Abdulla Yassar wins Unsung Hero Award at Hotelier Express Awards 2018. Abdulla Yassar wins Unsung Hero Award at Hotelier Express Awards 2018.

Abdulla Yassar walked away with the Unsung Hero title during the Hotelier Express Awards 2018. Yassar was recognised for taking a personal initiative to manage Premier Inn Abu Dhabi International Airport hotel’s waste systems.

After receiving the award, Yassar spoke to Hotelier Middle East, he said, “I am so very happy about the win because I came here expecting nothing, never thought I would win. I think my management is very happy with me and that’s great.”

He joined the hotel in October 2015 as a public areas attendant. However, in November 2016, when he saw the vacant position for managing the hotel’s waste systems, Yassar requested to take up the job not as a promotion but because he felt strongly about the need to take action and recycle.

When asked what motivated him to start the initiative, the awardee said he was exposed to recycling in a previous job and wanted to implement it at the hotel too.

“In my last job, I did something similar to recycling. So when I came to this job and saw the opportunity, I just started doing the work. The management gave me the support and I put all my hard work into it. And started to expand the recycling efforts gradually,” Yassar noted.

Yassar's personal determination to recycle as much of the waste produced by the hotel has resulted in reducing the hotel's landfill use for general waste disposal by 50% by manually separating plastics, metals, paper and cardboard.

“He educated our team and guests of the importance and consequences of not recycling single use items such as plastic bottles and the effects on our coastal environments in the UAE,” said Mark Whitlock, the general manager for Premier Inn Middle East.             

Yassar went so far as to shift through the waste to ensure all recyclable items are removed before being sent for landfill, Whitlock noted.

“He converted waste management from a cost to a revenue stream for the hotel. Due to the increased onward sales of recyclable items, the waste management cost line ended 2017 in credit,” Whitlock added in Yassar’s nomination for the award.

Yassar commented that he plans to continue his recycling efforts, “Of course, I have to continue the work. When you start something, you have to carry on with dedication, consistency and conviction. So, I plan to do that.”

Yassar was presented the award by A. Ronai LLC president Gavin Dodd, and highly commended was Sohel Rana from Gloria Hotels & Resorts who was recognised for his dedication to the hotel’s guests (see the full shortlist here).

The Hotelier Express Awards 2018 took place at the Grosvenor House Dubai on February 28, 2018, and was supported by a range of industry partners including: A. Ronai, Duni, Diversey, Guest Supply, MMI, OSN For Business, and Tint.

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