Winners of the Ramadan contest for hotels with QTA officials yesterday. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
By Joey Aguilar/Staff Reporter
The Ritz-Carlton, Doha won two awards and The St Regis Doha one award as the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) announced the winners of the Ramadan contest in a ceremony yesterday.
While The Ritz-Carlton, Doha bagged the Best Ramadan Tent and Best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) awards, The St Regis Doha was recognised for the Best Ramadan Experience.
The ceremony held at Doha Exhibition Centre was attended by dozens of hotel representatives.
In a statement, QTA said the annual contest aims to evaluate the quality of customer experience in hotels during the holy month of Ramadan.
The contest aims to encourage the hospitality industry to boost their Ramadan activities and make the “Ramadan in Qatar” brand an attractive element for citizens, residents and tourists from the region and around the world.
Hassan al-Ibrahim, chief tourism development officer at QTA, told reporters that the criteria for each award included the quality of services provided, decoration, quality of entertainment programmes and the overall adoption of the Ramadan theme.
For the Best Ramadan Tent, he said they focused on Qatari elements in terms of food and beverage, decoration, music and events inside the tent.
For the Best CSR award, al-Ibrahim stressed that they paid attention not only on conventional CSR but also in terms of supporting Qatari farmers, fishermen, other producers and families that produce different items.
“Another important element was how to deal with leftover food without jeopardising the health and safety requirements of the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning,” he said. “As we know, Ramadan is the month of giving, the month of sharing.”
The senior QTA official noted that they also paid attention to how hotels provided various types of support to societies and organisations in Qatar.
For the Best Ramadan Experience, QTA evaluated hotels on how they treated guests and visitors in general during their stay.
“In terms of food and beverage, we wanted to see Qatari and Ramadan beverage items in room service and in the restaurants and different activities outside the tent (such as celebrating Garangao),” he said.
QTA will share the results of the contest with the hotels in a bid to possibly help them reassess their plans in the future, according to al-Ibrahim.
Asked if more awards will be added next year, he said the contest would have further improvements.
“Definitely, we will have a different shape and it will have a different methodology depending on the feedback we receive from the industry,” he noted. All hotels in Qatar, from one-star to five-star, had joined the contest.
QTA had launched the “Ramadan in Qatar” programme in a bid to make the holy month into a major festive attraction for locals and expatriates through various activities, public events and social media initiatives.
Ali al-Mohannadi, Partnerships Project manager at QTA, said the contest also aims to further improve hotel services and offerings while maintaining the Arabic and Islamic identity and reflecting the special nature of Ramadan through the cuisine and entertainment programmes offered at their Ramadan tents.
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