Real Estate News - The Oscars of the property industry

The 150 winners celebrated with Rick Wakeman, host for the evening, as well as the grand total of 500 guests, the biggest event to date since it began 12 years ago. The aim of the awards is to distinguish the highest levels of achievement in a range of property-related fields.

One of the big winners was Headlands International, who scooped five awards, all with five stars. These included best estate agent for Portugal, Turkey, Spain, Cyprus and best Spanish office. Headlands International has been a consistent winner year after year, being recognized for excellence.

There were a vast array of countries represented at the awards from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Cyprus, Pakistan, South Africa and many more. These awards truly celebrate the best from each country around the world. All 150 winners can be found on

The panel of judges for 2006 has grown considerably and was chaired for the eighth year by British Member of Parliament Eric Pickles, who was joined by distinguished experts in the field of property, design and construction, property writers and sponsors, whose collective knowledge of the property industry is second to none and unsurpassed by any other property awards.

The judges included Helen Shield, editor-in-chief of International Homes magazine; Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents; Omer Ghani, director of sales, CNBC Arabia; Phil Spencer, property expert and presenter of Channel 4’s Location and Relocation TV shows; Imtiaz Farookhi, chief executive of the National House Building Council; Wayne Hawkes, head of marketing UK Bentley Motors and Jeremy Leaf, chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

From speaking with organizers of the awards programme, it was apparent that there was an increase in the number of award winners than previous years, proof in itself that more and more companies are entering the awards as they are seen as the most comprehensive within the industry. Not only did we see the International Property Awards take place, but a week before, on the 28th October, we were all in Dubai, celebrating at the first ever CNBC Arabian Property Awards. The glitzy awards ceremony was held at the plush One & Only Royal Mirage Hotel, where many of the big names in Arabia met.

International Homes magazine and the Daily Mail, organisers of the awards programmes, had so many entries from the region that they decided to hold an awards ceremony purely dedicated to celebrating ‘Arabia’s best’. The Arabian property market has grown to become one of the most dynamic markets in the world, offering a realm of opportunities for budding property investors. Over 200 professionals from all sectors of the property market attended the prestigious and exciting event where the awards were presented by Ramian Farrage, producer and presenter of Business Arabia and International Diary.

One of the night’s big winners was Dubai based Palma Real Estate which scooped four awards, these included best Dubai development, as well as best architecture for Infinity Tower, best property marketing and best developers website. Ahmed Al Hatti, Chairman of The Cayan Investment and Development, marketed by Palma Real Estate says, “while both companies are very proud of this achievement, we were quietly confident that Infinity Tower would perform well in the awards because it was truly unique – even in a market internationally recognised for achieving the seemingly impossible when it comes to architectural design.” Palma Real Estate also scooped Best International Architecture for Infinity Tower a week later at the International awards in London.

Both ETA Star Property Developers and Oryx Real Estate also did well at the ‘Oscars for the Arabian property industry’ picking up three awards each. ETA Star´s The Grandeur Residences and Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Palm Jumeirah and Hircon´s 23 Marina properties won Best Architecture awards and its corporate website was elected as the Best Developer website in the UAE. On receiving the award, Abid A Junaid, Executive Director, ETA Star said, “This is a proud moment for us, as two of our iconic projects have been recognized for their architectural splendour. ETA Star has built its reputation on a singular focus on quality, and it is a testament to our firm adherence to international quality standards.” Both companies joined Palma Real Estate in London, with Oryx picking up Best International real estate agency website and ETA Star, best international developer website.

I was also proud to pick up the award for my UK Surrey based agency, ECN Public Relations, in the best PR company category for Dubai. Being a UK based PR company, we have been able to demonstrate our commitment and expertise in gaining excellent results for our Arabian clients, within the UK and Irish media. We were singled out by the judges to win for our UK PR campaign for Dubai Shows Ltd, international exhibition organizers based in Dubai and the UK.

We launched their Dubai branded exhibitions in the UK, known as the Dubai Property Shows which launched early 2006 in London and Dublin. The shows showcased over 30 exhibitors including Nakheel, Trident International Holdings, Better Homes, City of Arabia, Dubai Sports City, Damac and many more, all promoting Dubai as one of the biggest investment opportunities in the world. The 2007 the shows have been re-branded into the Dubai & Gulf Property Shows. For more information visit and

Many Arabian companies are expressing interest in entering the second CNBC Arabian Property Awards, with successful winners placing full page adverts with the award logo as the leading image. This symbol of excellence will be recognised and appreciated by the public, who are becoming increasingly well informed and discerning about the properties they seek to buy.

For more information on next year’s awards visit .

Article by: Evelyn Nicola -