort at every level of our operation.”
Awards galore for Dubai
For the first time in history, Dubai has won four awards at an international platform after the Emirate emerged top in four categories in a global survey of 167,000 tour operators and travel agents in 200 countries conducted by the WorldTravel BTI. Dubai scored over leading international destinations like Las Vegas, London and Paris to claim the honours in categories for Best Destination in the World, Best Destination in the Middle East, Best International Destination and Best Destination for Conferences.
The awards were received at a ceremony on the sidelines of the 39th ITB. The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) director operations and marketing, Mohammed Khamis bin Hareb, led the DTCM delegation which received the awards from Graham Cook, chairman of the WorldTravel BTI Awards. Bin Hareb said the selection of Dubai in this global survey speaks volumes about the emergence of Dubai on the world tourism map and the success in turning into reality the vision of HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Minister of Defense.
In addition, Dubai also bagged the prestigious Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (Patwa) award for being a ‘Destination for Romance, Adventure and Shopping’. This is the first award in this category.
Qatar steals the limelight
n Qatar enjoyed its best-ever participation at ITB Berlin 2005 with a string of awards for its national airline, tourism board and chairman of both organisations, Akbar Al Baker. Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism Authority were adjudged by the exhibition organisers to have the second and third best Middle East stand, respectively, at the five-day event held in the German capital.
Al Baker was also honoured by the prominent Pacific Asia Travel Writers’ Association (PATWA) with the ‘Aviation Man of the Year’ award for his achievements in turning Qatar Airways into one of the fastest growing airlines in the world. Since taking the helm at Qatar Airways in 1997, Al Baker has developed the airline from a four-aircraft operation and small route network to a fleet size today of 39 planes flying to 59 destinations.