OMAN. Oman Airports recently honoured partners at Muscat, Salalah and other regional locations for their service and performance at its third annual awards ceremony. The Oman Airports Awards event was held on 15 April at Al Bustan Palace Hotel, Muscat, and hosted by Minister of Civil Service Sheikh Khalid bin Omar Al Marhoon.

Within non-aeronautical activities, partners in retail, F&B and services were selected across a series of criteria, ranging from staff presentation to operational excellence.

Winners gather to celebrate the Oman Airports Awards on 15 April in Muscat.

Muscat Duty Free won the award for Excellence in Travel Retail, while WHSmith won the Excellence in Convenience accolade. JCDecaux captured the award for airport advertising with BTA winning in F&B and TAV for hospitality in its lounge services. Travelex took the main foreign exchange award.

Europcar won the award for excellence in car rental, Bank Dhofar won the award for leading banking partner, Ooredoo for telecommunications and Aerotek won an award for its transit hotel.

Among SMEs, Traveler’s was awarded an Excellence in Customer Service award, while Qahwaji won an F&B award and Dar Al Harfiya took an award for localisation excellence for its handcrafts.

The Excellence in Gold & Jewelry Award was presented to Gallery Argan. The award for Excellence in Travel Retail at Oman’s regional airports was awarded to ATÜ Duty Free (Salalah).

The awards covered all areas of airport commercial and consumer services, as well as airlines.

Ajit Khimji Group has joint-venture partnerships with WHSmith and Travelex, and is also the official franchisee for Europcar in Oman.

“We are indeed delighted that three of our partners walked away with prizes at the Oman Airports Awards ceremony,” said Ajit Khimji Managing Director Business Development Rishi Khimji. “It gives us immense satisfaction that we have been able to position these brands well in the local market and helped them to not just reach out to more customers but also get recognised in the local market for their quality of products and services.”

WHSmith Managing Director, International Phil McNally said: “We are proud to have been awarded the Excellence in Convenience award by Oman Airports. Muscat Airport was our first foray in the Middle East and we are pleased to continue our journey in such a prominent airport.”

In the airlines category, Gulf Air won the award for longest-operating GCC airline in Muscat, Pakistan International Airlines won the longest-operating sub-continent airline and EgyptAir took the award in the African airline category. Oman Air won best promotion and partner of the year awards while SalamAir and flydubai were rewarded as the fastest growing airlines. Qatar Airways won the award for best route network development, Emirates Airline won best full-service carrier and Air Arabia took the prize as the best low-cost carrier.

Oman Airports also honoured a number of outstanding staff for their innovative and humanitarian initiatives.

Many senior officials, dignitaries, representatives of government institutions in the civil aviation sector, representatives of airlines and retailers operating at Oman’s airports attended the ceremony.

Click here for our on location coverage of the Grand Opening of the new Muscat International Airport last November.