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Sun 8 Nov 2009 01:03 PM

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And the winners are?

It's that time of year again: your chance to nominate contenders for the 2009 Arabian Business Awards.

While there are otherwise few discernable differences between your author and James Bond, the superspy does wear a tuxedo rather better.

He comes across as pretty cool; I’m always tugging at my neck in a vain effort to loosen the vicelike grip of whichever standard issue clip-on bowtie I’m sporting. The jacket’s just too long at the sleeve, and the waistband seems to tighten a little each year. No belt required now.

I bring this up because in just a few weeks Dubai will host the Arabian Business Awards 2009 and I’ll have to squeeze into my tux once more.

It will be the ninth annual celebration of the very best of the Middle East business community, and the nominees will be joined by hundreds of invited guests from across the region.

It will be a busy night for the photographers, too - previous attendees have included Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and King Mohammed IV of Morocco - and in this respect the 2009 ceremony is set to be no different.

It will of course be different in the sense that we’re currently in the middle of the worst economic downturn in living memory.

Even the most myopic Gulf flag-waver would admit that there have been more bad news stories than good in 2009. But that just means that this year’s winners will have had to work even harder to achieve results – every one of our nominees really will have earned a hearty pat on the back.

Once again, we’re asking Arabian Business readers to submit their own suggestions for this year’s gongfest. There are fourteen categories, detailed below, and we’d love to hear which companies and individuals you think should be rewarded for their efforts over the last 12 months.

One quick note: don’t think you can rig the vote. Mobilising a workforce to flood our server with nominations for the boss won’t work - this isn’t ‘Dubai’s Got Talent’.

He who garners the most support does not necessarily take home the prize, as all of your suggestions will be forwarded to our esteemed judging panel, which will make a decision based on its own evaluation of the contenders.

Former Awards judges have included Abdulaziz Al Ghurair, Mohammed Alabbar and Sultan Bin Sulayem, and this year’s panel will be revealed next week. What we’re looking for from you is a little more help in identifying those candidates that otherwise might not receive the acclaim they deserve. Any suggestions?

The categories:Retail Bank of the YearInvestment Bank of the YearConstruction Company of the YearDeveloper of the YearSpecial CSR AwardEntrepreneur of the YearAirline of the YearRetail Company of the YearTelecoms Company of the YearBusinessman of the YearBusinesswoman of the YearTechnology Company of the YearSmall Business of the YearLifetime Achievement

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall