9 November 2020 - Dubai, UAE


AHEAD MEA 2020 has opened for entries. Get started here.

Eligible projects need to have opened, reopened or launched between January 2019 - February 2020 to apply.

Entries cost 1200 AED (+ VAT) per project, per category.

Get a head start and view our AHEAD Checklist which guides you through the entry process

The winners will be announced at the AHEAD MEA ceremony, taking place at Caesars Forum, Bluewaters Island, Dubai on Wednesday 9 November.

Early bird tickets are currently available. Secure your places here.


Call for Entries
02 Mar 2020
Entry Deadline
30 Apr 2020
Judging Panel Announced
13 May 2020
Shortlist Announced
29 Jun 2020
Judging Day
10 Sep 2020
Awards Ceremony
09 Nov 2020

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.


The application of design and architecture to deliver great guest experiences are at the heart of AHEAD.

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.

Click here to see our AHEAD Checklist, which guides you through the entry process.

Eligibility / Entry

Hotel projects completed between January 2019 – February 2020 are eligible for entry to AHEAD MEA 2020.

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.

Submissions for AHEAD MEA cost 1200 AED (+ VAT) each.


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)