Outlets have two entry options this year:

  1. Pay US$100 entry fee (exclusive of VAT). This fee will confirm your outlet’s website nominee listing for voting (without collateral).
  2. Purchase an entry pack, which includes a website nominee listing and an entry pack that includes voting slips and marketing collateral to promote your entry.

How much does the entry pack cost?

The total number of outlets your business owns determines the cost per entry pack (all are exclusive of VAT).

1-4 entries = US$200 each

5-9 entries = US$175 each

10+ entries = US$150 each

What’s included in an entry pack?

The entry pack contains the following material for you to promote your entry:

  • 2,000 print voting slips
  • Personalised nominee logo to be used for digital marketing
  • Personalised e-mail signature
  • 30 tent cards
  • 500 business cards

How do I order an entry pack?

You can order an entry pack via our website, at whatson.ae/awards

When will our entry be live?

After the registration payment it will take two to three working days before the name of your outlet(s) will be live on the website.

When will our collateral be delivered?

Delivery of physical collateral will take seven to 10 working days. Digital collateral will take three to four working days, once the entry is complete. Please make sure your logo is an EPS only. We do not accept low-res jpgs.


How can we vote?

You can submit your vote via whatson.ae/awards or by completing a voting form at your chosen venue. Once you have completed the print voting form ensure that it’s handed back in to the manager or staff.

How are the winners chosen?

The What’s On Awards are voted for by the public, with all votes independently counted and audited by Jacobsons Direct.

Why do we have ‘Over Dhs400’ and ‘Under Dhs400’ categories?

The reason we have ‘Over Dhs400’ and ‘Under Dhs400’ is to ensure we are comparing like for like and to give every outlet an opportunity to shine. The price of Dhs400 is based on the cost of a three-course meal for two people, (without alcohol).

My favourite isn’t listed. What do I do?

Outlets are responsible for entering themselves into the awards. You can e-mail us direct, and we can get in touch with the outlet to remind them to nominate themselves if they haven’t done so already. E-mail us at: woawardsdxb@motivate.ae for Dubai and woawards@motivate.ae for Abu Dhabi.

When does voting close?

Voting closes for What’s On Abu Dhabi Awards and What’s On Dubai Awards at 5pm on September 27.

All voting slips received by Jacobsons Direct after 5pm will not be counted.


How can we submit an entry for an award?

You can enter your outlet(s) for an award by registering at whaton.ae/awards. For more information, e-mail us at woawardsdxb@motivate.ae for Dubai and woawards@motivate.ae for Abu Dhabi.

When do entries close?

The deadline for submitting an entry is June 14.

When does voting start?

Voting starts June 3.

Once we enter, how can we get votes?

You can purchase marketing packs that include all the collateral you will need to promote your entry. You can also produce your own marketing collateral to promote your outlet and provide incentives for your customers to vote.

For more information about what’s included in the entry packs, prices and ordering, visit whatson.ae/awards

Can we provide customers with an incentive to vote?

Yes, we encourage outlets to provide their customers with an added incentive to vote for you to win.

E.g. “Vote for us and be entered into a prize draw to win a meal for two at our restaurant.”

Can we enter if we have more than one outlet?

Yes! You can register multiple outlets per category, upon your registration.

Can we enter our outlet for the Favourite Newcomer, Favourite Chef, Favourite Restaurant of the Year or Favourite Independent Restaurant Of The Year? 
No, the editorial team is responsible for deciding these nominations.

Can we enter if we have an outlet in Dubai and Abu Dhabi?

Yes! The more the merrier we say. You will need to register the outlet(s) for both awards as the votes are counted separately for both regions.


Can we order additional marketing collateral including tent cards and business cards?

You can order additional business cards; you will not be able to order additional tent cards. Additional business card costs (all are exclusive of VAT).

  • 500 cards = USUS$50
  • 1,000 cards = USUS$75
  • 3,000 cards = US$150

Visit whatson.ae/awards to order more business cards.

Can we order additional voting slips?

Yes, you can order additional voting slips by visiting whatson.ae/awards (All are exclusive of VAT)

500 slips = US$150

1,000 slips = US$270

3,000 slips = US$600

5,000 slips = US$800

What do we do with our voting slips?

Voting slips will need to be sent directly to the independent auditing company Jacobsons Direct for counting and verifying. The contact address these need to be sent to is:

Girish Menon, Jacobsons Direct Marketing Services, Al Maskan Building Block B, Mezzanine Floor, Behind Emarat Petrol Station / Marlin Furniture, Al Karama, PO Box 6884, Dubai, U.A.E. Telephone: +9714 3377737. All voting slips need to be sent to Jacobsons on a weekly basis, and we cannot accept voting slips that are sent after 5pm on September 27.

How will the votes be counted?

All votes, both paper and online, will be counted and cross-referenced by our independent official votes processing partner Jacobsons Direct. The What’s On team will receive the final votes from Jacobsons when these have been finalised.

Can we find out how many votes our outlet has received during the voting process?

No. No information about the number of votes per outlet is disclosed until the voting has closed and the shortlist is announced.

Can we vote for ourselves? What happens if we do?

Votes submitted by your customers are the only votes that will be counted and included in the voting process. It has been noted that in their enthusiasm some staff have resorted to voting for the outlets they work in – perhaps on behalf of the customers. Please actively discourage this, as this is very easily detected at the auditing stage and could result in disqualification of the outlet concerned.



Is there a limit to the number of online votes that can be made per IP address?

There is no limit to the number of votes that can be made using one IP address but you must ensure that each e-mail address submitted is unique and legitimate in order to be counted.

Please note: online votes will be disregarded for repetitive IP addresses being used in quick succession.

Can we provide customers with a tablet to vote online whilst at my outlet?

Yes, you can provide customers with a tablet in order to vote online. You will also be provided with a ‘How to vote online’ document that you print and give to your customers who are interested in voting online, giving them clear instructions on how to do so.

How can we use social media to encourage voting?

We would recommend that you use the What’s On Facebook app, via our Facebook pages (Facebook.com/WhatsOnDubai and Facebook.com/WhatsOnAbuDhabi) and direct your customers to vote for you this way. You can LIKE the What’s On Facebook page and share this on your social media sites to encourage voting.

We would also suggest you use your Twitter account to follow What’s On (@WhatsOnDubai and @WhatsOnAbuDhabi) and re-tweet any posts about the awards. We’re also on Instagram (@WhatsOnDubai and @WhatsOnAbuDhabi).


When will we know if we have been shortlisted for an award?

The What’s On team will be in touch to let you know if you have been successfully shortlisted for an award after voting closes on September 27th.

How do we collect our award?

The awards will be presented to the winners at the awards ceremony. Editorial Choice categories, Restaurants Above Dhs400, Entertainment & Food Concept categories will be presented on stage. Restaurants in the Below Dhs400 and Leisure categories will be pre-awarded by our What’s On Team. We will be visiting your outlet in advance.

The award ceremonies are held on the following dates:

Abu Dhabi: Awards Ceremony October 23, 2018

Dubai: Awards Ceremony November 11, 2018


What happens if our outlet has won an award in the pre-awarded category?

Please note that the Below Dhs400 Restaurants and Leisure categories are both pre-awarded and will be presented with an award before the event.

The What’s On team will be in touch to arrange a time to come to your outlet and present the award and pre-awarded winners video that will be screened at the awards ceremony.


How do we sponsor the awards?

There are many sponsorship opportunities available, including bespoke packages. For sponsorship opportunities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi contact:

Omran Naseem – E: Omran@motivate.ae E: +971 50 160 0301


The What’s On team receives a daily report for the online voting figures. If we detect any signs of cheating, we reserve the right to disqualify outlets from the awards without fee reimbursement.

All forms must be sent to the Jacobsons Direct office before 5pm on September 27. Any forms received after the deadline will not be counted.

Forms must not be sent to the Motivate office. We will not take responsibility for forwarding the voting forms on to Jacobsons Direct.

Please take note of the following when submitting your voting slips.

  • No staples on the voting slips
  • No receipts attached to the voting forms
  • Ensure all details are complete and all information is correct (some outlets place the wrong category in their voting form and wrong outlet name)
  • Deliver the voting slips in a box (you can use the boxes that we use for delivery. Deliver the voting slips on an office time basis.
  • Avoid putting anything like shredded paper in the voting forms that is going to be delivered to Jacobsons.

Those outlets that register in a multiple category, please arrange it in order to make the process faster.