Lebanese pop sensation Elissa is to headline the World Travel Awards 2011 Middle East Ceremony.

The movers and shakers of Arabian travel and tourism sector are expected to attend the glittering gala show, which takes place on May 2 at the Armani Hotel Dubai.

Hailed as “The Oscars of the Travel Industry”, World Travel Awards is acknowledged worldwide as the ultimate travel accolade, and celebrates those brands that are pushing the boundaries of industry excellence.

Elissa, who has taken a break from recording her eighth studio album to perform at the ceremony, is one of Arabia’s hottest musical exports. Her glittering achievements include seven best-selling albums, three World Music Awards, and collaborations with Ragheb Alama, Cheb Mami, Fadl Shaker, Chris de Burgh and Gypsy Kings. She follows in the steps of fellow countrywoman, the platinum-selling singer Nancy Ajram, who headlined last year’s World Travel Awards Middle East Ceremony.

After months of intense voting, the Middle East will find out who will win the prestigious World Travel Awards. Nominees include some of the most respected and successful names in the business including Etihad Airways, Jumeirah, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Six Senses and Royal Caribbean.

More than 462 companies across the Middle East, spanning more than 125 categories, including airlines, cruise companies, destinations, hotels and resorts will battle it out for the coveted trophies.

The Middle East Ceremony is the first heat of World Travel Awards 2011 Grand Tour, with other regional legs set to follow in Antalya, Turkey; Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; Bangkok, Thailand and Montego Bay, Jamaica. These winners will progress to the grand final at the end of the year.

The Armani Hotel Dubai will offer guests the opportunity to sample the ultimate in hospitality lifestyle. Designed by Giorgio Armani, it is the first Armani hotel in the world and is located in Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world.

Event partners are Emaar Hotels & Resorts and Armani Hotel Dubai, and media partners include CNBC Arabiya, Al Hilal Group, Khaleej Times and Breaking Travel News.