Gabrielle Nicholson. Gabrielle Nicholson.

After launching the global hunt for the ‘world’s greatest hospitality talent’, Emaar Hospitality Group (EHG) crowned 22-year-old British national Gabrielle Nicholson as the winner.

More than 4,000 candidates applied to Emaar Hospitality Group’s global talent competition, and eight finalists were selected to take part in what was termed as ‘Casting Week’ from July 21-26, 2018.

The candidates were made to undergo a series of challenges that tested various aspects including their personality, resilience, creativity, innovation, financial acumen and team dynamics. Assessors shadowed them throughout the tasks, creating reports for the judges — all the scores and insights combined led to the winner being chosen.

The group of young professionals from across the world who made it to the final in addition to Nicholson were: Anastasia Ratkanova, Ashleigh Carroll, Dean Zhu, Gabriel Juneau, Menna Fahmi, Nivesh Bhagtani, and Sula Powell.

Carroll was revealed to be the second runner-up, while Zhu was named the first runner-up.

Nicholson, from September 2018, will undergo a three-year training under Emaar Hospitality Group’s senior leaders and work across the board to gain hands-on insights on corporate hospitality leadership.

After winning the award, she said: “I can’t describe how I’m feeling. Overwhelming would be the best term. The standard of the other seven candidates has been so high, they bring so much to the table, they are all amazing people.”

The judges who joined 60 assessors from within Emaar Hospitality Group to pick the winner included: EHG CEO Olivier Harnisch, EHG COO Chris Newman, EHG corporate director of human resources Aseem Kapoor, SIA Partners partner Roberto Wyszkowski, and, ITP Media Group group editor – hospitality Devina Divecha.

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