World Travel Awards has arrived in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, ahead of the Middle East Gala Ceremony 2018.
The glittering event will take place at the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah on Thursday, April 19th.
Hundreds of industry leaders from across the region are expected to attend the Gala Ceremony, which takes place alongside the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2018, being hosted simultaneously in the northern most emirate.
The red-carpet ceremony heralds the opening leg of the World Travel Awards Grand Tour 2018 – a search for the finest travel and tourism organisations in the world.
The Grand Tour 2018 also marks World Travel Awards’ own 25th anniversary of honouring excellence in the international hospitality industry.
As it celebrates its silver jubilee, it will be World Travel Awards’ first visit to Ras Al Khaimah.
The burgeoning tourism hotspot boasts an enviable climate, traditional culture, sandy beaches and a wealth of activities, including the world’s longest zipline, Jebel Jais Flight, on the UAE’s highest mountain.
Graham Cooke, founder, World Travel Awards, said: “It will be an absolute pleasure to visit Ras Al Khaimah for the very first time.
“Fringed by the majestic Al Hajar Mountains amid swathes of terracotta coloured dunes, Ras Al Khaimah promises an authentic Arabian experience.”
He added: “WTA has maintained its position as the industry leader for the past 25 years, consistently proving its value as the global benchmark for excellence in the travel, tourism and hospitality business.
“This year will be extra special as we will be celebrating our 25th anniversary so there is a lot to look forward to, starting with our Middle East Gala Ceremony 2018 in partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.”
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).
A natural complement to the bright lights and skyscrapers of Dubai just 45 minutes’ drive away, Ras al Khaimah offers authentic and nature-based adventure and culture, with year-round sunshine, spectacular landscapes, 64 kilometres of sandy beaches, enticing desert adventures, adventure sports activities in the mountains and first-class places to stay.
Haitham Mattar, chief executive, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: “It is a great honour to welcome the prestigious World Travel Awards gala dinner for the first time to Ras Al Khaimah, an event that brings together travel industry leaders worldwide.
“Choosing Ras Al Khaimah to be the host of this event is testimony of our growing appeal within the MICE sector and we look forward to the guests experiencing our authentic Arabian hospitality and diverse tourism offer.”