It was the first time C&IT had opened up the judging process to its readers, with more than 400 event professionals naming their favourite short-haul and mid- to long-haul destinations in the build up to the C&IT Awards. Voting continued through the evening and London and Dubai were eventually crowned the winners of their respective categories.
The ever-developing Emirate destination continues to win over event planners thanks to its impressive C&I infrastructure, a plethora of high-end hotels and a range of options to suit conference and incentive groups large or small.
One voter commented: "Dubai has so much to offer and it is still an exciting destination to discover," while another said the year-round sunshine, good value for money and a full range of hotels and services makes Dubai the best long-haul destination.
Maris Kuklis, senior manager, UK & Europe, Dubai Business Events, told C&IT: "Dubai Business Events is delighted that Dubai won the Conference & Incentive Travel magazine’s Best Mid- to Long-Haul Events Destination.
"We were up against many world-class destinations and feel tremendously honoured to be recognised by top meeting and event planners across UK and Europe for Dubai's remarkable destination qualities.
"Dubai is growing in popularity for meetings, conferences and incentives and the award is testament to the commitment and professionalism that is demonstrated every day by our business events industry partners."
It has been a busy last twelve months in the Emirate destination, with a glut of exciting new openings, including the 328-room InterContinental Dubai Marina and the 137-metre-high Pullman Dubai Jumeriah Lakes Towers.
There is even more excitement on the way with Marriott International, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Jumeirah Group and Langham Hotels & Resorts all bringing new properties to Dubai over the course of the next few years.
Accessibility is also improving. In April, Emirates doubled its service from Dubai to London Gatwick due to growing demand and added a third flight from Birmingham in August.
Earlier in the year, Dubai Tourism released figures detailing a rise in popularity amongst business travellers, while the International Congress and Convention Associations' (ICCA) annual rankings saw Dubai climb from 63rd place to 44th in 2014.
Dubai's development has raced ahead at 100mph and while the Emirate is starting to see clear return on investment, it is showing no signs of slowing down.
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