Runners and Riders: a closer look at MEA finalists


There’s just one month to go until the winners of the 2018 AHEAD MEA Awards are announced at Dubai’s trackside hotel The Meydan. The finalists are lined up in the paddock and champing at the bit to find out who will be first across the finish line. 

Here we take a look at some of the runners and riders in contention for these prestigious awards which celebrate the best new hotels across the Middle East & Africa region. 

Shortlisted entrants include several hotels in the awards’ host city Dubai – the Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel-designed Bulgari; Yabu Pushelberg's Five Hotel, and Form – a unique new concept where guests can customise their stay before arrival.

Bulgari Resort Dubai, United Arab Emirates 

Resort hotels also feature strongly across the shortlist, with properties such as the newly opened Kempinski in Muscat, Oman and The Ritz-Carlton Ras-Al-Khaimah lined up against the likes of the Hilton Dead Sea in Jordan, and One & Only Saint Geran in Mauritius.

Kempinski Hotel, Muscat, Oman 

Other frontrunners with nominations in multiple categories include the Marcel Wanders-designed Mondrian in Doha, Qatar; the Four Seasons Kuwait City, with interiors by Yabu Pushelberg; and The Silo Hotel Cape Town – part of a mixed-use cultural development in a grain silo converted by feted designer Thomas Heatherwick.

The Silo Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa 

The winners will be revealed at an equestrian-influenced event attended by leading hotel designers, architects, operators and developers at The Meydan Hotel on 14 November. 

Limited tickets remain. To book your place in the grandstand click here.