Plenty to celebrate at Qatar Tourism Awards 2023

Plenty to celebrate at Qatar Tourism Awards 2023

Qatar Tourism Awards 2023

The winners of the first edition of the Qatar Tourism Awards were announced on November 9, 2023, at a special gala event held at Raffles, Doha, to mark the occasion. The celebratory evening was attended by dignitaries and high-profile guests from across the industry, including HE Saad Bin Ali Al Kharji, the chairman of Qatar Tourism, and Basmah Al-Mayman, Regional Director in the Middle East of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

In addition, Qatar Tourism Awards announced the Community Contribution Award, to recognize individual community members who have gone above and beyond to display hospitality and provide exemplary services to visitors. The community members that are significantly contributing to providing visitors with a unique and hospitable tourism experience are: North Sedra Farm; Ain Mohammed Village’ Al Kubaisi Educational Reserve; ENK Farm and Classic Car Museum; Mr. Khalid Jamal Al Ajmi; and Mr. Khalid bin Abdulla.

Ms. Basmah Al-Mayman, Regional Director in the Middle East of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO): Developed in partnership with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Qatar Tourism launched the Qatar Tourism Awards to celebrate service excellence in Qatar’s tourism industry and foster a positive environment that motivates stakeholders involved in the sector to continue developing exceptional experiences.

Qatar’s remarkable success of hosting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ had a direct positive impact not only on the country but also the region’s tourism. Qatar was identified as the best-performing destination globally in terms of tourist arrivals between January and July 2023, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, which tracked the sector’s post-pandemic recovery over the course of 2023 up to the end of July. Qatar’s international tourist arrivals’ percentage during the period was more than 95 percent, making it the highest globally.

The far-reaching impact of this prestigious tournament also extended to countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, whose tourism revenues increased due to growth in hotel occupancy, accommodating fans from around the world. This serves as an exceptional model for regional integration.

Service of Excellence

  • Service of Excellence category, exemplifying an organization’s commitment to delivering service that consistently meets and exceeds the expectations of visitors. Winners were:
  • Casual Dining: Em Sherif Café at Millennium Hotel Doha; Dalchini Restaurant and Bar at Centara West Bay Hotel and Residences Doha.
  • Dining in Touristic Areas: SMAT Restaurant by Aura Hospitality and Food Services; Belhambar Restaurant by Aura Hospitality and Food Services.
  • Cafes: Café #999; MIA Café.
  • Fine Dining: Em Sherif Restaurant by Aura Hospitality and Food Services; Parisa Al Messila Resort and Spa; IDAM by Alain Ducasse.
  • Hotel Restaurants: The Master Kitchen Team at Mondrian Doha; Sharq Village and Spa, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel; Riva and Q-Lounge.
  • Spa & Wellness: Banana Island Resort Doha; Hilton Salwa Beach Resort and Villas.
  • Entertainment & Recreation: Doha Quest; CurioCITY.
  • Retail and Local Shops: Galeries Lafayette by Ali Bin Ali Holding; IN-Q Gift Shop by Qatar Museums.
    Shopping Malls: Doha Festival City; The Gate Mall.
  • Tour Operators: Regency Holidays; Fal Travelmart.
  • Tour Guides: Alena Kishmaraia, Cecilia Castro, Pia Sundstedt and Ajith Wijenayaka Hewa Kokawalage.
  • Outstanding Service Excellence for Individuals:
  • Moza Abdulaziz Al As-haq, Hassan Attia, Wassim Daageh and Bouthaina Al Emadi.
  • 4 Star and 3 Star Hotels: Jouri a Murwab Hotel; Radisson Blu Hotel Doha; Premier Inn Doha Education City; Premier Inn Doha Airport.
  • 5 Star Hotels: Raffles Doha; Banana Island Resort Doha; Hilton Salwa Beach Resort and Villas; Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som.
  • Tourism Support Organisations: Katara Hospitality; Qatar National Convention Centre; Qatar Rail; Discover Qatar.

Cultural of Experience

  • Cultural of Experience category, recognizing entities that emphasize and focus on delivering unique and memorable cultural experiences to visitors. Winners were:
  • Cultural and Tourist Attraction: United Development Company (UDC), The Pearl Island; Basta Restaurant; Chernovil Art Gallery
  • Cultural Experiences: Embrace Doha; Oryx Group Entertainment and Hospitality; Regency Holidays
  • Cultural Heritage: Msheireb Properties

Smart Solutions

Smart Solutions category, reflecting an organization’s commitment to enhancing the visitors’ experience through innovative products and solutions. Winners were:

  • The Digital and Innovation Experience: Qatar Rail; ViaVii
  • New Solutions in Sustainability: Doha Festival City; Mowasalat Karwa
  • Visitor Mobility and Accessibility: Msheireb Properties


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Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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