As the only female Jury of the Middle East Car of the Year Awards, I get excited as the awards ceremony approaches and the world’s leading car brands take centre stage at the awards gala night at ADNEC, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

This year’s invite-only ceremony was attended by top executives of all major automotive brands from across the region and several dignitaries, including guests all the way from Japan, USA, Korea, UK, and Germany.

The night’s leading winners were Bentley and Renault Middle East winning the prestigious Jury & Public COTY awards respectively, whilst top brands, including; Aston Martin, Audi, Ford, Volkswagen, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes, Honda, Mazda, Toyota, Lincoln, GMC, Lamborghini, Hyundai, KIA and Volkswagen were among the winners announced in an exciting and stunning gala awards night.

Guy Edmunds, After- Sales Director at Volkswagen Middle East commented “We are honoured to have the MECOTY jury acknowledge the new generation Touareg and our brands first ever 7-seater – the Teramont, which is a perfect vehicle for the modern Middle Eastern family. Everyone at Volkswagen Middle East is delighted to receive the MECOTY awards for these are important vehicles for our brand this year and to be recognised by the biggest and most experienced motor minds in the region.”

The nominees underwent a stringent multi-stage voting process, spanning over 10 months, by a select panel of 19 judges, who are handpicked to represent their respective countries, including; UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan & Saudi Arabia.

Audi, which holds the records for the most number of wins over the past editions, witnessed another successful night, by winning three MECOTYs and being recognised as the leader in its competing classes.

“Audi Middle East is honoured to be recognized with the most awards for our models here in the region at the MECOTY awards. Vorsprung Durch Technik is our brand promise and this ‘progress through technology’ is in the DNA of all of our cars: in their design, engineering, performance, quality and safety. We look forward to delivering more innovative and stylish models to the region this year for the judges and our customers to enjoy.” – Carsten Bender, Managing Director Audi Middle East.

Winning a MECOTY award is a testament for manufacturers that proves that their models are in line with the regional consumer needs and re-affirms their commitment of providing world-class vehicles and services to the Middle East region, one of the largest car markets globally.

“We are delighted and honoured to be recognised by the jury of MECOTY with three awards for Jaguar Land Rover’s extraordinary vehicle line up, especially when we are constantly up against such strong competition in the MENA region. The Jaguar E-PACE, Jaguar XF Sportbrake, and the Range Rover Sport SVR have all won awards that prove that our models are in line with the regional customers’ needs for cars that integrate safety, technology, performance, and style. The MECOTY awards are one of the region’s most coveted celebration of automotive excellence, and we’re proud of Jaguar Land Rover MENA’s wins across both brands. We aim to hopefully continue our story of success at the MECOTY awards next year.”

– Dr. Benjamin Trespe, Brand Director, Jaguar Land Rover MENA

“It is an honour for Aston Martin to be recognised in the Luxury Coupe Convertible category at the prestigious MECOTY awards; this win underlines our dedication to delivering a new dimension of driving pleasure. The DB11 Volante sets new standards of performance, innovation, engineering and style, and is the most advanced and complete open-top Aston Martin has ever built. 2019 is set to be an exciting year in terms of model launches, and with the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey team now in place, we look forward to continuing to pave the way for automotive excellence in the region in the years to come.” – Dan Balmer, President – Aston Martin Lagonda Middle East, North Africa & Turkey (MENAT)

Renault’s SUV, Duster, which won the coveted ‘Public COTY’ award, claimed over 20% of the 80,000+ votes received from around the world, further cementing its market position of a brand that resonates with the regional consumer’s expectations.

Commenting on this occasion, Marwan Haidamous, Managing Director, Renault Middle East said ‘’With the introduction of the all-new Duster, we have come up with a fully renewed exterior design that embraces the Renault brand identity, as well as a fully renewed interior design and plenty of new technological, easy-life features. What has not changed though, is the promise made to our customers to keep offering the best value for money on the market, and it is a great achievement to have been recognized by the Public MECOTY award, and a new milestone to the Duster success story.’’

“MECOTY’s sixth consecutive edition is truly a milestone achievement. We congratulate all the winning manufacturers, and thank the supporting authorities, media, voters and of course, our jury members for their support.’’- Saaed Al Marzouqi, CEO, Custom Events, LLC.