15 November 2017 – W Al Habtoor City Dubai


Entries are now open for the first AHEAD MEA!

The deadline is 31 May 2017.

Click here to enter.



The judging process for AHEAD MEA has been developed over the past 20 years to ensure a rigorous, robust and balanced procedure is followed to select the final winners in each category.

Call for Entries
01 Mar 2017
Judging Panel Announced
18 Apr 2017
Entry Deadline
31 May 2017
Shortlist Announced
04 Sep 2017
Judging Day
18 Sep 2017
Awards Ceremony
15 Nov 2017


The criteria for success are based not only on creative excellence, but also on commercial viability.

As well as projects that are aesthetically impressive, the judges will be looking for evidence that winning designs have also met the needs of client and customers alike.

The judges will be looking for submissions showing rigorous and appropriate design, demonstrating a sensible use of budget to contribute to the guest experience as well as the “theatre” of hotel life while satisfying the client brief.

Submitted material should demonstrate clearly why the project is thought to be worth an award in its chosen category and how the design sets the project at an award winning level.

Eligibility / Entry

Hotel projects completed between January 2016 – February 2017 are eligible for entry to AHEAD MEA 2017.

A hotel is defined as a commercial building, or combination of buildings, primarily dedicated to the provision of lodging / accommodation. Please note privately owned accommodations exclusively rented out for lodging via peer-to-peer sites such as Airbnb are not eligible for AHEAD.  

AHEAD is unique in its celebration of the key collaborators in hotel projects: the developer / investor; operator; architect and interior designer.

Anyone can enter an award, but we recommend that the designers / architects responsible for the hotel compile the entry.

Hotel owners, operators, developers, investors, PRs and other representatives are encouraged to co-ordinate entries for the hotels they represent with the relevant designers/architects.

Further guidance on specific criteria for individual categories is given here and during the entry process.


Photography should clearly show the design and / or architecture of the area of the property relevant to the category in which it is entered. 

If entering more than one category please submit different photographs that reflect the category you are entering. 

Before and after photos, CGIs and renderings, floor plans and / or CAD drawings can be included as supporting material where relevant. 

Please do not submit CGIs / renderings in place of actual photography. 

Please try and avoid use of advertising or marketing photographs e.g. posed models, elaborate table settings etc. 

Please ensure that you have the appropriate copyright clearances for all photography submitted (see terms and conditions)



The judges for AHEAD MEA are acknowledged industry leaders, who represent a wide spectrum of the disciplines involved in delivering new hotel projects across the region.