Hotelier Middle East editor Louise Oakley at the Hotelier Middle East Awards 2010. Hotelier Middle East editor Louise Oakley at the Hotelier Middle East Awards 2010.

It has been two days since the Hotelier Middle East Awards 2010, and while the parties may have just about subsided, the industry still has plenty to celebrate.

Hotelier recognised 18 outstanding hoteliers, and one fantastic team, at this year’s Awards, not to mention 38 industry professionals who were Highly Commended.

Considering that these winners were narrowed down from more than 1200 nominations, they really are the cream of the crop and should be justly proud of their Awards.

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As well as each title being a fantastic achievement for the winners personally, it is an important accolade for the hotels that have helped develop and nurture these unsung heroes.

And recognising these individuals in the way they so richly deserve also provides a boost for the Middle East hotel industry as a whole.

As I said in my speech at the opening of the glamorous Awards ceremony, which brought together 500 hoteliers at Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah, what struck me most about the nominations this year was that hardly any spoke of their nominees’ achievements in light of the economic crisis.

The nominees, especially the finalists, were being celebrated because, quite simply, they are the best at what they do, no matter what the circumstances.

This approach reflects the general buzz in the Middle East hotel industry now — that is, that hoteliers have coped during the financial crisis and that this coping period is in the past. It is this that we should continue to celebrate.

Of course, it has been challenging and there are still challenging times ahead, but that is the nature of the industry. I’m sure none of you would be hoteliers if you were looking for an easy ride after all.