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Sun 1 Apr 2007 02:46 PM

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New format for voting

Industry insiders are key voters in Depa's 2007 hotel design awards.

This year's winners at the Depa Hotel Awards will be voted for by the crème of the regions hoteliers using interactive keypads for the first time ever.

Nominated hotels so far include the Kempinski - Mall of the Emirates; Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi; The Ritz Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa; and Courtyard by Marriott. There are ten categories including ‘New hotel'; ‘Hotel spa facility of the year' and this year's additional category, ‘Standard room of the year'. This award is a particularly interesting addition as this region is known for emphasising luxury and creating exclusive unique designs. To design a few hundred standard guest rooms is often a challenge when trying to create a balance of high design with accessibility and easy installation.

The sixth annual awards ceremony, organized by the Middle East's leading MENA interior contracting company, will use the instantaneous audience-response system to allow the presenters to solicit specific feedback and audience members to get the chance to see what others around them are thinking. Since the responses are anonymous, judges will also benefit from voting honestly and openly for those they believe deserve to win.

Mohannad Sweid, CEO of Depa United Group said: "Every year we aim to take the Depa Hotel Awards event to a new level of innovation and excellence. The new voting system is just one of many new elements we are bringing to the Depa Hotel Awards this year to continue our efforts to create an ever escalating level of hotel industry excellence. We also believe the best people to recognise and judge the hotel industry are those working in the industry itself. This year we expect hotel participation to increase by 20%."

The announcement follows the most recent figures released from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) which state that Dubai alone will add the largest inventory ever to the hotel sector in 2007 where 8,370 hotel rooms and 1,936 hotel apartments will be added to the Emirates' existing capacity of approximately 31,000 hotel rooms and 9,000 apartments.

The awards will take place on May 2nd and for the second year running will run concurrently with the Arabian Travel Market. The categories are open to all four and five-star hotels in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Depa Hotel Awards 2006 saw 41 hotels participate from seven countries in the region.

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