Kudzanayi Chigwedere. Kudzanayi Chigwedere.

Organised by the UAE chapter of the Amicale Internationale des Sous Directeurs et Chefs de Réception des Grand Hôtels (AICR), The Receptionist of the Year UAE 2018 crowned Kudzanayi Chigwedere from Nassima Royal Hotel as the winner at a gala dinner at Five Palm Jumeirah Hotel on September 30, 2018.

A Zimbabwean national, Chigwedere was selected from a total of 35 candidates. Raissa Gabriel from Raffles Dubai was named first runner up and the second runner up title was given to Kamila Akhunova from Fairmont The Palm.

The annual competition is judged over three separate rounds and the first round of the competition was held on September, 8th at Media One Hotel.

AICR UAE president Lilly Freudmayer told Hotelier Middle East: “We had 35 candidates from some of the most prestigious hotels in the UAE participating to win the title of Best Receptionist of Year in UAE.”

“A number of questions were asked, based on the candidate’s personality and the hotel they work at to get to know the candidates better. Furthermore, technical/product questions were asked covering topics like costs, profits, revenue, yield management, staffing level, structure, promotional ideas etc.,” Freudmayer explained.

For round 2, candidates were required to offer a presentation on a hospitality-related topic. For the final round, apart from the five technical questions, candidates were asked to perform a role under a theme described a typical shift as a receptionist.

Chigwedere will go on to represent the UAE at the International Receptionist of the Year competition in London in January 2019 where she will compete with candidates from 16 other countries for the title of the World's Best Receptionist.

The AICR was founded on the Cote d'Azur in France in 1964, and over the past 40 years has developed into an international fellowship with sections in 20 countries. The UAE section of the AICR was founded in Dubai in 2005, and this year, Abu Dhabi became part of the organisation.

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