Dubai's hotels, restaurants and shopping celebrated

The winners of the Condé Nast Traveller Middle East Readers’ Choice Awards have been revealed

Dubai's hotels, restaurants and shopping celebrated
Dubai's hotels, restaurants and shopping celebrated Image #2
Paul Griffiths
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If you’re a foodie looking for a staycation then there’s a hotel with your name on it. FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai has been voted favourite culinary hotel in the annual Condé Nast Traveller Middle East Readers’ Choice Awards.

The hotel picked up its award in a ceremony at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai last night (Wednesday February 27), thanks to the collection of top-quality restaurant it houses.

From Italian Quattro Passi (sister to the Michelin-starred restaurant in Nerano, Italy) to European eats at beachside spot Praia, global brasserie BLVD on One and Chinese restaurant Maiden Shanghai, there’s heaps of choice at the hotel. It also include the winner of Time Out Dubai’s Best Bar Food Award, The Penthouse.

In second was Address Downtown, which is home to STK Downtown, The Galliard, ZETA, NEOS and The Restaurant.

The awards celebrate the best in travel, as voted for by readers and consumers of the Condé Nast Traveller in the GCC. The voting was open for six months for reader to have their say on the favourites in a variety of categories, spanning destinations, hotels, airlines, airports, cruises and travel organisers, and the winners were revealed in a glittering ceremony at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai.

And it was a successful night for the city as a whole, as Dubai was voted the number one shopping destination by readers. With a massive appetite for shopping, and some huge malls, it’s no surprise – especially as The Dubai Mall turned ten years old in 2018, and also opened Fashion Avenue.

Also picking up awards on the night were Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai as favourite Business Hotel and Anantara The Palm Resort Dubai as favourite romantic getaway. Favourite spa retreat went to Jumeirah Zabeel Saray – home to the massive Talise Ottoman Spa (complete with its own snow cave). Meliá Desert Palm Resort, Dubai picked up favourite family hotel.

GAIA was named Hottest New Restaurant Opening in the Editor’s Choice Awards.

From popular chef Izu Ani, this Greek-Mediterranean spot in DIFC. GAIA is packed nightly and serves up tasty dishes in a more relaxed setting than some DIFC restaurants you might find. There’s also a fish market-style counter, with an excellent selection, should you be hankering for a seafood supper.

The restaurant was up against Italian restaurant all’onda and Oak Room in Abu Dhabi as part of the Editor’s Choice Awards at the event.

Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai, which opened at the end of 2018 on the Palm picked up the Editor’s Choice Award for the most anticipated hotel opening. Located on the Palm’s West Crescent, the 100,000 sq m beach resort has 389 rooms and suites, a 3,000 sq m spa, a state-of the-art gym and a 500m private beach. There are also several exciting new restaurants including all’onda, miX by Alain Ducasse and Villamoré – which was Highly Commended in Time Out Dubai’s Best Casual Newcomer category at the 2019 Restaurant Awards.

W Dubai – The Palm, which sits directly next door to the Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai, picked up second place.

Meanwhile the Editor’s Choice Award best cultural opening went to Louvre Abu Dhabi, with the Royal Opera: House of Musical Arts, Muscat in second and The Dubai Frame in third.

The outstanding achievement award went to Paul Griffiths & the Dubai Airports team.

Last year DXB International Airport welcomed its billionth passenger – which was a massive achievement for the team. Griffiths joined in 2007 and in that time the team has overseen the launch of Terminal 3 at DXB, the opening of second airport Dubai World Central (DWC) and the building of the world’s first purpose-built facility for A380s (Concourse A at DXB), among other achievements. Dubai Airport was also named second favourite airport for a layover at the event, while Emirates was named favourite Middle East airline premier class.

Further afield Paris was voted as the readers’ favourite cultural destination, while Bali came out top as the favourite adventure destination. Seychelles picked up favourite beach or island destination, while Singapore was crowned favourite foodie destination – with Dubai coming in third in that award. Vakkuru in the Maldives was named favourite romantic destination, Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai won favourite family resort and Olarro in Kenya is favourite safari camp. Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives picked up favourite spa retreat and Soneva Kiri favourite sustainable luxury hotel. Closer to home Oman was named favourite road trip destination.

For the full list of winners, click here

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