In a bid to recognise the hard work of tourism stalwarts and encourage new talents in the industry in the Middle East, Durga Das Publications organised the first Arabian Travel Awards on July 4, 2017. The dazzling night of glitz and glamour took place at the JW Marriott Deira in Dubai, which witnessed over 150 travel, tourism and hospitality partners from the Middle East converge on one single platform for a formal black-tie event. The award statuette ‘Maya’ were given away by Guest of Honour Dr. Tanushree Pandey, Gladrags Mrs. India; Sumeera Bahl, Director, Durga Das Publications Middle East; and SanJeet, Mentor, Arabian Travel Awards. Kulwant Singh, Founder and Managing Director, Lama Tours, was declared ‘Face of the Future’ – the highest award of the evening, whilst Lakshmi Durai, CEO, Travel Matrix won the ‘Best Cruise Professional’ award. The awards were divided into four categories: Personal Awards, Business Awards, Trending Awards and Partner Awards. These further included awards for Best Business Hotel, Best Family Friendly Hotel, Best City Hotel, Best Green Hotel, Best Leisure Hotel, Best Destination Management Company, Best Hotel Apartments, Best B2B Travel Portal and Best Luxury Hotel to name a few.