UAE Tops the List as Destination of Desire
The past week has been a particularly good one for the UAE. Hot on the heels of the news that Dubai is to host the 2020 World Expo, Dubai has now also been crowned as the “world’s leading destination” at the prestigious World Travel Awards which took place on November 30th in Doha, Qatar. As if that wasn’t enough reason to celebrate – as a result of the awards, the city renowned as the playground to the rich and famous now also lays claim to the iconic Burj Al Arab as world’s leading hotel and the Armani Hotel, which lies nestled within the already world famous Burj Khalifa as the world’s leading landmark hotel.
Not to be outdone, Abu Dhabi – capital of the UAE continued on with the winning streak scooping awards for Emirates Palace as the world’s leading luxury beach resort and the Millenium Hotel Abu Dhabi as world’s leading lifestyle hotel. Jumeirah at Etihad Towers secured the title as the Middle East’s Leading Hotel and the much-applauded Yas Waterworld amusement and waterpark as Middle East’s Leading Tourist Attraction.
Etihad Airways, the national carrier for the UAE based out of Abu Dhabi kept the flag flying by going home with the award as world’s leading airline for a rather impressive fifth year in a row. The airline was also awarded as the ‘world’s leading airline First Class’ for their Diamond First Class cabin where guests enjoy their own private suite with fully flat bed and onboard chef. Additionally, Etihad Airways also secured the enviable award for world’s best cabin crew.
With Etihad Airways and Emirates Airlines proving themselves as two of the world’s most dominant airlines and with Abu Dhabi and Dubai asserting themselves as destinations of desire the country is emerging as a tourism powerhouse that cannot be ignored. Exciting times are certainly ahead.
Meanwhile, Dubai International, the world’s second busiest hub for international passengers recorded 5,667,698 in total for the month of October, up 15.1 percent recorded during the same month in 2012 while Abu Dhabi International Airport reported 1,369,051 passengers for the month of September 2013, up 10.1% compared to the same period in 2012 – although the passenger numbers include both visitors to the country as well as transit passengers.
Photo: Daniel Cheong