The Awards Ceremony for the 2016 Food and Travel GCC Tourism Awards was held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel Bahrain last night (February 29th), under the patronage of H.E. Mr. Zayed R. Alzayani, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.

The event, organized by the prestigious Food & Travel magazine, is a part of the ‘Manama Gulf Capital of Tourism 2016’ calendar of events and was attended by Shaikh Khaled Bin Humood Al Khalifa, Acting Chief Executive of the Bahrain Tourism & Exhibitions Authority.

“The tourism industry is a key contributor to the development of the economy in Bahrain and across the GCC and through the ‘Manama Capital of Gulf Tourism’ initiative,” said Sheikh Khaled.

“These awards represent the ultimate standard for hospitality across the GCC; a celebration of the hard working and talented teams at the hotels, restaurants and cafes throughout the region. It is also a true testament to the depth and quality of region’s flourishing hospitality industry; confirming the GCC’s place on the culinary and tourism map,” he added.

“As a nation steeped in history, rich in culture, and a passion for food and hospitality, it was only fitting that the world-renowned Food and Travel Magazine selected Bahrain to host the ultimate standard for Awards in the region; the prestigious 2016 Food and Travel GCC Tourism Awards,” he added

Over 263,000 votes were casted by the public in the first round, helping to choose an elite band of finalists.

“Food and Travel’s expert panel of hotel and restaurant inspectors have been working tirelessly throughout this year reviewing, researching and revisiting the finalists in their exhaustive and unbiased search for perfection,” added Salah Alhaiki, Publisher of Food and Travel Magazine.

The glittering event was attended by the leading lights of the regions hospitality industry; with guests coming from as far as the UK and China to Saudi Arabia and UAE.

The presentation party included an array of distinguished guests including H.E. Mr. Abdullah bin Abdulmalik Al Al-Sheikh, Ambassador from Saudi; H.E. Mr William Roebuck; Ambassador of USA; H.E. Mr. Bernard Regnauld-Fabre, Ambassador of France; H.E. Sheikh Jassim bin Mohamed bin Saud Al-Thani, Ambassador of Qatar; H.E. Mr. Abdullah bin Rashid Ali Al-Medelwi, Ambassador of Oman; H.E. Mr. Alok Kumar Sinha, Ambassador of India; H.E. Mdm. Suha Ibrahim Rifaat, Ambassador of Egypt and Rima Kilani Director of Marketing at the EDB.

The winners included:

Hotel of the Year                                St Regis Doha

Restaurant of the Year                       Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire

Chef of the Year                                 Francois Xavier Simon (Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire)

Breakthrough Chef of the Year            Daniel EvertsJean-Georges Dubai

International Chef of the Year             Alain Ducasse

Outstanding Contribution to the

Industry                                            Gary Rhodes OBE

Hotel

Best 5 Star Hotel                               Four Seasons Bahrain Bay

Best 4 Star Hotel                               Swiss-Bellhotel Bahrain

Best Weekend Destination Hotel        The H Dubai

Best Destination Hotel                       Ritz-Carlton Bahrain

Best City Hotel                                  JW Marriott Marquis Dubai

Best Resort Hotel                               Marsa Malaz Kempinski Doha                       

Restaurants

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant         Tugra Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski

Best Japanese Restaurant                  Nozomi Riyadh

Timeless Classic Asian                       Rang Mahal – JW Marriott Marquis Dubai

Timeless Classic International            The Ivy – Emirates Towers Boulevard Dubai

Best Casual Chic                                Delphine’s – H Dubai

Best All Day Casual                            Villa Mama’s Bahrain

Best International Restaurant             Rhodes W1 – Grosvenor House Dubai

Best French Restaurant              Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire – InterContinental Dubai Festival City

Best Steakhouse & Grill                     Plums – Ritz Carlton Bahrain

Best Mediterranean                           Gordon Ramsey at the St Regis Doha

Best Indian                                        Junoon Dubai – Shangri-La Dubai

Best Thai                                           Tong Thai – JW Marriott Marquis Dubai

Best Newcomer                                  Antica Pesa – Doha

One to watch                                      Nobu Doha

Best South American                          Toro Toro – Grosvenor House Dubai

Best Spanish                                      El Faro – Marsa Malaz Kempinski Doha

Best Italian                                        Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo Sheraton Dubai Creek

Best Asian Fusion                               Zuma Dubai

Best Chinese                                      Hakkasan Doha