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Sunday, March 04, 2007 - Dubai

DEPA Takes its Award to a Higher Level of Innovation

First live voting event of its kind in the Middle East; event sponsors include: HSBC Group, Arab Bank, Al Aqariya TV, The Hotel Show, WSI Internet Consulting and Mediaone

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Dubai-based Depa United Group PJSC, the region’s largest international interior contracting company today announced that its upcoming sixth annual Depa Hotel Awards 2007’ will, for the first time in the region, allow the audience to vote directly for their choice of nominees. The crème of the region’s hoteliers can directly vote for the winners of their choosing from predetermined categories, live, on the night of the event.

“Every year we aim to take the Depa Awards event to a new level of innovation and excellence,” said Mohannad Sweid CEO of DEPA United Group. “The new voting system is only one of many new elements we are bringing to the ‘Hotel Awards’ this year, all in our ongoing efforts to create an ever escalating level of hotel industry excellence.”

Sweid also announced that this year’s event sponsors include, but are not limited to: HSBC Group, Arab Bank, Al Aqariya TV, Mediaone, The Hotel Show and WSI Internet Consulting.

The live ‘Interactive Voting System,’ or better known as the instantaneous audience-response system allows each audience member, from their seat, utilizing a keypad with numbers on it, to punch in their choice of winner. The keypad is connected wirelessly to a computer loaded with software that automatically tabulates the results, which are then immediately presented to the audience.

In this way, audience-response systems allow presenters to solicit instant, specific feedback, and audience members get the chance to see what others around them are thinking. And, since the responses are anonymous, hotels can vote honestly and openly for whoever they believe truly deserves to win each award category.
“When using an audience-response system, audience members know their voices and opinions are being heard equally and that their votes are being considered,” says John Quinn, CEO of Satellite based in Dubai Media City, the provider of the technology. In addition, audience interaction and attentiveness is higher when the systems are being used, says Quinn, in part because the psychology of being called upon to answer questions is so strong.

Depa Hotel Awards for 2007 will be held in Dubai once again on May 2nd concurrent with the Arabian Travel Market (ATM). 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 – and this year, the judges will be the people in the industry itself!

The Awards 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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