Majid Sager Al-Marri Majid Sager Al-Marri

It doesn’t take much to work out why Majid Sager Al-Marri — the man who gets paid to pass judgment on your hotel and measure it in those all-important stars — is at number 16.

Al-Marri (known to friends and family as MJ) heads up the department responsible for hotel establishment licensing, classification and implementation of hotel standards and criteria in Dubai. Having been in the role for 10 years, he is well placed to tell a four-star property from a five-star from the moment the bellboy opens the door.

Among his achievements, Al-Marri has succeeded in setting the hotel classification bar in Dubai high enough to meet and exceed international standards; making Dubai the hospitality hub it is today.

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If you’re expecting a visit from Al-Marri, it may be useful to know it is level of service in a hotel that ranks highest on his agenda. Even motels aren’t immune from surprise encounters with Al-Marri. Once traveling from New York to Montreal he checked into to a motel; an experience he described as strange.