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Sunday, January 28, 2007 - Dubai

Depa Hotels Awards to Grow Participation by 20%

Awards Gala set for May 2nd; new voting process to make event more interactive

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With the extraordinary growth witnessed by the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector over the past five years, the number of four and five star hotels have mushroomed, paving the way for an increase in pressure on property and service standards. According to recently released figures from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Dubai alone will add the largest annual room inventory ever to the hotel sector in 2007, where 8,370 hotel rooms and 1,936 hotel apartments will be added this year to the Emirates’ existing capacity of about 40,000, currently comprised of 31,000 hotel rooms and 9,000 apartments.

In its ongoing efforts to add the highest levels of quality to the industry, Depa United Group has announced that its sixth annual Depa Hotel Awards for 2007 will be held in Dubai once again on May 2nd concurrent with the Arabian Travel Market (ATM). Depa, the Middle East’s leading MENA interior contracting company, developed and created the ‘Depa Hotel Awards’ to recognize hotel excellence and innovation in the industry and last year attracted 41 hotels as participants from seven countries in the region.

Following the great success of the five previous editions, and based on the feedback gathered from the hotels which participated in the past, Depa’s management decided to innovatively change the voting process in an effort to make it more interactive and transparent.

“We will assume a new voting method as we strongly believe the best people to recognize and judge excellence in the hotel industry are those working in the industry itself,” said Mohannad Sweid, Chief Executive Office of Depa United Group. “This year, we expect hotel participation to increase by 20 percent and we are incorporating a mechanism and process for participants to vote amongst each other, live, on the night of the event.”

The registration process has begun, allowing hotels to submit their applications on a brand new website designed and created to give participants maximum freedom in submitting and reviewing applications. The voting will take place, live, on May 2nd at the Gala dinner, where the latest state-of-the-art technology will be utilized to deliver participant votes in an innovative, real time and anonymous manner. This technology will be provided by a professional third party company to ensure the success of this event and guarantee unbiased voting.

The Awards are designed to recognize and reward outstanding service, performance and creativity by hotels and hoteliers in a variety of carefully selected award categories, and are open to all four and five star hotels in the region. They aim to provide an unbiased and international standard of excellence for hotels in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Awards are set to play a prominent and high profile role in the development of the Middle East’s Hotel and hospitality industry, and the Gala dinner on the night of May 2nd will be attended by senior executives and personalities from the Middle East and North Africa hospitality industry, along with high profile guests and media.


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