Under the watchful eye of Ain Dubai and the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Tolerance, the Luxury Network International chose Dubai's newest island oasis, Bluewaters, for its fourth awards ceremony on February 23. The event was held at Caesars Palace and included 400 representatives from nominated companies, and sponsors and guests from more than 25 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the United States, as well as performances by Lebanese musicians Walid Toufic, Dina Hayek, Yara and Manal Malla, and Iraq's Hatem Al Iraqi.
Las Vegas hotel Caesars Palace, which opened in Dubai last year, was feted as the Luxury Hotel of the Year, while British car manufacturer Rolls-Royce was named Luxury Car of the Year.
The Luxury Network also made good on its aim to "recognise emerging luxury brands". Here are some names to know:
Luxury Coffee Brand of the Year: Maison Samira Maatouk
Luxury Bag of the Year: Kwanpen
Luxury Jewelry Designer of the Year: Seba Jamal
Luxury Flower Designer of the Year: Bella Flora
Fares Ghattas, global chief executive of the Luxury Network International, said: "We really wanted to make a statement this year, both in location and recognising the achievements of these brands and companies. Nowhere else in the world embodies luxury as the UAE, so it was the perfect fit for this year's gala and awards show."
The network launched in the United Kingdom in 2007 and now has more than 30 offices globally. Ghattas’ vision for expansion become a reality by combining luxury and charity. The annual awards were held in partnership with CAEL, the official charitable partner born through the Balsamat Charity Association.
Amal Shouman Soleiman, president of CAEL, said: "CAEL is a natural recipient and partner for the Luxury Network when you look at the work we are doing and how we are taking the lead in recognising humanitarian efforts in the region. We are disrupting old status quo notions through education and collaborations, much as The Luxury Network is doing."
The gala also acknowledged the Year of Tolerance, with benefits from the gala dinner and awards ceremony going to the Rashid Centre for People with Determination, to help further its mission in the region.
Among the keynote speakers who presented the awards were Fouad Chehab Nabih Dandan, ambassador of Lebanon to the United Arab Emirates; Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Jarwan, president of the Global Council for Tolerance and Peace; May Chidiac, Lebanese Minister of State for Administrative Development; and Georgina Rizk, Lebanese Miss Universe 1971, who hailed the UAE's Year of Tolerance and called on the Arab world to form a “Ministry of Tolerance”.
Here are some of the other winners:
Humanitarian Award of the Year: Maha Kaddoura
Business of the Year Award: Get Group Holding
Luxury Logistics Company of the Year: Masterpiece International
Beauty Icon: Georgina Rizk
Luxury Developer of the Year: Sobha Group
Law Firm of the Year: Diana Hamadeh
Luxury Hair Innovator of the Year: Ahmad Sulaiman
Real Estate Company of the Year: Mallorca Properties
Design Innovation: Abdulmajid Karanouh of Drees & Sommer
Best European Property Development: Lustica Bay
Investment Platform of the Year: Envestors
Charity of the Year: Rashid Centre for People of Determination
Investment Company of the Year: Amanat